Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Maths PD: Jo Knox

Today the teachers of Team 3 were given an opportunity to meet with Jo Knox and spend some time together going over some the areas of maths that we are seeing our students struggle with continuously.

First, Jo spent some time talking to us about strategies to use with our students to learn solidify place value understanding.

ex: Going from 29 to 30 without saying 20/10…It is very important to use physical materials with students like packets of 10 (beans/sticks) and place value charts (houses). Jo said that by using discrete objects that have to be physically connected to make 10 students will gain a more concrete understanding. Jo also suggested using the 1000 book to could by 10s, or by 100s from any number. However, you must be sure to use the materials to reinforce the concept.

Develop Place Value Understanding
ex: writing 54 in words We need to be sure that we are providing multiple ways to use a number when we are doing this. For example, add 10, now subtract 20 and go up 5. Then, write the number in words, and the expanded form. However, when doing this, be sure to provide the students with a chart (or Google Draw/Slide) with the words on it. I was thinking that this is something we could easily have set up as a Slide/Drawing that is scaffolded into our daily routine until students grasp the concept. Once students are secure in this process, add it as a weekly assignment and then scaffold in a new version with different concepts on it to do as a group/class.

Using a Daily Maths Wall-Very similar to the "calendar wall" that is done in the year 1 classes by adopting this technique to use with students at their level to repetitively learn over and over the same concepts that need daily revisiting.

Jo then worked with a small group of our students to model some of the ideas she shared. It was during this time that the power of imagery became quickly apparent.  By having the students image after they got a concept with the materials, and then go back to the materials to check it reinforced student understanding.  When adding using double digits it is important to move to stick packets of 10 and do it with the sticks and then imaging again.

It was also very evident that providing the students with the time to describe what a number looks like was so powerful, and as always remembering that dialogic conversations in maths, as well as reading, are so valuable to increasing student understanding.


  1. Hi, this is Gray Gillespie from Stonefields School. I love your blog and your learning plans. I hope to borrow many of your ideas for my own teaching!

    1. Hi Gary! I am so glad that you are finding this helpful. Feel free to borrow anything you see that you think will be helpful. What hub are you currently working in?