Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Inquiry Update: Reset Focus

My initial inquiry was to investigate if the use of materials would assist my target students to improve their abilities in Algebra. Now, as Term 1 draws to a close, factors arose that suggest I need to reset my inquiry focus going forward.

1) Target group: Working with students across four groups I found that the students who needed and wanted support from physical materials were not my target group - they were students sitting at ‘well below'.

2) Types of materials - A variety of 'hands on' physical resources were made available to all students. It would have been useful to have alternative, potentially more appealing/engaging materials that could be used on online or were in some way device 'friendly'.

3) Change of content Due to the results of the initial IKAN testing in Feb 2017, the results for the target students showed there was gap in Place Value. This highlighted that Algebra, my original inquiry topic was not an urgent need for the group.

Students in the target group were tested in twice in Term 1 - February and April 2017. The results for Place Value show that 50% of the group improved by one stage i.e. moved from Stage 3 to Stage 4 and 25% of the group did not change their level (no drop or increase). NOTE: 2 students were only present for one test so no comparisons could be made.

Looking forward to Term 2, the focus for Team 5 will be Number and Statistics. A first step for resetting my inquiry, is to make better use of test data to help me identify the learning gaps for my priority learners in this part of the maths curriculum.

With a full set of data for my target students on their Number and Statistics levels, a possible new inquiry focus could be to investigate the nature of maths problems used with students - number or word problems?, real world examples? With these factors in mind, it will be interesting to find out to what extent the format of maths problems will influence the problem solving abilities of my target students.