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Advice and help needed for interview - Literacy starter

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by J2J, Mar 13, 2012.

  1. J2J


    I have been invited for an interview with short notice and been asked to include a literacy starter in my Maths lesson (I have been told that the lesson needs to be assessed as, at least, "good" according to the new Ofsted specs) - any ideas please? Many thanks.
  2. J2J


    I have been invited for an interview with short notice and been asked to include a literacy starter in my Maths lesson (I have been told that the lesson needs to be assessed as, at least, "good" according to the new Ofsted specs) - any ideas please? Many thanks.
  3. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    So at least all children need to make progress - how are you supposed to do that in an interview lesson?
    Literacy in maths? Read that question - does that count?
    Do you want to work in this school?
  4. J2J


    Many thanks robyn147 for your reply. I am actually struggling to return to teaching after few years spent as consultant with an examination board. I am aware of recent changes and issues etc (thanks to Internet including TES resources) but I've been taken aback by the requirement for the interview lesson. The invitation to attend the interview mentions what topis I have to teach, year and grade, and then it says "You need to include a literacy starter and show awareness of students reading ages". I normaly have a list of keywords accompanying the learning objective but I have no idea what that literacy thing could mean.
  5. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    I'm puzzled by a literacy starter. You don't think there is a mistake. How are you supposed to take into account the reading age of an unknown class.
    The beauty of maths is that you can access it if you are a poor reader. 2+2 = 4, 345 x 2 = 690
    It's just numbers. Of course, a word question is different.
    Strange and I'm sorry I can't be helpful.
  6. J2J


    Thanks robyn147. I've just called the school to ask more info - have been told that I should know what a literacy starter means in Maths...
  7. PaulDG

    PaulDG Occasional commenter

    Literacy is a major barrier in maths - kids often don't achieve anything like what they're capable of in maths as they can't decode the questions.

    If you look in any relevant text book for the age group/ability range you're supposed to be teaching you'll find "normal examples" followed by a couple of worded questions. In any lesson you deliver, even those who sail through the algebra/whatever will be floored by the worded questions.

    Kids are "self-trained" to "skim and get the gist". In worded questions in maths the language is generally very economic - a misread single word will result in a kid "stalling" in an exam or, in a classroom, messing about and when asked why they're doing doing the work responding with the standard "I don't get it sir.."

    So, for a starter, dredge up some worded examples either from a text book, online or from past exam papers. Try to find one where there are at least two possible solutions depending on some subtlety of understanding.
  8. googolplex

    googolplex Occasional commenter

    Literacy in maths can cover a whole host of possibilities. I'm not greatly impressed with the range of responses you've been offered thus far. Literacy encompasses a diverse range if issues....simply getting the kids to speak mathematically is literacy on its own. There's alot more to it that throwing a few worded questions in their general direction. As always with these requests, you don't give any information about ability, age of students, without which, any advice is pretty meaningless. I do hope you haven't blotted your copybook already by asking them about literacy.
  9. J2J


    Many thanks for your answer googolplex and apologies for not providing more info. That is: year 10 mixed ability group with 82% of them with SEN and reading age of 11 year olds.
  10. At some point then I assume they are due to sit one of the newer GCSE qualifications that are more wordy/functional before.
    One major mistake would be to avoid word based maths on the basis that their literacy skills may not be great.
    IMO its not about avoiding the literacy based maths, its about how you can make it accessible.
    I hate reading lesson plans that state everything must be hands on and revolve around dodging literacy based stuff for weaker pupils.
    Heck you might even have a lesson on "What is this question asking me?" and trying to get pupils to pull the wordy stuff to bits and highlight the maths in it.
    There are enough lower level GCSE questions for that.
    Its also key to appreciate that not all kids with a reading age of 11 are poor at maths.
  11. googolplex

    googolplex Occasional commenter

    Context is everything! A pleasant class to put your way... How about synonyms of words/symbols involving the four rules? some sort of card sort based on that might work. Check, however, their maths levels and be prepared to differentiate. They may be weak with literacy, but numerically more advanced.
  12. J2J


    Thank you PaulDG. I always give my students a list of so-called key words that we are going to use during the lesson and everytime point out their meanings and spellings. Moreover, I use to point out keywords used in questions and explain them - for example the difference between "state" and "calculate", "or" and "and" etc. However I never used a starter with these words. What comes now in my mind is to design a couple of PowerPoint slides with, let's say, one column with such key words and another column with their meaning or even numerical examples, and to ask the students to cross match them...but I am not sure that's the right thing to do.

  13. I'd make it simple. Pick three keywords related to the lesson, and ask them to write a description in their books. Then get them to communicate their description. That way, you're assessing writing and speaking skills, as well as assessing the subject knowledge of the students in the context of the lesson, by asking them to share their understanding.
  14. bombaysapphire

    bombaysapphire Star commenter

    Given the SEN and low reading age I would steer clear of opening by asking them to write a definition.
    I play a form of bingo with my lower ability groups. I display 10 maths words on the board. They pick 5 and write them in their books. I give a definition and students put their hand up to identify which word it is. If they have the word written down then they cross it off. First to cross off all 5 of their words wins bingo.
    I usually select the words to cover the key vocabulary for the lesson.
  15. To be fair, I missed the SEN bit. But something where definitions are described/matched is probably the best bet.
  16. J2J


    Thanks a lot to all of you who took the time to reply me. I am thinking to use the bingo idea on a couple of PowerPoint slides.
    Let's see how my interview lesson is going to be assessed acording to the new Ofsted criteria...
  17. It depends on the main objectives of the lesson (don't think you've given them, sorry if I missed them though). If it's something data related then I'd like to start with a graph/chart and get them to write one or two sentences about it. You can add extra support if you want/need to, such as fill in the blanks (eg "From this bar chart I can see that _______ pupils said that _______ is their favourite type of food") for the first sentence and then have them write their own second one from scratch.
  18. Speaking and listening is part of the literacy spectrum you will be marked against, so put some time in for paired discussion, always a winner.
  19. Hi all, I am going through this forum and it is interesting to share ideas. I have recently used a Kagan activity called "Think, pair, share" with Key words in the topic of HCF and LCM. Students recalled their knowledge and they described each keyword. If others in the class felt something wrong or to add something there challenged the peers. This can be a starter as well. I would like to know more about literacy in Maths and would love some ideas on these. Any more ideas there please?

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