Why Blog?

I love to share things I come across with colleagues, parents and friends and others interested in matters to do with education. I am particularly interested in inquiry learning, gifted education, fostering independence and growing emotional literacy in our children. You may find posts interesting, you may not. You may agree, you may not but the important thing is you ponder about how it sits with you and your learning journey.

Have a great day!

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Mathematics: Criticism and Clarity

Teachers are now wearing the brunt of the revelations in the report recently commented on by Hekia Parata and released by the NZ Initiative. Once again it is the teachers' practice that is in the spotlight. Having been involved in ALiM and currently working with the Maths team at UCPlus as a lead teacher in mathematics the comments of Kelvin Smythe ring true. You can read his report here.

Things that resonate with me from both the article and the report are these:
  • The need to include rich mathematical tasks in our teaching on a regular basis so children can be actively involved in problem solving.
  • These tasks need to be challenging and supported by a range of hands on materials.
  • Groups working should be mixed so those involved can learn from each other.
  • More credence should be given to basic facts when moving children through the maths stages as the knowledge is needed to work effectively at the next mathematical stage.
  • Basic facts need to be taught with the stages so understanding forms the basis of the learning.
  • When the knowledge is learned it needs to recalled quickly.
  • Teachers trusting their ability to teach maths and not being fully reliant on a 'programme' that delivers a daily scripted dose of learning.