Tuesday, 2 June 2020

Formative Information and Baseline Data

Plan and conduct detailed inquiry into specific aspects of your current teaching that are relevant to the hypotheses you identified in the literature. Inquiring into your teaching should give you:
    1. Formative information about your current strengths and areas for development
    2. Baseline information that you can use at the end of the year  to provide evidence of shifts in teaching
Use multiple tools such as self- or peer-observations, analysis of your class site, student voice. (WFRC #8)


As a Manaiakalani Class on Air teacher, I have the opportunity to routinely capture my teaching on camera. Part of the editing process for my Class on Air episodes requires me to analytically watch the footage that has been captured multiple times to find the best portions of student voice and teaching to share for each episode. Our episodes are also watched and feedback is provided by Anne Sinclair (University of Auckland and Manaiakalani) and other Pt England Class on Air and CoL teachers. 

One of the things that I know I have been working on over the past two or three years is providing more time for students to talk and lead the discussion during our maths sessions. I work hard to create problem solving stories that enable my students to connect with the problem and discuss what they understand before they move into their problem solving groups. Once there students wrestle with the problem, and I roam from group to group providing "nudges" to promote student thinking (How many 5s are there in 100?) and questions about their strategies (Why are you dividing by 5?). It is also very clear throughout the video that I provide adequate opportunities for students to ping pong the conversation from one to another and I only pop into the game when something needs to be clarified or redirected in hope of the students gaining more insight to the topic. When watching the video, it is clear that my students often revert to the more basic names for mathematical operations that they have picked up along the way instead of reaching for the actual name of the concept (ie plussing/adding, taking away/subtracting).

I hope to take a look at a video of a lesson (or have a peer observe) how many times my students use proper mathematical terms and alternative names during a problem solving session.  By adapting and trialing the Four Square and Feature Analysis approaches (as discussed here), I hope to provide my students with more opportunities to recognise the vocabulary of mathematical success. I would also be interested in having a record of the mathematical terms they used kept during the lesson (maybe another video) to see how many of the terms being used are actually terms that we discussed an recorded at some point during the year. 

The edited video from this lesson can be seen below. (click here to view the entire Class On Air episode). After watching the lesson, Anne Sinclair stated, "Loved the shots of the girls struggling with the problem and wrangling with the possible solutions. This is real stuff Angela and what we want to see. It is getting into the heads of the learners to see how they think." I think that's the big thing. Getting into the students' heads to see how they think. Do they have the correct terminology and vocabulary to adequately explain their thinking process. 



As part of this lesson, students also created a video describing their thinking to put on their blogs. Examples from these blog posts can be found here:

This is another place that I will be able to evidence in shift of teaching, By providing students opportunities to share their thinking in a video on their blog, I will be able to compare the number of correct mathematical terms they are able to use in their descriptions.

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