Options for Maths Planning and Teaching DevelopmentMaking the most of your planning for maths and effective maths teaching
There are a number of ways you can use the services of a maths consultant like myself. When I say like myself, I mean that I am not a researcher or a professor in a university. I have no attachment to any university or any publishing company. The vast majority of my day-to-day work happens in schools, in classrooms – with the kids. At a guess, about 75% of my time is teaching in classrooms – from Foundation to Year 10. The other 25% of my time is made up of planning effectively for maths with teachers, providing feedback after observing teachers delivering maths lessons and presenting professional development days on maths and maths planning.
Options for maths professional development include:
- after school maths pd presentations
- half-day maths pd presentations
- full day maths curriculum days
- modelling or presenting demonstration lessons in classrooms (particularly as a follow-up to a pd day or after school sessions – critical to ‘walk the talk’ and for teachers to see the theory or notion in action)
- working directly with specific teachers within a school to develop teaching strategies and content knowledge in maths
- planning sessions focusing on developing sensible, highly effective term/yearly planners
- planning sessions focusing on developing units of work based on term/yearly planning
- any combinations of the above, for example – 2 or 3 after school sessions to be the equivalent of a curric day and then possible demo lessons in classrooms with follow-up debriefs; targetted pd (see below) with staff/teams; planning/developing units of work
These topics are designed for presentations of 1.5 to 2 hour duration. [2 or more could be put together for a half or full day presentation]
Open-ended Problem Solving for Foundation to Year 2. (F – 2)
This presentation highlights the importance and significant value of problem solving skills and involve teachers in working through the 4 problem steps and 10 strategies. It will then concentrate on demonstrating a range of open-ended tasks and situations within which the problem solving steps and strategies can be introduced and implemented with students (and the earlier the better). The session also looks at how well the problem solving strategies align with the Multiple Intelligence’s.
Open-ended Problem Solving for Years 3 to 6. (Yrs 3 – 6)
This presentation highlights the importance and significant value of problem solving skills and involves teachers in working through the 4 problem steps and 10 strategies. It will then concentrate on demonstrating a range of open-ended tasks and situations within which the problem solving steps and strategies can be introduced and implemented with students particular to the Years 3 to 6 levels. The session also looks at how well the problem solving strategies align with the Multiple Intelligence’s.
Engaging, enjoyable, effective warm-up Games and Activities for Maths. (F – 8)
Want some 5 to 45 minute activities that require little or no preparation, are very mathematically rich and engaging and cover all dimensions of mathematics? If yes, then this session takes you through a whole range of activities that can be full on lessons, regular and on-going tasks or particularly as warm-up/introductory activities.
Developing Students’ Mental Computation Skills. (F – 6)
Mental computation is an life skill but is so much more than recitation of tables – it’s integral to mathematics learning and logic. This session features a host of engaging and mathematically worthwhile activities that are real and viable alternatives to reciting tables and tables ‘races’/speed and accuracy sheets – as well as finding out what exactly constitutes the mental computation ‘pie’.
Games and Activities for Statistics and Probability. (F – 8)
As the title implies, this session features a range of engaging games and activities that promote/develop skills in data collection, recording, interpreting and for understanding and applying the basics of likelihood/probability. Many activities that integrate both the chance and data aspects are featured as well readily linking probability with fractions and percentages.
Games and Activities for Measurement. (F – 8)
As the title implies, this session will feature a range of games and activities that promote and develop skills in length/perimeter/area, time, temperature, mass, volume/capacity. Many activities that integrate 2 or more of these topics will be featured as well as highlighting how number and geometry can readily be integrated into all measurement topics.
Games and Activities for Geometry. (F – 8)
As the title implies, this session will feature a range of games and activities that promote and develop skills in 2D and 3D shape, location and transformation and geometric reasoning. Many activities that integrate 2 or more of these topics will be featured as well as highlighting how number and measurement can readily be integrated into many geometric topics.
