Having changed year levels this year, developing my pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) has become a priority for myself.
This year I am team teaching in numeracy with a group of learners operating between Level 2 and Level 3 of the New Zealand Curriculum for numeracy. This is a natural follow on for the numeracy that I was teaching in previous years and I am grateful for this foundation as I look forward to challenge myself in this space.
As the learners are operating at a higher level, my first noticing goes to how we are struggling as a group to articulate our numerical thinking when asked to explain how we came to a conclusion or got a specific answer. My first instinct was to explore if there were particular vocabulary gaps within our group, however, what I am noticing more is a) a general lack of confidence with articulation of numerical thinking and b) a reluctance to do this in group settings aka 'the fear of getting it wrong in front of others'.
Fortunately for me, a lot of schools in our clusters are looking into this area and documenting through the use of their blogs, especially Pt England School, so it has been awesome to read and see how some of the teachers are developing these skills within their own numeracy programs.
I have also found the app Flipgrid helpful in developing the learners confidence in taking risks in articulating their strategies. Learners are able to record themselves on their own device and listen back to themselves before posting the video to an online forum where other members of the group can listen and respond to the videos. This has also served as a great link with our cybersmart curriculum.
Next Steps: Continue to look for opportunities to build these communication skills within our numeracy program. I also need to see if the team will let me pay for a Flipgrid membership as the free version only allows you to activate one grid at a time.
I am also going to connect with some of my colleagues at Pt England to see how they are finding their PD and what are their learnings so far.