Mathematics in Primary
It is amazing just how much mathematical equipment students have within their own homes! Online learning has presented us with plenty of challenges, one of which has been our ability to think laterally, or “outside the box”.
Using the Australian curriculum as the basis of our learning, teachers have changed the order of teaching for many of our units, looking for content and skills which may be enhanced through online learning.
In Preparatory, we normally spend time learning numbers to ten, counting forwards and backwards as well as friends of ten. By using spoons, forks, bowls, Lego, teddy bears, family members, fingers and toes, our students have developed a very tactile understanding of how to represent each numeral.
Our Year 2 students have been completing surveys and collecting data, they have tallied information about family members, their toys, houses/apartments and what they can see outside their windows. This week they have surveyed each other in break out rooms on Zoom.
Our Year 3 students have been exploring symmetry. When required to do so, symmetry can be found in many places at home and, more recently with the relaxing of movement around the city, when students are out and about. Students have been observing items in their environment, such as cars, buses, trains, trees, playgrounds, football pitches and many others, which either may or may not have symmetry.
Most of our students have high degrees of visual learning aptitude and being able to move outside the physical space of the classroom has presented students with a variety of different perspectives. I know there have also been many households who have actively participated in cooking or making lessons, exploring volume, capacity, temperature or weight.
There are many other remarkable outcomes occurring in other year levels, however, there will be plenty of time for that over the remaining weeks of the term.
Thank you for all the support you have given in developing your child’s understanding of real-life Mathematics.
Cameron Reed | Dean of Studies, Primary
Mathematics in Secondary
Encouraging students to be independent learners and critical thinkers in online learning in Mathematics.
Encouraging our students to think critically and be independent learners are aims that should be central to our teaching, whether it be online or in class.
Online, it is not always easy to replicate our face-to-face teaching in classrooms. However, it provides great opportunities for students to work more independently and to learn to use new tools and strategies. As we are reminded in the International Bacalaureate’s (IB’s) Approaches to Teaching and Learning, we are “teachers of learners, not simply content”.
In our online teaching, we have endeavoured to guide and encourage our students to think more deeply, rather than just try to memorise content in readiness for an impending test or examination. Along with the course content students have been given the opportunity to solve problems, research new topics and think about the mathematics in their other subjects. Surprisingly, this needed to be explicitly pointed out to many of them!
It was an excellent opportunity for the students to work more independently, knowing that they could easily ask for assistance in our online meetings. It is so valuable for the students to build on their content knowledge and to be actively learning by investigation, experimenting, questioning and discovery. They need to think and work “like a mathematician”, from as early an age as possible.
Many have increased in their confidence in verbally representing their mathematics correctly. This skill is a valuable one to learn, as some top universities are now asking students to give verbal solutions to mathematical problems as part of their scholarship and entrance examinations. Regular mathematical chats also help to develop a greater depth of understanding.
It is now wonderful to be able to continue more fluent exchanges of ideas in class, but there is no doubting the valuable contribution that the online learning has made to the progress of many of our students in both their thinking and their independent learning skills.
Robyn Gregory| Head of Mathematics, Secondary