Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Deliberate Practice

At our school we have been having fantastic conversations about how we structure Mathematics lessons and the key components of these.
One question that has generated a great deal of conversation has been...
'How do we develop students' understanding and automaticity at the same time?'.
We have come to the conclusion that we need to explicitly teach children how to understand numbers (for example: counting, place value, renaming) alongside developing automatic skills - in a logical order and as students are ready for them.
Deliberate Practice is the strategy we are using to encourage students to build automaticity as they develop a deepening understanding of a topic that is currently being taught. Deliberate practice is undertaken every day for approximately 15 minutes.
An example:
Teaching focus: learning multiplication tables (this is introduced in the form of skip counting in Year 1 and develops to multiplication facts in Years 3 and 4). This focus is a basis for further learning in computation and allows students to undertake problem solving tasks with greater ease.
Teachers explicitly explore multiplication concepts and strategies with students while, at the same time, providing time for targeted practice (based on individual student's needs) of these on a daily basis. Each child has a goal and is able to manage and reflect on their own learning independently. A range of practice tasks are available for students to select from. Students then undertake a test to show their progress before they are able to move on (a minimum benchmark has been set). We use many resources from the QuickSmart numeracy intervention program, however, there are many resources available both on and off line. We also have an iSURF bundle available to support the teaching of multiplication tables...
This is one expample of many Mathematics topics that are being developed through Deliberate Practice across our school.
We are enjoying watching our student's understanding, knowledge and confidence soar!
If you have a strategy or lesson focus that you would like to share - please let us know at

Sunday, 25 October 2015

What is your favourite thing about school???

It's a question that's asked of children regularly and the range of responses can be from the expected, to the unusual (of course there is always that one child...!).
But it makes our hearts sing when the response, without even a second of hesitation, is MATHS!
There are often lots of reasons why students will say "Maths" but for those who don't, maybe a better question is...
 "What might make you say Maths instead???"
I asked some of our students (who gave an alternative answer) and here is what they said...
  • I would need harder work - the stuff I did yesterday was easy.  T.B. Aged 12
  • I like maths but wish I could learn to count higher. M.Y. Aged 6
  • Writing is my favourite but I would change to maths if there were easier ways to remember stuff. K.J Aged 10
  • I would like to do more writing and more games in Maths lessons. A.S. Aged 11
  • I like going on the computer and maths games but some of the other stuff we do is way too easy. I need harder work! M.G. Aged 9
Certainly food for thought!!!

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Throwback post - Money tasks

A throwback post about our work on money...

This packet was fun to put together, once I found the right clipart to use. 
The content for our Grade 1's is to be able to recognise, describe and order coins. 
Read through the weekly planner to know what the relationship is between the different parts of the lesson and the resources. 
This pack contains 60 pages
Print off “Our Learning about coins” in colour and enlarge to A3 – this is a brainstorm chart to use to record learning as it happens
Tags for your shop items– determine which set or sets you will use. Depending on skill level you may use just the coins, the numeral tag or the word tag. These tags are to be attached to your items for sale
Coin rubbing sheet to assist in noticing the detail on the front and back of coins
Coin profiles – to be done in groups and then share the learning
Cards to match coin, amount and words. There are seven sets – six in colour and the seventh in black and white. This black and white version you can copy onto coloured card to create different sets.
Venn Diagram – bring in foreign coins and compare them using the graphic organiser
Two sets of assessment pages. 
One set has room for the whole grade and is tick based, the other has three pages – one page for each outcome and room for notes.

Here is our Money Multiples for Year 3 in Australian Money!

Money Multiples  has 75 pages

This unit focuses on multiples of coins and notes in Australian money. 
Each task is designed to consolidate this and provides opportunities to explore and articulate the processes and strategies they use.

It covers the following
Australian Curriculum Content Strand: Money and Financial Mathematics            
Australian Curriculum Content Description: (ACMNA059) - represent money values in multiple ways
(This unit does not cover - count the change required for simple transactions to the nearest five cents)

It has....
I Can Chart - Share the ‘I Can’ chart and display. Refer to it at the start and conclusion of the lesson as a reflection.