Games and Activities for the 4 Operations. (F – 8)
Teaching the operations can be about as much fun and as exciting as watching paint dry so imagine what learning them may be like for your students. It just doesn’t have to be that way and this session will feature activities and games for the operations that engage students and essentially make understanding and using the operations more interesting and enjoyable.
A look at effective, place values based methods for the 4 operations (F – 8)
As mentioned above, teaching kids the 4 operations can be a struggle and often we, as teachers, revert to the way we were taught at school – for the traditional methods this essentially means throwing place value out of the window and showing kids a set of ‘tricks’ that gets them an answer but also gets them little or no understanding. this session looks at a range of different strategies for each operation that are place value based, make sense and let kids in.
Engaging Students in Fractions/Decimals/Percentage (F – 8)
They can be just plain hard work but in reality they don’t have to be – not for you or for your students. The activities and games presented in this session will demonstrate how you can make fractions/decimals/percentages more interesting, enjoyable and engaging. A number of ways to introduce the topic/s and do open-ended type activities with your students will also be highlighted.
Ready-To-Go Maths Activities and Games for Lower Secondary (Yrs 7 – 8)
Want some 5 to 45 minute activities that require little or no preparation, are very mathematically rich and engaging and cover all dimensions of mathematics and are ideal for your year 7 and 8 students? If yes, then this session will take you through a whole range of activities that can be full on lessons, on-going tasks or warm-up/introductory activities that can often shift that ‘fog of lethargy’ that can sometimes gather around secondary students.
Collecting and recording quality assessment information and using quality activities to get it going. (F – 6)
We occasionally overthink maths teaching/learning and ‘over data-rise’ assessment to a point where the focus of teaching is lost or just becomes too hard. On-going assessment of students is vital but it doesn’t have to be complex and difficult. this session will look at a balance of assessments and some practical ideas for collecting, recording and using formative assessment.
Literature and maths: using story books and non-fiction to integrate maths and literacy effectively (F – 6)
When you can successfully and meaningfully integrate maths and literature why wouldn’t you do so? There are so many books – and not just those written for maths like “Anno’s Mysterious Multiplying Jar” or “And the Doorbell Rang” – that you can make the central focus of your maths lesson and get high levels of interest and motivation from your students. This session will look at a range of fiction and non-fiction books that can be used for engaging maths lessons on a wide range of content topics.
Student and staff misconceptions in maths – what are they? Why are they? How do we address them? (F – 6)
This was session that I ran for a school recently and we ended up having a lot of fun and learning a lot about maths teaching/learning and specific content in maths. We looked at not just mathematical misconceptions but also at teacher/student misconceptions like there is only way to teach subtraction; fractions are difficult and abstract; algebra is useless; you always need a focus group; that maths is ‘tricky’.
Open-ended activities: how they are different from open-ended problems; what they look and ‘feel’ like; where do get from and how and when to get them going in classrooms.(F – 8)
There is a difference between open-ended activities and open-ended problems and that is the focus f this session. looking at the difference – one is reliant on the problem solving steps and strategies and the other not necessarily. We will do some open-activities in the session to show how they look and ‘feel’ and also show you where you can get from and when and where to use them as part of your program/planning.
Earn and Learn: directly addressing the Money and financial mathematics content in the Australian curriculum as well as being the most relevant, in-context, open-ended problem solving scenario there is.
There are a lot of teachers and kids who have had the good fortune of doing E & L – when I say good fortune – it’s a terrific way to teach lots of maths (and many other things) in an authentic, real life context – I also know how much owrk goes into it. This session highlights how to set yourself up for E & L; the things you need to ensure you do and the things you need to definitely avoid; some examples of issues and everyday problems you can explore with the kids and the social and mathematical benefits for your students in involving them in Earn and Learn.
A Lesson Structure for Maths that works and makes significant difference for your teaching and for the students’ learning. Practical examples. (F – 10)
This session opens up with some warm-up activities and then goes into what is a proven and highly effective way to structure your maths lessons. It’s a structure – it’s not constrictive mandate but it does pack a philosophical and pedagogical wallop and it has the potential to absolutely turn you around as a teacher. The structure isn’t mine and it looks quite obvious but this session explores what sits behind the structure and why it has the potential to make you a better and more effective teacher of maths.
