On Thursday of term 2 week 4 the site based ELL leaders again met for their second training session for the year. A copy of the presentation for the day is below.
The first half of the day was a follow up on some tasks that these teachers were asked to work on over the course of last term. The work we looked at in this session can be found in the previous post.
We started by looking at progress with the #observeme process. Essentially the process provides a way to make the intentions of our teaching clear to others, to open up our classes for others to observe and to get regular ongoing feedback on our teaching. At the end of the last session the focus teacher has thought deeply about their signs and what they could put on them. We spent some time thinking about how the process of implementation has gone.
The ELL Project has been operating across the partnership for 4 full years and is now in it's 5th year of implementation, with a commitment of this year plus another 2 years from the partnership it is an ideal time to think about the further work that needs to be done across the partnership to build the sustainability of this work. Focus teachers were asked to perform site level audits to look at the current progress of the work in their site. Audits were conducted on three different levels, whole site, teacher/educator, and individual children.
We sat down and took the time to unpack what we have learnt from these audits in relation to
Beyond Relevance and Real World - Dan Meyer
At the NCTM conference last year Dan Meyer presented a session entitled "Beyond Relevance and Real World: Stronger Strategies for Student Engagement". The talk itself talks about the traditional views of how we make mathematics engaging to students, these strategies include
The talk examines why these methods of building engagement are unreliable and looks at some strategies that work better in relation to building engagement in mathematics. Central to the discussion is the concept of a "maths dial" that sits behind every class, this dial describes the formality of the mathematics that is occurring at the time, rather then the complexity of the work. At the higher end of the dial you have mathematics that is highly procedural, formal, abstract and precise, using a lot of exact mathematical language. The lower end of the dial is informal and imprecise, intuition plays an important part in the learning.
The premise is that if you start your learning towards the high end of the dial then it becomes overwhelming and hence engagement drops of significantly, whereas if you start the dial much lower and then turn the dial up slowly over time then this is a lot less daunting students have time to develop that conceptual understanding and then the more formal and abstract end is a lot less intimidating.
In building engagement he believes we need to redefine the nature of the "real world". Rather than trying to make it fit the world they live in, he seems to be advocating making it real in their mind, therefore it becomes about the cognitive buy-in.
Each successive level asks students to develop an increasingly sophisticated understanding of the problem. First of all it is at the 'notice and wonder' stage where they need to be able to look at the question closely enough to be able to notice something and ask a question, at the next level they need to think about how they they might answer that question given some additional information, they then need to think about applying some mathematics to the situation, and finally they need to be able to justify their answer if they are going to argue effectively for their answer.
The full video can be found in the links below but for the purposes of this session the video was broken up and discussed. We then went on to discuss a the idea that 3-act maths tasks can be used as a framework to help sequentially build these ideas. Links to some websites with numerous 3 act tasks are below. The focus teachers were also given the opportunity to design their own question or adapt a NAPLAN question along the lines of this framework. What follows below is a summary of the discussions that took place.
Beyond Relevance and Real World by Dan Meyer - Video Link
Introduction to 3-act maths tasks - Website
Dan Meyer's 3-act maths tasks - Website
Andrew Stadel's 3-act maths tasks - Website
Elizabeth Brandenburg's 3-act maths tasks (primary focus) - Website
Kyle Pearce's 3-act maths tasks - Website
Dane Ehlert's 3-act maths tasks - Website
False Growth Mindset Article - Website