Monday, 6 August 2018

Show Me Your Understanding - Update

I have been fortunate enough to pick up some time with our Agency team where I spend time observing another teacher's lessons to see how they are promoting agency within their practice.  Based on discussions had so far, I realised that I have been promoting aspects of agency within my numeracy programme based on the initial hunch I had earlier this year about the learners I am teaching.  Student agency is something that I have been wanting to investigate more due to moving to a different year level so I am grateful for the opportunity to spend this term doing so.

I have always given learners the opportunity to reflect in various formats however I noticed that this year I needed to dedicate specific time each session for learners to reflect on their learning.  I updated my modelling books to add in a slide like the one below where I ask the learners to reflect on what part of the learning pit they found themselves in during the session.

This is the basis that the learners to use and I found that it reflects the concept of the knowledge action gap that I heard about when attending the NZAI presentations earlier this year.  Each session learners have the choice to upload in SchoolTalk an element of evidence on that session.  Historically learners have seen this as completed work however I have been encouraging them to upload learning that they are still completing or reflections on how they have been finding the learning.  This is great as I am getting snapshots on all the groups thoughts.  Here are some examples of how the kids have been reflecting:

This has been going for a few weeks now so now the next steps is to build the kids confidence in the articulation of what specific elements of the learning that they are having issues with so I can tailor learning to help them with those.  I am still modelling thinkalouds to boost discussion and reflection in the moment so they feel confident to discuss at any part of the lesson.

Looking ahead:
I have had some conversations with the kids and their whanau about anxiety in maths.  When we discuss where this may come from, a lot of the conversations come back to some of the kids feeling surprised when we start a new unit of learning.  While at Claremont, I saw a wall display where the teachers encouraged questions from their learners on the next week's learning.  They will display both the learning goals or main objectives for the next week as well as resources for the kids to help them to make meaning of the topic.

As the kids love Padlet, I chose to create a digital format of this display which looks like this example:

After asking questions on the learning goals, I give the kids the option to book into a workshop based on their confidence in this topic.  So far the kids have really enjoyed this weekly part of our learning as they are coming to the relevant workshop with a lot more confidence and the questions they ask help me tailor the learning to any specific knowledge gaps.

Next Steps:

So how has this focus on communication impacted on the kids understanding?  I did some analysis based on the learners' Gloss assessments from Term 4 2017 to Term 2 2018 and for the majority, they have made shift in at least one element of this assessment (green). 

Looking forward to working with these kids for the remainder of the year!  We have moved into a strand focus with looking at elements of geometry and algebra which is new to both the kids and me so I am enjoying learning alongside this group of kids as we continue to communicate with each other about our numeracy.