Positive Progress in Numeracy!!!

Seems like a long time since I last posted, boy a lot of things have happened! 

As most educators know the middle of the year is reporting time. A good chance to reflect on where the students are and how much progress they have made in the first two terms. 

First of all I would like to share the things that I believe made the difference for these learners: 
- Create and Share (students were encouraged to create and share their learning in numeracy on to their blogs). This led to higher engagement and therefore positive results. 
- Tracking - using sheets to track student progress meant that it was easy to see when a student needed extra support or when they could move on. This is also what I used to determine what stage they were working at. 

At the beginning of Term Three I took on the role of Uru Mānuka Programme Leader. This means that I am no longer in with these students teaching them Numeracy... I am hoping that the positive progress that they have made in the beginning of the year continues! These students are making nearly a year worth of progress in a couple of terms... Some students moving from Early Stage 4 to the middle to end of Stage 5 which is really exciting! 
The hypothesis that: "Students who use learn, create, share in Numeracy will see their work as purposeful, therefore will be more engaged and achievement will increase, is proving quite accurate! 
This of course links to Karen Belt's 2016 Inquiry into "Using an authentic audience to enhance the motivation and writing mileage for learners in my classroom." I was trying to make connections across subjects and I think I have found some great beginnings of this. 

2017 Numeracy Review

As part of my role within the school, it was my job to complete a Numeracy Review. The key area that I chose to look at was Number Knowledge and Basic Facts. 
My key evaluative question-

Is a lack of number knowledge and basic facts a contributing factor to students not achieving in Numeracy?  What strategies may support accelerating the progress within this area?

I think that this was a good chance to tie in with my Spark-MIT Inquiry. The identified problem is much the same:
Students across the school are not achieving well in Numeracy. Students in the Senior School are struggling to meet National Standard.
Students in the Senior Hub are lacking in their basic facts knowledge and are therefore struggling to continue learning past stage 4 (Stage 4 is the National Standard for after 3 years at school).  
The ikan assessment which is taken in Year 4-6 every term, shows that students struggle with quick recall of knowledge.

The Data
57% of students are sitting Below or Well Below National Standard.

Some questions that I was asking myself from this data are:
  • Knowing what we know about authentic purpose and audience and motivation of students to achieve in Literacy, is there any way we can transfer this to Numeracy? (Kelsey’s Spark-MIT is looking into this further)
  • Are students being given scaffolding in and out tasks in Numeracy?
  • Are we measuring OTJ’s for Numeracy the same across the school?
  • How are we teaching basic facts across the school?
  • How are we tracking student progress across the school?

I felt that it was also important to get more information from the students and therefore completed a student survey.

Feedback from students survey (Rata + Tawa classes)
Students mostly feel okay or happy to do math.
Students mostly feel that they are quick with basic facts
71% of students that have used xtra math say that xtra math is a good way to learn basic facts
Majority of students would rather do basic facts online than with pencil and paper.

I also put out a similar survey to the parents and wider community...
Feedback from parent survey (14 parents)
Most parent feel happy with their knowledge of numeracy to support their child.
50% would like a parent evening and 50% would not.
90% of parents say their child uses mathletics or other online math programs at home.
All parents say that they have an extra 10mins for basic facts practise each night.
Parents would like fun ways to do times tables and basic facts, like there is for reading. Three of the parents would also like some math homework for their child.

It is great to see that the attitude towards math is mainly positive. I do believe that Numeracy Knowledge is a huge barrier to achievement. To move on from here it is a matter of finding some key ways to engage learners to continue learning basic facts at home. I have been reading a lot of Matt Goodwin's posts about his own Basic Facts Inquiry. It is reassuring to see that others are encountering similar problems when it comes to basic facts.

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