Teaching students to be numerate e.g. proficient in working with ‘numbers’ is referred to as Numeracy and is far more learner centred. Numeracy extends to an ability to explore, conjecture and reason logically and to use a variety of mathematical methods to solve problems including open ended activities.
The delivery of our Mathematics program at Mackellar Primary School is based on a real life teaching approach and follows a research-based structured classroom program that combines these features:
- Structured numeracy sessions incorporating a Warm Up, Mini Lesson, Student Activity and a Reflection.
- Sequences of learning.
- Grouping of students based on like needs for focused instruction.
- Specific focus on the consistent use of mathematical vocabulary.
- Continuous monitoring and assessment
The use of hands-on materials is also a strong element of the numeracy session. Materials are manipulated to develop a student’s understanding of a concept and students are encouraged to build their own ways of doing mathematics.
Our Mathematics program builds students understanding of mathematical concepts around the areas of Number and Algebra, Measurement and Geometry and Statistics and Probability. Student’s proficiency in the fluency, understanding, problem solving and reasoning of these concepts is developed throughout numeracy lessons.
We aim to ensure that our students are confident, creative users and communicators of mathematics who are able to investigate and recognize the connections between mathematics and their daily life.
Numeracy sessions are conducted for a minimum of five hours a week.
A range of data is used to accessed students prior knowledge and growth in learning. The cohort and grade data is vital in the planning for students needs.
The collection of data is gathered through the adoption of various assessment tools. Some of these include:
- Mathematics Online Interview
Students in Grade Prep – 2 are involved in a numeracy interview with their classroom teacher. For prep students this interview takes place prior to commencing school. Students are provided with an appointment time to come to school to participate in the interview with their classroom teacher. The Grade ½ students complete their interview within the first few weeks of school.
Numeracy Interview results provide a ‘snapshot’ of your child’s knowledge in the area of Number in Numeracy. As a result teachers are able to plan appropriately for your child’s learning using points of growth.
The ACER Progressive Achievement Tests in Mathematics are administered to all Year 1 – 6 students. Students are tested to find their ‘right’ test and then retested to measure students’ growth.
An online assessment tool containing tests that are links to the Victorian Curriculum. Students in Year 3-6 undertake this form of testing twice a year for formative and summative assessment purposes.
- Pre and Post Assessment tasks
Students conduct pre and post assessments prior to and at the conclusion of a units implementation. The pre assessment data is used to guide the teaching and learning approach for individual students. Growth is measured through an analysis of the pre and post assessment data.
Mackellar Primary School integrate digital technologies and mathematics to further engage students in their learning. Our iTunes U courses in maths provide Instructional videos to for students to revise maths concepts and tasks which are sequentially developed incorporating all areas of the proficiency strands (Fluency, understanding, problem solving and reasoning). Students are also encouraged to use their iPads as a tool to work collaboratively with others, to capture evidence of their learning and to develop student confidence.