Monday, 26 March 2018

Practise, Practise.

I had an opportunity to teach a Dmic lesson in front of a peer.  I discussed with my peer how my previous lesson had gone, my reflections and what I wanted to focus on with this lesson.  Using the second group of children, I explained to the children that they were grouped in pairs and they would need to talk to each other and we practised talking and listening.

In launching the problem I introduced the term "equal" and made sure the children understood the problem.  Then it was down to the business of solving the problem in the pairs. 
Discussions went well and solutions suggested. 
One child went and got scissors and cut his "pretend" pie to show his partner that it was the same.
Another child drew a line to make two triangles - were they the same?  During group sharing, discussions sometimes broke down in the children's eagerness to share their solutions.

It was great to be able to share the experience with a colleague and discuss how things went and how could one could keep the focus and momentum going.  My colleague then taught the Dmic lesson she had done earlier in the week to a group of my children.  It was exciting to see what the children knew.  Too often we are busy listening to one or two children who are more vocal and it does not give the quiet children a chance to show what they are capable of.

In the maths warm up the children counted on from various numbers.  Then she launched the problem which she tied into their recent experience of swimming when we would count how many children were going swimming.  The problem was, "If there were 8 boys and 5 girls how many children went swimming altogether?"

The children used different coloured counters to represent the boys and girls helping each other to count.  The children who found counting difficult were supported by the other member of the pair.
Only one pair managed to count out the two groups and combine them so they were able to share what they had found.
Checking each others counting.
One child holding another child's hand to make sure they counted correctly.

My reservations about how were the children going to learn strategies to solve problems when they had limited number knowledge have been proved by the children to be unfounded.  When a child re voices his ideas it is helping him to clarify them.  It is helpful for the children to hear another child use "non technical" language or to hear a solution re voiced in a different way.  They were prepared to help each other and they enjoyed doing so.

The experience was a great way to get feed back on my lesson and to observe another teacher working with children in my class.  I was able to reflect on my own practise and think of ways of helping the children to work, talk and listen more co operatively.  Seeing and hearing the children is all very well but I have yet to solve the problem of how can I record any data to prove that there is progress?  

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