About cookies

The NCETM site uses cookies. Read more about our privacy policy

Please agree to accept our cookies. If you continue to use the site, we'll assume you're happy to accept them.

 

Personal Learning Login






Sign Up | Forgotten password?
 
Register with the NCETM

NCETM Secondary Magazine, Issue 3 - Professional Development activity - 2 hour learning module - Learning mathematics in my school


This page has been archived. The content was correct at the time of original publication, but is no longer updated.
Created on 19 February 2008 by ncetm_administrator
Updated on 26 February 2008 by ncetm_administrator

 

Professional Development activity - 2 hour learning module
Each week the Secondary Magazine will include a Professional Development activity. Available in PDF format, this series of learning modules are ideal for giving a focus to a department meeting or inset session.
Each week we will publish a new learning module, which over the weeks will build up in to a shopping list of PD activities so that you can pick and choose the materials that best suit your own development needs.

The first twelve modules will cover the following areas: Self Evaluation, Why do we teach Mathematics?, Mathematics learning script, Pathways and option: KS3 to KS5, Mathematical vocabulary, AfL: Using the lesson objective - overview, Group Work, C/D Borderline, Revision latest, Technology for learning, Questioning script and AfL: Formative use of summative tests.
Learning mathematics in my school
Ideally, this week's learning module should be followed after the previous module, ‘Why do we teach mathematics?'.

'Learning mathematics in my school' looks at how your department might think about the ways in which your pupils' learn mathematics. It includes activities which encourage you to write your own ‘mission statement’, reflect on the key features of pupils' learning experiences, and looks  forward to planning how this will impact on your personal and departmental practice in the short, medium and long term.
Overview
This module will enable your department to think about how pupils learn mathematics at your school. Having completed the activities in this module, you will write your own ‘mission statement’ which reflects the key features of the learning experience provided for your pupils. Finally, participants are encouraged to plan how this will impact on their personal and departmental practice in the short, medium and long term.

Where are you now?
Think about the pupils in your school.

If you asked your pupils about the way they learn mathematics, what would they say?

Complete the following sentence as if you were a pupil in one of your classes:

If only my mathematics teacher would …….

For example, pupils might say:
‘If only my mathematics teacher would not use a text book every lesson.’

Take feedback from the participants (writing the sentences on a flip chart or board) and try to link some of the themes that emerge.

Now think about the learning in your own lessons and complete the following sentence from your own perspective, thinking about a particular group of pupils.

If only my pupils would ……….

For example, a teacher may say:
‘If only my pupils would think for themselves.’

Take feedback from the participants (writing the sentences on a flip chart) and try to link some of the themes that emerge.

This activity will allow participants to start to share their classroom experiences in preparation for the following activity.

Activity 1
Make In pairs or threes, look at the statements which describe learning behaviour in the mathematics classroom and sort them into groups as follows:

• Regularly happens in my classroom
• Sometimes happens in my classroom
• Never happens in my classroom

Then ask each pair (or three) to identify some statements that they would like to move in order to improve the learning experience of their pupils and to talk about what they would need to do to make the change.
Pupils look at exercises in a text book and decide which questions they need to attempt.
e.g. a pair of teachers may want to move the card shown here from the ‘sometimes’ group to the ‘regularly’ group. To do this they could start by giving pupils a range of questions and asking them to do one question they thought was easy and then move on to questions they considered difficult.

Now ask the pairs (or threes) to share their experiences. You may do this as a large group taking feedback from each pair or (in a large group) you may ask pairs to join together as four to compare experiences before sharing in a larger group.

Activity 2
Read Keeping the cards in front of them, ask participants to read these comments recently made by Ofsted about mathematics teaching.

The quality of teaching was the key factor influencing students’ achievement. The majority of the teaching seen was at least satisfactory in preparing students for examinations. However, in promoting a really secure understanding of mathematical ideas, in stimulating students to think for themselves and to apply their knowledge and skills in unfamiliar situations, the picture was less encouraging. In approximately half of the lessons observed, the teaching did not sufficiently encourage these important aspects of learning in mathematics.

