Teacher Inquiry 2017

Nic mason

Achievement Target: What outcomes am I aiming to achieve?  What outcomes do I want my focus students to achieve?

(SMART = Specific; Measurable; Attainable/Achievable; Relevant/Realistic;, Time-bound.)

To develop an understanding of Mathematics Inquiry Communities. To use ‘Bobbie Maths’ to accelerate the learning for my target group of children.

FOCUSING

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Potential – what might be?

Prioritise outcomes.

Baseline: Find out what students can already do and what more they need to learn.  

Refer to National

Curriculum and other resources

Initial plan. Who is my focus group?  Why are they my priority group? What do I know about them?  What can they already do?  What do they need to learn next? (Outline achievement data; specific skills, knowledge they already have; attitude to writing; and any other information)

School Context –

 

The goal for my target group (who were identified as below standard in 2016) to make accelerated progress so that they are meeting or exceeding the relevant standard by the end of 2017.

Target Group

*Issraa, *Cohen, *Alex W, *Libby Sloan, *Hannah

I have chosen these learners because as I said above, I identified my focus group because they are fringe kids.  In other words, they are on the cusp between below and at.  At the end of term one I conducted a maths survey with my focus group.

Survey Questions: 6/4/2017 (1 = Poor, 4 = Excellent)

  1. How much do you like maths at school?

I = 2, C = 2, Alex = 2, Libby Sl = 2, Hannah = 3.

  1. How good are you at maths?

I = 2, C = 1, Alex = 2, Libby Sl = 2, Hannah = 3.

  1. How good does your teacher think you are at maths?

I = 2, C = 2, Alex = 2, Libby Sl = 2, Hannah = 2.

  1. How do you feel about doing things in maths that you haven't tried before?

I = 3, C = 1, Alex = 2, Libby Sl = 2, Hannah = 2.

  1. How much do you like maths in your own time ­not at school?

I = 2, C = 1, Alex = 2, Libby Sl = 2, Hannah = 2.

  1. Do you want to keep learning about maths when you grow up?

I = 3, C = 2, Alex = 3, Libby Sl = 2, Hannah = 3.

  1. How would you feel if we did a little bit more maths each day? (Maybe another ten minutes)

I = 2, C = 2, Alex = 2, Libby Sl = 2, Hannah = 3.

  1. When it's maths time I feel....

I = 2, C = 1, Alex = 2, Libby Sl = 2, Hannah = 2.

  1. I know what my next learning steps are in maths.

I = 3, C = 2, Alex = 2, Libby Sl = 2, Hannah = 2.

One thing that I will do differently this year is spread my focus children into 4 separate groups. In the past I have put my focus group altogether and have spent extra time explicitly teaching them.  However after reading “The Hidden Lives of Learners” by Graham Nuttall, I decided to  spread my focus group out because as Nuthall discovered, “Spontaneous talk” plays a crucial role student learning.

TEACHING

Another area I have been exploring is Bobby Maths or “Mathematics Inquiry Communities”. I am blend this idea with P4C (an approach to learning where children are doing more talking to each other than to the teacher or adult).

Talk Moves:

1. Revoicing

  • “You’re saying that it’s an odd number?”
  • “Are you noticing something about the zeros over here?”

2. Repeating

  • “Can you repeat what he just said in your own words?”

3. Reasoning

  • “Do you agree or disagree, and why?”

4. Adding on

  • “Would someone like to add something more to this?”
  • “Karen, I see your hand is up. Do you have something to add?”

5. Waiting

  • “Take your time… we’ll wait…”
  • Total silence. Slowly count to 10 in your head.

Acceleration.

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What craft knowledge do I already have?

Search your own and colleagues' past practice for strategies that may be more effective.

Research to see what has worked for other teachers and contexts.

Formulate a plan.

Initially, what am I going to do? Develop? Strengthen?  What is my explicit plan for doing this? What strateg(y/ies) will I try? What evidence is there for doing this? How will I know whether the actions have had impact? (How will I measure achievement and/or progress of this group?)

See above for my “espoused theory in action”.

LEARNING

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Monitor students' progress towards identified outcomes and reflect on what this tells you.

Use this new information to decide what to do next to ensure continued improvement in student achievement and in your own practice.

Put my plan into action. Monitor; collect evidence; write regular reflections; interpret data.  Plan next steps.