Money in Piggy Banks - Copy in black and white or in colour. I would recommend copying 6 of your choice as this will assist when you have a group using them. Laminate and use as a learning centre.
On top of each piggy bank place coins or notes to show an alternative way to show that amount. Use play money or the money at the back of this pack.

Copy one for each child and model how to complete the tasks.
Draw the coin
Record what you know about the coin
Where can you use this coin?
Write some equations using this amount of money

What can I buy? Copy one for a pair of students to use. Use catalogues and find items that you could buy and glue them on the bags. Display when completed. You will need to have the discussion about how difficult it is to now find items below $2.00. Perhaps take photos of items from your canteen or local milk bar.

How many ways can I show money amounts? Copy in colour and use as a learning centre. Cut each card out. The cards could be used for
Sequencing in order of value
Placing other coins or notes on top to show other ways of displaying that amount. i.e. 20c could be 2x10c or 4x5c
Use play money or the money at the back of this pack to place on top

Dice - Copy and cut out the dice. Fold the flaps and glue or tape to make the dice.
Roll the dice. Using play money or the money provided to show how you could make the amount using alternative amounts. i.e. $20 could be two $10 notes or 1x$10 and 20x50c
Some students could just record the alternatives, or orally share with a group

Roll dice and add - Copy one grid for each pair of students. You will need the two dice from the preceding task as well as a six sided dice. Take it in turns to roll the dice, each student is to use a different colour to record an answer. If a space is full you miss a go. The winner is the one who has been able to fill the most spaces

Roll and equate - Copy and laminate – write using a dry erase marker. Roll the dice and add the money amounts. If you roll a 4 that is 4x5c which is 20c. Exchange the 5c pieces for a 20c piece. Continue to roll and add the money.

Money black line and colour - There are colour as well as black and white versions for you to copy and use

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Aussie advice from Aussie teachers

I have teamed up with some Aussie Bloggers to give some Aussie teacher advice/ideas to help get us through Term 4. 

Start over at Paula's Place and click through the links from other bloggers to read our advice. 

Here is an idea I came across for fact fluency for this week. Kids will love this!

This fun game can be used to help children revise mental math facts, times tables and simple mathematical equations.:

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Number Sense - All about Four

Contents and instructions
19 pages

Poster showing four in many ways – tally, sequence, clock, ten frame, domino, hand, dice 
Add four bees to the bear
Add bees on the hive
Small folded book about four
Cut and add groups of four
Colour and practise handwriting 
Circle groups of four
Find all the 4s
Add the four flowers to the tree
Missing letters
Make each group have four objects
Booklet for 4 – copy, staple on the marks and cut in half to make two book

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Welcome back to Term 4

Term 4 starts in Victoria tomorrow.

Kids, parents and teachers will be preparing for the next 11 weeks before Christmas and summer break. 

This is a busy term for Kerry and I. 

Kerry is studying and researching, while working full time,

 I will be on Long Service Leave all term. I will be supporting my daughter who is in Year 12 and her VCE exams are just mere weeks away. Then we are travelling to the United States. 

So apologies up front if we blog less and are less visible this term. 

You know how much Kerry and I love maths - yet I find this funny. 

Especially funny to the teachers who teach both math and social studies/history!:

I will leave you with this...

I need this in my own life!  Hey diddle diddle, The median's the middle; You add and divide the mean. The mode is the one that appears the most, and the range is the different between.:

Happy first week back folks...

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Using counters

Welcome back to Term Four!

We hope that you have all had a safe and enjoyable holiday. 
They always seem so short, however it will be Christmas before we know it. 

I have posted below some photos where we used counters to represent groups of ten. 

but before you scroll down - here are two memes to make you smile...

Now to the subject of counters

They have endless uses and I am just not talking about the round variety - the more you have the more your kids will use them and want to use them.

I use small pegs, unifix, animals, dinosaurs, cars - use anything really. i like my kids to work in pairs in groups that way they can do the check in and give feedback.