The best teaching gave a strong sense of the coherence of mathematical ideas; it focused on understanding mathematical concepts and developed critical thinking and reasoning. Careful questioning identified misconceptions and helped to resolve them, and positive use was made of incorrect answers to develop understanding and to encourage students to contribute. Students were challenged to think for themselves, encouraged to discuss problems and to work collaboratively. Effective use was made of information and communication technology (ICT). In contrast, teaching which presented mathematics as a collection of arbitrary rules and provided a narrow range of learning activities did not motivate students and limited their achievement. Focusing heavily on examination questions enabled students to pass examinations, but did not necessarily enable them to apply their knowledge independently in different contexts.
Evaluating mathematics provision for 14-19 year olds: Ofsted May 2006

In pairs (or threes) talk about whether your arrangements of the cards would need to change in the future to take account of these comments. 

Reflection
The discussion you have had within your department may have changed, modified or consolidated your ideas about the way pupils learn mathematics at your school. The process of departmental discussion is an important part of this module but it will be useful to capture the outcomes of the discussion. Individually, then in pairs, then as a department, try to write a statement which could highlight the priorities for mathematical learning in your school.

Implementing and continuing to learn
Look at the statement you have just written as a department:

• write down/ tell a partner something that you will do tomorrow in your classroom which exemplifies an aspect of the mission statement;
• write down/ tell a partner how you will share a resource or a strategy that you have used in your classroom that exemplifies an aspect of the mission statement;
• plan as a department, how you will integrate some of the resources and strategies that exemplify your mission statement, into your departmental scheme of work.

Further Reading
Evaluating mathematics provision for 14-19 year olds, Ofsted May 2006

Appendix
If only my mathematics teacher would …….

If only my pupils would ……….

The quality of teaching was the key factor influencing students’ achievement. The majority of the teaching seen was at least satisfactory in preparing students for examinations. However, in promoting a really secure understanding of mathematical ideas, in stimulating students to think for themselves and to apply their knowledge and skills in unfamiliar situations, the picture was less encouraging. In approximately half of the lessons observed, the teaching did not sufficiently encourage these important aspects of learning in mathematics.

The best teaching gave a strong sense of the coherence of mathematical ideas; it focused on understanding mathematical concepts and developed critical thinking and reasoning. Careful questioning identified misconceptions and helped to resolve them, and positive use was made of incorrect answers to develop understanding and to encourage students to contribute. Students were challenged to think for themselves, encouraged to discuss problems and to work collaboratively. Effective use was made of information and communication technology (ICT). In contrast, teaching which presented mathematics as a collection of arbitrary rules and provided a narrow range of learning activities did not motivate students and limited their achievement. Focusing heavily on examination questions enabled students to pass examinations, but did not necessarily enable them to apply their knowledge independently in different contexts.

Evaluating mathematics provision for 14-19 year olds: Ofsted May 2007

Cut out these cards and use for Activity 1*

* These cards are only available for print in the PDF version of this learning module.

Explore the Secondary Magazine
issue 3
 
5 Things to do this week
 
Professional Development activity:
 
Website of the week
 
Secondary Magazine archive

Browse Secondary Magazine
Issue 1 Welcome to the magazine
Issue 2 How much mathematics?
Issue 3 Pecking crows?
Issue 4 Unusual hobbies

PD Activities
Self Evaluation
Why do we teach mathematics?
Learning mathematics in my school
Pathways and options at KS3 to KS5

 

 


Comment on this item  
 
Add to your NCETM favourites
Remove from your NCETM favourites
Add a note on this item
Recommend to a friend
Comment on this item
Send to printer
Request a reminder of this item
Cancel a reminder of this item
Share |

Comments

 


There are no comments for this item yet...
Only registered users may comment. Log in to comment