Monthly Archives: September 2009
i just came back from the Primary Math session put on through the GEDSB. It was part one of three. (Not sure if any one from our district took the Junior Math session. Please let me know if you did because i could only sit in on one of them.)
The past week or so, i have been conducting Key Math assessments with a few students in Mrs. S. LaForme’s class. i will also be working with Mrs. J. Skye and one of her students. It is an interesting test that is quite time consuming but helpful in planning and programming for out of level students.
Here is a section from the EQAO Connects e-newsletter, talking about the improvement that one school had in their math results:
“Similarly inspiring are recent improvements in Father Venini’s Grade 3 math results. The team called upon the board numeracy consultant to help identify problems and develop solutions. A breakthrough came when the Grade 3 team reviewed The Ontario Curriculum and mapped it to the classroom textbook. Muir states: “The curriculum is specific about what students should learn and comprehend at each stage of their education. However, the curriculum and the textbook don’t always align.” The educators were able to streamline their teaching by concentrating on items from the textbook relevant to the curriculum.
The math consultant brought diagnostic techniques to the school, made recommendations to remediate gaps, helped the team focus and even taught lessons (e.g., a class on probability using a computer-generated model). The team now uses Math Makes Sense and the boxes and boxes of manipulatives that come with the text. Muir and Doiron believe that it is important for teachers to be familiar with these tools and to recognize that a child is thinking when using blocks. The teachers at Father Venini have seen these tools work. And their student achievement results demonstrate their effectiveness.
The mathematics team is also using continuum-based math with diagnostic tools that assess students’ counting, computation and performance of operations. This diagnostic assessment occurs just before a six-week teaching block and shows the gaps in a child’s numeracy skills development. The staff discovered there were students in Grade 3 who couldn’t count past 100. Muir states, “Students are great at coping, and normal lessons don’t reveal these gaps.” The teachers use the diagnostic data to target group teaching, with small student-group withdrawal for explicit, focused teaching. The primary division team is astounded at how quickly students have progressed.
Muir, Doiron and the rest of primary division staff now feel capable of quickly adapting teaching strategies to address each child’s needs. The statistical data are allowing teachers to learn about and reflect on students’ individual learning.
Of particular note at Father Venini is the fact that the team is not using new resources but is putting resources that have been around for several years to work. “We haven’t created anything truly unique,” says Doiron “We used a lot of the tools made available by our board and put [them] together to work for us.”
This is definitely something we are capable of as a district.
By now, ALL the schools should have a package of Grand Erie after school PD opportunities posted for the staff. I have highlighted the math related workshops on the sidebar, organized by month, for those of you interested. For further information please feel free to contact me.
Please note the parent workshops available to all, for FREE. One is offered in Delhi and the other is offered in Brantford. Here is the info from the Ontario Early Years Centre:
Robin and I are working on some assistance/PD/in-service for teachers in the EQAO grades. Keep your eyes, ears and mind open for more on this to come.
The provincial news release “EQAO Publishes School- and Board-Level Results of Provincial Testing” and a backgrounder are also available.
Results for all publicly funded elementary and secondary schools and their school boards are available at www.eqao.com.
Thanks to Alice Anderson for alerting us to this math contest coming up in October (with many more throughout the year). The contest is open to all grade 3, 4, 5, and 6 students across the province. Entry is FREE and the test is done completely on-line, with no further marking or commitment required of the teacher, other than the initial registration.
Mid to Late September means Open House time at Six Nations schools. Thanks to Mr. Sowden for posting all the Open House dates and times on his student success blog. (Click the link to view). While I hope to make it to all the schools, in case I am unable to attend, here is a link to the Ontario Ministry website that has an on-line version of the document I will be handing out to parents. Feel free to direct parents to this blog to find the link, as going to the site itself can make for some tricky navigation.
During my visit to the ECG staff meeting, someone suggested that we need to offer enrichment for Math savvy kids. Does anyone out there have any comments, ideas, or suggestions?
If so, click on where it says “comments” directly below and add your thoughts. When you are done typing, choose “name/URL” from the box with the arrow. You do NOT need to enter a URL, just your name is fine. Or, if you prefer, submit anonymously. Your comment will not appear right away, but should be up once I’ve had a chance to read it.