Saturday, 5 May 2018

DMiC: Reflecting on a mentoring session

At a recent DMiC professional development session, images were explored as a medium for  creating culturally-responsive problems for Maths.  This siapo image was highlighted as an example of a problem which is accessible to all.  As Pt England had celebrated Fiafia 2018, its bi-annual cultural festival, at the end of Term 1, this image was selected as an authentic opportunity to begin our Maths problem-solving in Term 2, which coincided with a visit from our DMiC mentor.

Planning prior to sharing this problem with learners considered what learners might notice in the image and how this might connect to conceptual understandings about patterns:

Working in groups of four, students shared and discussed their ideas and thinking about the image while only one of these learners was allocated the role of recorder. 

It was wonderful to listen to the rich discussions taking place within the different groups.  I noticed a range of both everyday words and precise Maths vocabulary being used to describe the shapes and patterns within the image.

Having reorganised the groupings for Term 2, I also observed positive progress in attitude and engagement as students took more time to listen to each other and took turns to share their thinking within these social groupings. There is still much to work on within our DMiC Maths journey but in these early days there were plenty of reasons to celebrate the small successes, notably amazing individual learners who stepped up, took the lead in their group by showing empathy to enable the group to approach problem-solving in a positive way.

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