Maths - Nikki Knight - Meeting 4

We're having more great Professional Development today with Nikki Knight.  Working on Maths again.  This meeting is all about fractions.

We kicked off looking at children's answers to multiplication and division questions and matching them up with the stages the children were at.  I find this very beneficial especially when clarifying what stage a child is actually thinking at.  It also highlights how much analysis needs to be done before you're clear about a child's maths stage.  It isn't just about doing the test and getting an answer.

Nikki passed on a reading for us to do at the last meeting and we spent some time reflecting on what this reading was telling us.

Looking at fractions

  • Difference between half of a shape and half of a set of objects
    • Set of objects is more difficult for students to understand.  We need to ensure we are working with students to ensure they understand both of these aspect
  • Multiple opportunities
    • students need frequent exposure to fractions 
    • students won't pick up fractions instantly, they need time and many different experiences to be able to understand these concepts
  • Don't have to start with whole and then move to half
    • Start with the half and ask what does the whole look like?
    • include fractions of sets not just shapes
  • When talking about fractions students need to relate to the whole for example
    • one half of an orange instead of just one half
    • it is never one out of or one out of two
    • always encourage students to thin about the whole
  • Use words and numbers
    • start with words first 
    • move on to using words and fraction symbols so students can always refer to the word
  • Stage 3
    • Focusing on halves 
    • Manipulating halves of sets and shapes
  • Stage 4
    • Starting to look at quarters
    • 'We're going to share it out with 4 people'
    • adding in division to help to describe fraction problems
    • being careful with thirds especially when asking students to divide circles into thirds, very difficult for them to do accurately
  • Stage 5
    • much more complex fraction thinking
    • very important students know what a whole is as they won't be able to function at this stage if they don't understand the fraction relationship to a whole
    • again very important to give a variety of different experiences to ensure students have understanding
Modeling books 
We've done some work on modeling books during staff meetings.  We're working on ensuring these are being used more often as learning tools and as something students can refer back to.  
During this reflection we talked about developing success criteria throughout the lesson not always at the start of a lesson.  Nikki talked about co-constructing success criteria with the students - asking them questions like 'what have we learnt? how have we done it?'  Not looking at creating giant lists of success criteria.
Modeling books are really important tools for the students to refer back to, sometimes it takes a bit of time for students to use these independently.  Perhaps teaching students how to refer back to something when they're stuck would be helpful.