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Interloper from Primary seeking help!

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by char2505, Mar 12, 2011.

  1. char2505

    char2505 New commenter

    Hello, I am a Y1 teacher writing an essay on numeracy teaching, and am focussing on the way some children show a difference in their strength in different types of learning - 'procedural' as in learning a process and beconing confident in using it, and 'conceptual' (as far as I can glean, understanding how to work things out cos they understand a concept and can think around the problem/have a deeper understanding -I guess like using and applying in this sense).
    The area I am looking at is addition, and I want to do some pupil interviews to back up my essay and want to try and see what kind of learners I have. I am planning to do more contextual type questions to try and see if chn have conceptual understanding eg '1 apple is 5p, how much would 3 be?' alongside a similar more procedural question e.g. 6 +4 +5 = __.
    Then mixed up number sentences e.g 3+ ___ = 10 contrasted with 4+6= ___.
    I have 8 stickers on my reward chart how many more till I get a prize (this is at 20). cf 8+12 = ___.
    I would be so grateful if people could help by pointing out any limitations to these interviews that spring to mind that I would need to consider when using the evidence they provide, also for any additional ideas for my interviews or a better approach to get 'hard evidence' (obviously alongside my longer term observations as their teacher).
    Hope this makes sense!
  2. What is the essay for? Is it your own personal quest or have you been asked to do it for a teaching qualification?
    I dont believe you have certain learners who should be held to that title and taught accordingly. Pigeon hole them and you may miss an opportunity to move sideways.
    You can pull every topic and every aspect of maths apart and probably end up finding there are few patterns. The whole VAK garbage is hopefully passing by too as this homed in on similar ideas.
    I believe some topics lend themselves better to visual or tactile activities as an option but rote learning numeracy is (as history shows) more beneficial. The wordiness of your question will also exclude some pupils from basic numeracy.
    Rote learn numeracy, explore maths and how its learned afterwards. I dont believe maths and numeracy are that closely linked at this level.
    I dont teach primary/infants but I cant imagine they can articulate themselves to provide worthwile data?

  3. char2505

    char2505 New commenter

    Thaks for your response, Betamale. The essay is part of an MAST (MAths Specialist Teacher) qualification - I am already a trained primary teacher, it's just to try and add another string to my bow! I agree with your comment about pigeon holing learners. Unfortunately for this essay I do need to pull apart Maths to a certain degree. I have to think of an area of Numeracy teaching/learning which added to my knowledge on the course so far, and consider how I will use it to impact on my teaching. I've found it difficult to think of anything too specific, but was going to focus on whether children in my class showed a difference in ability in these approaches, and then reflect on whether this was as a result of my teaching and if so how I could adapt this. For example, am I teaching calculation skills well, but not providing enough scaffolding for children to relate these skills in a using and applying scenario? I would more be making general statements about the 'make-up' of my class - certaintly not thinking about pigeon holing the children and only teaching them according to their 'style' . If nothing else, I wouldn't have the time to plan for this!
    Some of my ideas to check for conceptual understanding (e.g. 3 + ___ = 10) would not cause children to be limited due to language skills, but I can't really think of another way to thoroughly check for this type of understanding without resorting to word problems.Of course, if language holds children back from conceptual understanding this could be a useful thing for me to comment on.
    THanks again for replying, it's really useful to canvas people's opinions.

  4. char2505

    char2505 New commenter

    Sorry, also meant to say although I will note children's responses in terms of hoew they thought through the problems, I was more thinking along the lines of the 'success or failure' at the different types of questions would be the worthwhile data. Would welcome alternative suggestions though!
  5. Ok
    Thats cool.
    Its a very narrow area to focus on hence why I asked why you were spending time on it.
    I personally feel the culture of learning is as, if not, more important than the minor aspects of how kids view number. If Ofsted and some of the more strange Human Rights didnt exist more kids would learn as they would have to as a result discipline, control and expectations...but thats a whole different topic!
  6. char2505

    char2505 New commenter

    I do agree with you Betamale. If I'm entirely honest I'm afraid I'm viewing it more as getting an essay done that goes down well than feeling it's an area that needs TOO much tweaking in my teaching!

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