OAME (part 2)

I’ve been interested lately in the whole idea of spiralling curriculum.  I attended the first of two workshops about this today and it was great!

Spiralling in elementary, I think, will look quite different to secondary.  I feel like I have naturally been looping back to topics we’ve covered.  I will say I’ve been pretty haphazard about it, and that is one of the things that I recognize as a problem that I want to solve.

In the workshop the presenter (Jennifer Thiessen) showed us how she had cut apart all the math expectations and then sorted them herself into common themes.  This was how she created her units so she was integrating strands.  I am going to do this!  She found Rich Math Tasks from a variety of sources, then used a matrix to plot which areas of the entire math curriculum were covered with the task. She found those that could be taught during other parts of the day and moved them there so she could spend more time on Number Sense.  For example, I don’t teach my class about temperature during math.  Instead, all winter long, we check the Weather Channel website to see if we are going to be able to go outside or not and that short (mostly daily) conversation covers all the expectations in the document. But again, I have been more “Oh look!  A connection!” about the whole thing and I want to have it more planned.

She also showed us how she went through with different colour highlighters and picked out expectations that were brand new material and would require a fair bit of teaching time and those that were building on knowledge that kid already had and could maybe be taught in a Number Routine or Number Talk setting. For example I don’t need to do lesson in grade 2 about counting, but we had to practice counting a lot – especially skip counting – so I can practice that 150 different ways during 4-5 minute counting routines at the end of a lesson. But I will have to spend a fair bit of time doing actual lessons about adding double-digit numbers because that is going to be challenging new learning for most of the class.

I’m really excited about this, which I know is a bit weird, but I’m looking forward to spending some time analyzing the curriculum and sorting through tasks.


OAME 2019 (part 1)

I am attending my first ever Ontario Association of Math Educators conference.  Yesterday was the first day.  I told my children I was going to school to be a student and learn more about teaching math, and that is exactly what happened.  I signed up for a variety of workshops, and have not been disappointed in any.

The very first session I attended was called “Where Fractions, Area and Volume Come to Play” and was presented by Kawartha Pine Ridge DSB teachers Brandi Hollinger and Laurie Moher. It was great!  They shared an action research project teachers in their board had been involved with.  They studied and learned how to support students with learning difficulties in the math classroom.  They shared a really great document, available on Edugains called “Supporting Students with Learning Disabilities in Math“.  I already spent some time with this document last night, but will need to really digest it when I don’t have a brain that already feels stuffed (with more to come today!) I was so excited about it I put it out on Twitter, and someone else recommended that I take a look at “The Waterfall” document produced by York.  HOLY COW!  It’s a document full of information that is specific to math and learning disabilities and I feel like I am going to use to be a GENIUS IEP writer/implementor.

I also attended a workshop put on by the amazing Aviva Dunsiger. She teaches math all day long in her Early Learning Kindergarten classroom.  ALL. DAY.  And it’s integrated into the children’s play.  So what does this have to do with me, a not-kindergarten teacher? I’m thinking a lot about how I could be doing little bits of math throughout the day.  My friend, also at OAME with me, did a class with ideas for math DPA. So I’m thinking a lot about that, and how I could be doing math in little tiny snippets all day.

Day 2:
I am now in my 3rd workshop of the day and haven’t had time to even finish the first post.  This conference has cost me some money (though my board is supporting me with PD funds for most of it) and has cost me some time. But it is seriously so worth it.  I’m thinking about what I might teach next year. I’m thinking about what I am going to teach in June this year.  I’m thinking about improving assessment and note keeping (Oh the note keeping!!)