Reflection Week 6

This week I attended my first day-a-week (DAW) visit to Holy Innocents Primary. I am assigned to Year 4 who, for most of their classes throughout the day, were mixed with Year 3. For the mathematics lesson, Stage 2 was divided into colour groups based on ability. This was interesting considering some Uni classes have advised us not to split classes into groups according to ability.

The day I attended the school, Mrs ‘X’ was teaching students how to convert fractions to decimals. While the red group (advanced group) interacted with the teaching lesson, the other groups worked on their iPads doing ‘Mathletics’ and then swapped half way through. It was really interesting seeing the teacher interact with both learning groups. She showed us how she extends the advanced students by converting fractions such as 1/16 into a decimal and would only convert up to 1/8 in other groups. She also asked students in the red group questions more frequently asking students to ‘help her work it out’, while she still questioned the other groups there was alot more modelling on the teacher’s behalf. This was efficient for both groups of students as they were challenged, got to explain their thinking and were able to experience teacher demonstration of how to complete an exercise so they can replicate this in the future.

During the lesson, the teacher and students used terms such as ‘divide’, ‘division’, ‘half’, ‘double’, ‘go into’, ‘remainder’, ‘whole number’, ‘long division’. The class also had a jingle they sang when doing long division, effectively assisting their memory of which number to ‘borrow’ from and what the remainder will be.

Overall, it provided a new perspective for me of ways to organise and teach mathematics targeting different learning abilities.

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