Today Team 5 had the opportunity to watch Jo Knox in action with two different Maths groups (one at Stage 6 and one at Stage 7). The aim was to see her teach students to convert fractions into decimals.
DIAGNOSTIC TESTING Jo asked a series of quick questions to gauge the groups understanding of fractions and decimals based on examples from the Numeracy Development Project (NPD) resources or ‘Pink books’.
MATERIALS - Decipipes are a really effective tool to help support students to understand the basics of fractions and decimals. They are also easy for students to manipulate, able to break/build up both representations of both fraction and decimal numbers.
STRATEGY MODEL Start students off using materials then progressing to Imaging and then Materials as students show greater fluency in their use of a given strategy - see NPD Book 3 p5
MODELLING BOOK - Number equations were recorded in a modelling book in plain view of all students. A handy reference point for the teacher to guide students in their thinking and to record in themselves (see next note).
STUDENT THINKING - Jo regularly asked students to explain their answers. The focus was on how they got an answer, helped to highlight can be more than one ‘correct’ solution; extended this to give specific roles to members of the group - split group into three - one group explained their answer, while a second group modelled the answer using materials (decipipes) and a third group recorded answer in modelling book - this approach ensure all students were fully engaged!
PLENARY - at the end of each group’s session, Jo asked the students to reflect on what they had learned and together they co-constructed the WALT for the lesson in kid’s language - she feels that sharing the WALT at start of lesson isl ike giving away the punchline of a joke upfront
Example 1: WALT Convert fractions and decimals by turning them into tenths, hundredths and thousandths
Example 2: WALT by add numbers by taking one off one number and adding to another to make a whole number
So many golden nuggets from this session! I would like to try out co-constructing WALTs with my students - it will be interesting to see if what I had planned to teach matches up with what students feel they have learnt.