This afternoon we had a staff meeting with Sue, our maths PD lady.
We started off with a warm up problem, just like we would in a class with our students.
She asked us 18x5= and to work it out in our heads, and it was much harder than I expected! I instantly reached for a pen and paper, to write out the algorithm.. but alas, this was not allowed. It took me a second to think about how to do it without a pen in my hand, as I always had done.
I naturally leant towards rounding and compensating, and partitioning strategies.
We then started discussing our different year levels and their associated achievement levels. Archana, Luti and myself worked together on Stage 5 Maths and made a list of everything that the students need to know by the end of year 4.
It was an awesome way to recap what it expected at Stage 5, how this links in with GLOSS assessments, OTJ's, and what we are teaching everyday. After we had regrouped and shared each stages expectations, we looked at our own planning from this week and analysed it. The main question we had to ask ourself was 'is this lesson aimed at the right learning level?' (Read: Is this a year 4 lesson for my year 4's, or a year 2 lesson for my year 4's?). Archana and I found that we were using the right strategies for our age level, but the numbers in our problems were too easy.
So the next steps for us is to look at our problems and keep them at the level they need to be at.
Deeper Reflection -
Something else surprising for me was when Sue reminded us that everything we do, should be encouraging a growth intelligence mindset. She said it, as I wrote a note to myself to bring my basic facts cards for my students to practice their instant recall... Which is the exact opposite of a growth mindset. Making basic facts instant recall a competitive game put students in a fixed minds-set, because if they don't know the answer they are losers, they are losers in their team and they miss their chance to offer an answer. That is the opposite of the learning culture we are trying to achieve in our classes. I was really caught off guard when she said this, and it very quickly reminded me that I need to always think of the bigger picture of what I am saying and doing with my students.