For the second year, Richmond is one of several districts in the province that are taking part of an adapted version of Changing Results for Young Readers in the form of Changing Results for Young Mathematicians. Provincially, this project is not just focused on young students but for K-12 students and their teachers and has been called the Provincial Numeracy Project.
This year, three school teams of primary teachers and a Learning Resource Teachers are participating – teams from Whiteside, Grauer and McNeely.
Several routines such as Counting Collections (see tedd.org) and High Yield Routines (book published by NCTM) were shared with teachers as elements that could be introduced as both whole class and small group instruction.The importance of assessment to inform instruction was discussed and the importance of spending time being present with our students – listening, noticing and talking with them. This is a critical practice in this project – really zooming in on students’ mathematical thinking.
One of the handouts provided to teachers was a collection of Number Sense tasks and background information connected to the Kathy Richardson book we would be using. The handout package can be downloaded here: Didax Number Sense guide
Unfortunately, our second session together was cancelled due to a lack of TTOCs. Between sessions, copies of Kathy Richardson’s book How Children Learn Number Concepts was delivered to each teacher in the project. Teachers were asked to zoom in on one section of the book and make connections to what they were noticing as their students engaged in counting or other number routines.
Teachers were also provided with a copy of the classic math picture book Each Orange Had 8 Slices and were encouraged to share some of the pages with their students and engage in playful and joyful mathematics – counting, problem posing and problem solving.
The one-pager that was created to accompany the book to send home with students to engage in joyful math with their parents can be downloaded here: Each Orange Had 8 Slices.
For our third and final session in March, school teams shared what they had been trying and what they had been noticing in their classrooms.
A specific focus on the reasoning and analyzing section of the curricular competencies was explored through estimation. Estimation is a good indicator of students’ number sense and is an important competency to develop and use in many contexts – both computational and with measurement. The estimation information and connections to literature that was developed as part of the BCAMT Reggio-Inspired Mathematics project can be downloaded here: Estimating final
We also looked at the curricular competency: “use reasoning to explore and make connections” through routines such as Number Talk Images and Clothesline.
How many ducks are there? How do you know? What different ways can you see the quantity?
A blog post of how clothesline math has been used in kindergarten classes in Richmond can be found HERE.
Teachers in the project each received a copy of Which One Doesn’t Belong? by Christopher Danielson and connections to our BC curricular competencies in math were made – communication, reasoning, justifying and explaining.
As part of the project, teachers were asked to pay attention to a child who they were wondering about – a child whose math learning was causing questions for the teacher. Based on the findings from Changing Results for Young Readers, we felt that focusing on the learning of one child, and how that child responds to new ways of approaching math learning, would influence the class’ learning as a whole. Teachers were asked to reflect on this as well as write a short professional narrative reflecting on their own professional inquiry during the project. A collection of excerpts from the teachers’ reflections are included below:
“We are having to unlearn the ways we learned math in order to think about ways we can help the students build a solid number sense foundation.”
“I noticed increased student ownership over their own learning. They are choosing collection at their just right level and are trying to figure out, on their own, ways to count their collection in multiple different ways. Students are beginning to be able to communicate their thinking about the strategies they use to count their collections.”
“I have a better understanding of number concepts and where to go next to help/challenge a student.”
“High Yield Routines had high engagement levels and encouraged a lot of math talk in our classroom.”
“I noticed that I was taking chances in my teaching during this project, allowing myself to learn alongside my students.”
“I learned that math is about exploring and sense-making.”
“Students were engaged with math talk images of actual objects rather than dots or ten frames.”
“My students are more engaged and more hands on with the math now as a result of the changes I made.”
“Students are now expected to voice and articulate and justify their thinking about why they feel their answer could be right.”
“I learned about recognizing the phases of mathematical development and how foundational skills contribute to deeper meaning and understanding for students in subsequent years.”
“I noticed that I need to step back and invest time to delve into student learning and understanding beyond the correct answer.”