– any combination of the after school sessions described previously
– setting yourself up with a significant ‘kit bag’ of engaging, mathematically worthwhile and motivating warm-up activities” (F to 8)
This presentation will provide you with a range of motivational and highly engaging activities for mental computation; place value; fractions/decimals/percentage; space; measurement and the four operations. Getting each maths lesson off to a great start so that your students are ‘ripe and ready’ for what is to follow is both important and significant for their maths learning The day will also feature a highly effective lesson structure for maths teaching and learning.
– making connections – across the content strands in maths and between maths and Literacy and maths and Inquiry. (F – 6)
Planning smarter in maths to link up/connect a variety of content topics. The three sessions of this day will look at 1. Linking your maths to literacy through books (both written for maths type books and general fictional texts) and maths/word games. 2. Making the most of the maths regularly present in many Inquiry topics but sometimes not so easy to identify. 3. Being smarter about planning for maths – many content areas go beautifully together – find them and maximise the maths.
– differentiation: what do we have that we can bring to the maths table to help cater for the range of abilities we all have in our classrooms (F – 8)
Differentiation is a big word and an even bigger challenge to all classroom teachers but catering for the range of abilities in your classroom is doable.
It’s always been a big issue for teachers and while there is no magic wand we can initiate some very effective strategies for catering for the range of abilities we all have in our classrooms. The workshop will look at practical ways to differentiate including open-ended problems, open-ended activities, closed problems and offer ideas how to plan units of work so you allow for differentiation.
– open-ended Problems – getting them started and keeping them going in your classroom. (F – 8)
Differentiation or successfully catering for the range of individual needs in your classroom is always going to be up there with the greatest challenges of teaching. Using open-ended problems may not represent the total solution but it certainly is up there. This presentation will highlight a range of open-ended problems (from prep to year 6), the 4 steps for problems solving, the 10 problem solving strategies and how these relate to the multiple intelligences.
– a day looking at place value; the 4 operations and mental computation (F – 8)
This will be a very practical and hands-on workshop that will offer a range of alternative, place value based methods for the four operations as well as really exploring what mental computation actually entails and experiencing a range of mental comp activities that are enjoyable, worthwhile and develop mental comp strategies in students.
– a day looking at fractions/decimals/percentages (and probability) and how to get them happening and happening well in all classrooms. (F – 8)
So much of maths is about teacher (and student) levels of confidence and attitude to maths itself. This day is all about you, as teachers, working through and being shown a range of highly engaging ideas, activities, equipment and resources that will have you ready, willing and able to involve your kids in these essential topics.
– measurement (area/perimeter; time; volume & capacity; mass) and Geometry (2D and 3D; mapping/location; geometric reasoning) – let’s get it happening so you and your students are engaged, enjoying and benefitting form these content strands (F – 8)
Ratio; Volume/capacity; Mass; angles; area/perimeter; 2D and 3D shapes – for a lot of primary teachers these aren’t on the list of favourite topics to teach and invariably they are left to terms 3 and 4. Well let’s make them enjoyable, engaging and interesting – and that’s just for you the teacher – so imagine how your students are going to react!
– planning sensibly, efficiently and effectiviely for maths (F – 6)
This will be a practical day where the aim is to have you walk away with the next term or two planned and ready to go. The day will focus on the lesson structure and how the components of maths fit together; developing a plan for planning which actually makes sense and is doable (in the time you have available in a term) and making the planning come alive by developing a unit of work on the day.
– becoming a more effective teacher of maths (and generally) and never looking back (F- 8)
This day will work through each of the Ten Tips to Becoming a More Effective Teacher of Maths. Each tip is no-nonsense and practical and we will go through each tip in detail with either practical examples and/or anecdotes or we will actually workshop the tip being discussed. This day is ideal for new/graduate teachers but is as suitable for all teachers regardless of years experience.