Maths in the Staff Room – Short Professional Development Meetings
This section provides suggestions and resources for a professional development meeting for teachers, which can be led by the maths subject leader or another person with responsibility for developing mathematics teaching and learning in the school. You can find previous features in this series here.
Outstanding Mathematics Teaching
Explore what high quality mathematics teaching might look like in day to day practice in the light of recent research findings. Based on recent reports from the following:
It would be helpful if the teachers have read the two executive summaries for the EPPSE and Sutton Trust reports prior to the meeting to make sense of the themes that have been used as a focus below.
1. Share the aim of the session
2. Auditing confidence of the key themes
Begin by working through the following 6 statements as a self-auditing tool. Invite teachers to work in groups if in a large school or as a whole team if there are 6 or fewer teachers. Ask teachers to grade the statements based on their confidence from a whole school perspective. 1 = confidently agree; 2 = partially agree; 3 = disagree. (10 mins)
- Every teacher has ‘great’ subject content and pedagogical knowledge? We have a suitable system of support for teachers who would like to develop their subject knowledge to improve teaching.
- Organisation: We know which maths resources we have and how they can be best used to enhance teaching and learning in maths? A significant majority of pupils are independent/ self-reliant in tackling mathematical problem solving? We promote independence/independent thinking in our maths lessons?
- We share intended learning outcomes with children for maths. We share learning outcomes when we want children to ‘come to discover’ a mathematical concept for themselves.
- All maths homework is meaningful to mathematical learning. Homework extends and deepens children’s mathematical learning or improves fluency. Maths homework is used to inform planning and teaching. Pupils and parents know how well homework has been completed.
- The climate in every classroom enables children to challenge their own and each other’s learning and the teacher’s teaching in a non-judgemental way? Mathematical dialogue encourages mathematical justification between pupils and teachers. Effort and perseverance are a valued feature of teaching and learning in all maths lessons? Contributions from everyone in mathematics lessons are encouraged and equally valued by pupils and teachers?
- The quality of ‘instruction’ is of a high standard? Dialogic teaching is a feature of all maths lessons. Teachers plan for and use a range of question types during maths lessons. Strategies are used by teachers to encourage collaborative learning in maths. Copying can be seen as ‘looking for insight’ during lessons. Children play strategy games in maths lessons regularly; talk partners are used regularly; peer marking is used to improve and evaluate learning.
Feedback the scores that the teachers have given to each of the statements. Work through each of the six areas (or choose how to prioritise – i.e. the focus with the lowest score or the focus with a variation in perception). Unpick the feature and ask teachers to share maths specific examples of what they consider to be ‘great’ practice and why.
3. Conclusion and Reflection
Consider which of the features might need further attention at a future development meeting.
Future editions of Maths in the Staff Room will address how to develop each of the six themes above.
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