Reflection June:

I am seeing a clear attitude change in the likes of Issraa, Hannah, Libby and Alex.  And as a result, they appear to be much happier with maths and are making progress.  I have noticed that that Libby and Hannah are developing more of a voice within the group.  They are using the “talk moves” and questioning strategies to question and challenge the ideas from others in the group.

Cohen has been really hard to engage because he has developed a really negative self-image. He believes he is dumb and he isn’t applying himself as much as.  I feel for him because he is going out for Maths with Mel (MST), he is also doing Toe by toe with TA’s. He is going to Number Works and outside of school tutoring... He has a lot of pressure. His default strategy is to give up and not try. I have met with him one on one over the last few weeks and he asks excellent questions during these sessions. We have been working on asking these types of questions during workshops. He is beginning to do this, reluctantly.

Reflection August:

I am loving maths at the moment!  Every maths time, I am getting enthusiastic kids coming down to the mat all chorusing “YUSSSS!”

How does this activity/strategy empower your students as learners?  

How does this fit with the school’s vision or belief about pedagogy?

What’s going to be the best way to do that/move forward, what would work for you?

What’s going to be the best way to do that/move forward – what would work for you?

How does this learning/teaching activity reflect your beliefs about what constitutes effective teaching and learning?

SUMMARISING

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Reflect on progress, observations: current versus initial data.

How did it go?

What strategies have made a difference to my students' learning?  

How do I know?

Analyse data and observations and draw conclusions.  Prepare and present findings to colleagues.

Survey Questions: 13/11/2017 (1 = Poor, 4 = Excellent)

No change, Increase change, decrease change

  • How much do you like maths at school?

I = 3, C = 3, Alex = 1, Libby Sl = 3, Hannah = 3.

  • How good are you at maths?

I = 2, C = 2, Alex = 4, Libby Sl =3, Hannah = 3.

  • How good does your teacher think you are at maths?

I = 2, C = 3, Alex = 3, Libby Sl =3, Hannah = 2.

  • How do you feel about doing things in maths that you haven't tried before?

I = 3, C = 2, Alex = 1, Libby Sl = 3, Hannah = 3.

  • How much do you like maths in your own time ­not at school?

I = 2, C = 2, Alex = 1, Libby Sl =3, Hannah = 2.

  • Do you want to keep learning about maths when you grow up?

I = 3, C = 4, Alex = 4, Libby Sl = 3, Hannah = 3.

  • How would you feel if we did a little bit more maths each day? (Maybe another ten minutes)

I = 2, C = 2, Alex = 1, Libby Sl = 4, Hannah = 3.

  • When it's maths time I feel....

I = 3, C =2, Alex = 2, Libby Sl = 3, Hannah = 3.

  • I know what my next learning steps are in maths.

I = 3, C =3, Alex = 3, Libby Sl = 3, Hannah = 3.

I =

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L =

H =

PAT in Mathematics Results:

 

 

Interestingly, the person who made the most progress on their PAT results in mathematics, made the least progress in the maths attitude survey, Furthermore, this individual (from the teacher’s perspective, including mine and MST) appeared to had significantly improved their attitude during class and group activities.

The person who made the least progress in their PAT results in mathematics, made the most progress in the maths attitude survey.

Almost all students considered their group or their friends as being the most useful in their learning, proving in this case Nuthall’s suggestion about the teacher influencing the peer group contributes to learning in The Hidden Lives of Learners. 

The fact that one learner considered themselves good at maths and scored high on the “wanted to learn more maths when I’m older” section but did not want to do more school maths suggests that for this student maths is not something that is connected to their world and they perceive that there is school maths and real world maths.

 

Describe how you evaluated your inquiry and what it tells you about the success of your teaching..   What strategies have made a difference to your focus group? How has your practice changed?

In my endeavor to learn how to use mixed-ability groups as a vehicle to orchestrate rich tasks, my pendulum has swung very towards that direction. However, in a sense I have fixed in the fact that we “fixed mixed groups”.  And this is not the goal.  However, in terms of my learning I feel much more confident in leading this type of learning.

In the future, I look forward to letting the pendulum swing back and to apply all of Dinah’s work/PD in terms of knowledge, maintenance, strategy groupings, and rich-task/mixed ability groupings.

What has contributed most to my learning as a teacher?

Time: Giving time to make real change. Developing concepts and test them over the past 3 years.

James: Thanks for sharing your inquiry and the journey you have been on with your students.