Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Using More 'Talk Moves' in my Maths lessons

How can using 'Talk Moves' improve my teaching of Maths?

Specific Teaching Focus Term 3: How can the use of  'Talk Moves' in my teaching of Maths help students deepen their understanding and accelerate their learning?

Why I chose this focus: I realised that although my students knew how to solve certain problems, they had difficulty explaining their methods to their teacher or peers. I also feel it is important that students are able to understand how they came to a solution as it informs their next steps and gives them confidence in being able to express their learning. I tend to use a lot of Talk Moves in other areas of my teaching but have been hesitant to use it for some reason when teaching Maths.

How we used it in class: When problem solving as a class we explored different methods that students had used to reach an answer and discussed each method in depth. During this I employed talk moves myself to introduce children to the language and encouraged the children to use it themselves. 
For example: How did you reach that answer? 
We would then discuss the benefits of the different methods used to achieve their results. I used talk moves such as: 
Did anyone else use a different method?
How does this compare to the previous method?
Which method did you find easier and why?
I also encouraged the use of ‘Talk Moves,’ in their groups and in paired/buddy work and rewarded them for using talk moves. As another approach I paired stronger students with my target students to to see if this would assist them in their learning.

My Reflection: I found that using Talk Moves did assist my students in gaining more confidence in Maths and was especially great for reaffirming their learning. The downside of using more Talk Moves was that we covered a lot less work overall as discussion takes time. One benefit was that they forgot a lot less of their previous learning and became more aware of how the different areas of Maths overlap. Talk Moves are a great teaching tool but take careful planning to keep the students on target. I found that it was important as a teacher to take notes throughout the lesson and to reaffirm what had been learnt each day by my students from any discussion. 
Overall I did not see any staggering improvements from using more Talk Moves in my Maths classes but I definitely think that students gained a deeper knowledge of what they learnt and that they grew in confidence when it came to sharing their thinking with me or the rest of the class. 

Friday, 8 September 2017

Visibility Enables Accelerated Shift in Learners.

My Learning from Today's PLG with Fiona Grant

Our Learning Theme Today: Visibility enables accelerated shift in learners.

Goal: Support teachers to utilise the  technologies to accelerate learning outcomes through visible teaching and learning.

Focuses: Differentiating Cybersmart Learning. Identifying strategies that we are currently applying to achieve an accelerated shift.

I found today's PLG really helpful. We unpacked the Manaiakalani Kaupapa and explored in depth how to accelerate progress in students' learning. The underlying elements of connected learners, ubiquity, creativity and visibility all actually stem from and build on Maniakalani's Learn/ Create/ Share. I felt that breaking it down in this way gave me a real insight into what I am currently doing for my learners and helped in identifying future goals for myself.

Some of the areas I can look to improve in visibility are:

  • A more visible learning hub where the learning is accessible anywhere, anytime, at any pace
  • Rewindable learning supported through work and lessons being uploaded to class site.
  • Personalising learning via multiple opportunities to access content and the learning process.
  • Visible planning and teaching.
  • Hub of information about events, groupings and progressions for both learners and parents.
  • Weekly overviews and timetables.

The area I most need to improve on is with the structure and setup of my class site. This will be my major focus at the start of next year as it effects everything else in regards to my digital teaching.