Thursday, 23 February 2017

Using Materials to Improve Understanding


As a first year Beginning Teacher, I am new to the process of Teaching as Inquiry. I am looking forward to reflecting on my teaching practice in a systematic way and am keen to find out what is (or is not!) working to cause learning amongst my students and make changes where needed.


In deciding the focus for my Maths teaching inquiry this year, I am aware that some students have struggled to make sense of basic algebra problems. I am wondering whether the introduction of materials would be effective in helping students improve their understanding of the concepts of algebraic patterns. The nature of the materials used could include 'traditional' physical objects as well as tasks that include items that can be manipulated using a mouse or keyboard.



My first instinct is to focus on the most ‘at risk’students i.e. those sitting at ‘Well Below’. However, it has been suggested that it will be more beneficial to work with students who are ‘Below’ because there is less of a gap to progress them towards the ‘At’ benchmark. With all this in mind, the inquiry question I will have come up with is:  To what extent will the use of materials with my priority learners, improve their understanding of concepts/patterns in Algebra?