Wednesday, 30 May 2018

DMiC Learning

We have continued to practise DMiC maths.  There is a group of children who really enjoy the challenge of solving problems and working together with different people.  They eagerly look forward to maths time and they are extending their maths thinking in different ways.

They can see the need for strategies such as counting in 2s as it is much quicker especially when re counting or checking.  Being able to see patterns is beginning to emerge as a way to solve problems when we change the numbers.  Doubles are another way problems are being solved.  One group discovered how time consuming it was having to go back to one each time to check and recheck until one child said that, "It must be 25 because we have already worked it out."  He then just counted on from 25 without being taught how to do it.  He then shared his learning with the class.

A group of children have also recognised the usefulness of knowing combinations of ten and the idea that "if I know 2 + 3 = 5 then I also know that 20 + 30 = 50" by applying patterns to 100.  These children are able to identify numbers to 100 and they are seeking out patterns.  Others who are not numerate to 10 are finding it frustrating to work in this range and often shout out "a million" to a question they are working on.

They are also learning that it is OK to make mistakes and to rethink their first ideas, or to have different answers and to check which answer is a better one.

Drawings have become less elaborate as they see the need is not for artistic drawings but simple representations.  Some groups will just do drawings while others will check their work using mathematical notations or use a number line.

There are still problems with "passengers" who are unwilling to share their learning or engage in a group.  These children are unsure in their own mathematical thinking and will not ask questions to help with their learning.  They quickly lose interest and can become disruptive.  Trying to re-engage them in simple counting tasks or getting equipment to help their group works for a short time until they lose focus again.  Is this because these children are just not "learn ready"?

The children have not yet seen that they can transfer their learning that they gained in one problem to another.  I also feel that discussions are still too teacher led to get them thinking.  Modelling and revisiting how to ask questions takes up a lot of time but hopefully it will become less time consuming as the DMiC way of learning becomes more familiar.

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Discussions With Colleagues

Our recent Inquiry "sharing" session was very beneficial.

Sharing how things are going with our DMiC lessons was a great way to get answers to some of the queries that have arisen in our own practise.  Even sharing with colleagues who teach at a different year level can give you another perspective on a problem that can be modified to help at year one.  It is also reassuring to hear others voicing similar queries that had arisen in the lessons I had taught.

One of my concerns has been how to record the gains the children are making in language.  It is all very well to say I think they are gaining skills and language but I need to have a concrete way of recording this.  The children are very reluctant to talk in front of a camera and clam up as soon as I produce one which defeats the purpose of trying to record them.

Two suggestions were made to overcome this problem.  One was to record them on audio.  The other suggestion was to make a rubric and mark the children according to a grading system devised to measure the outcomes we required.  On reflection the rubric seemed the better option and I will ponder on what outcomes I am wanting.