Thursday, 19 October 2017

Literacy in maths

To sell the importance of literacy in maths, my students and I took a mock trip to China.

Once we landed in China, we discussed taking a shuttle or taxi to our hotel and realised that none of us could speak or read Chinese. This led to a healthy discussion about the importance of knowing the language, so getting learners to define terms like:
Complementary angles
Supplementary angles
Invariant points
Types of angles
Bearings, to name a few, had learners attempting to understand the language of Geometry with renewed vigour. To reinforce learning, learners explained the meaning of Geometry words and then copied and pasted an appropriate image. Their final challenge was to explain at least one of the words to their neighbour and vice versa.

Monday, 16 October 2017


Image result for 23 Day 1 of term 4 and we have 23 Days to go (including weekends and Labour Day) before NCEA exams commence, nationwide. My 11's have set themselves a goal to gain UE numeracy between now and then. We all need to DREAM BIG and ACHIEVE BIGGER, so once we have UE Numeracy, we need to aim for credits in an additional standard.

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Straight line

Image result for y = mx+c
Our Junior students are learning about straight equations so after using a few online interactive resources,  playing kahoot and completing a teacher-created Quizizz resource a few were still struggling to identify the gradient, also known as the slope or m value and the Y intercept or c value.

I had a conference lesson with 3 students and tried to break it down
s........l.....o.....w..........l.......y. using this example

y = 2x - 3
Teacher: Read this straight line equation
Student: y equals 2x minus 3

Teacher: Repeat it to your friend
Student: y equals 2x minus 3

Teacher: So to find the gradient you must look to see what is in front of the letter x. So what do you see in front of the letter x
Student: (silent)

Teacher: Remember to look  to see what is in front of the letter x
Student: Which way is the front?

This was a teachable moment .........................

Thursday, 14 September 2017

On the flip side

I am now left with 2 Maori learners in my maths class and one has exceeded achievement expectations: Read my post titled, "Nothing can burst my bubble" where the learner had a history of poor achievement and now 8 weeks later, has University Entrance numeracy.

On the flip side, I have a learner whose historical data was more impressive:
Maths - stanine 5 (year 9), stanine 7 (year 10)
Reading - stanine 6 (year 9), stanine 5 (year 10).

Both learners followed similar programmes and were exposed to similar teaching and learning strategies, resources and feedback. The only difference was whanau engagement as all attempts to connect with whanau regarding support have FAILED: no response to messages left or to texts sent and failure to attend student achievement conferences. An important piece of the puzzle is missing.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Nothing can burst my bubble

Historical data and evidence showed that one of my year 11 Maori learners was achieving below the norm in years 9 and 10:

Maths - Stanine 3 (year 9), ABSENT (year 10)
Creative Writing - 2P (year 9), 2A (year 10)

After 2 terms of trying a variety of
teaching and learning strategies
personalised learning
differentiated teaching
rewriting achievement objectives in "student speak"
goal setting activities and
student voice surveys, there was minimal shift in attitude and effort. and the learner still had incomplete work and had not sat any assessments.

I logged 4 incidences of disengagement and/or lack of equipment in maths and 2 incidences of reaching out to whanau for support.

Since whanau came on board (2 June), all entries have been about positive attitude and credit achievement.

What did we do differently to break the cycle of underperforming?

-Teacher and whanau made a commitment to each other to actively support the learner and relayed our commitment to the learner.

- Learner managed his Learning by using our Visible Teaching and Learning "Class Task Sheets" 

- Teacher minimised written feedback which encouraged the learner to engage in learning conversations

- Learner sat assessments when he felt that he had the confidence to be successful (as opposed to sitting assessments according to the year planner or when his peers were ready).

He was on 0 credits eight weeks ago and has since sat 3 assessments and been successful. In his recent assessment, he gained his first MERIT grade and now has a total of 10 credits in maths which means that he has University Entrance (UE) Numeracy. I contacted mum and left a message and mailed a RISE postcard home. Nothing can burst my bubble......................

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Gradient intro

Today our learners were building their knowledge bank about straight lines, in particular, X and Y axes and gradient.

Remember "Y to the sky" (meaning that the Y axis goes straight up). The X axis runs across and the letter "x" looks like a cross,

Image result for Y axis

so after discussing X and Y axis the first point of discussion was:
Define gradient. Learners looked up the meaning on Google and there was a general consensus that SLOPE was the best definition and easiest to remember.

I wrote the word slope like this slope
and learners had to discuss the way the word was written.
the letter 'l"  was extra long indicating moving up or down and the Y axis first and the letter "e" represented the X axis running across, so gradient means move along the Y axis first, then the X axis.

Image result for define slope in maths
the gradient of this line is 3/5