Today we were very privileged to have Jo Knox spend some time with us focussing on how we can shift our learners who are stuck at a particular stage in Maths.
Our entire team of teachers were released from the classroom, and spent the whole morning with Jo. We selected groups of learners from our own classes who were working around the same stage in the area of maths we wanted Jo to demonstrate.
Seeing Jo working with our own learners was really really cool, and voided any of those feelings of "this wouldn't work with my learners" that can sometimes come with PD (forgiving of course the fact that there were 6 of their teachers watching over them and they were particularly well behaved haha).
Some big takeaways I took from this session was:
Jo didn't just plan for what she wanted to teach, but thought through what were the key bits of knowledge that they would need for the learning, and the relevant connections they would need to make, to consolidate that learning.
Although I have done a lot of learning surrounding the importance of talk in maths (Talk moves, Bobby Hunter, etc), and feel like I do an 'okay' job at it. It really hit home again how important it is. Two things I can work on with this is setting up and reinforcing the routines within problem solving talk, and actually spending more time listening and allowing the students time to respond before I jump in. As an observer of the lesson I noticed which learners were responding and which were not responding, rather than only focussing on the two or three loud ones.
Whole class Problem solving
This isn't something that I have often done, however after discussing it with Jo I think I would like to give it a go. One concern I have had with this is around the floor and ceiling for a whole class problem. How to make sure I won't be excluding groups of learners by difficulty, and on the flip side not allowing room to grow in their learning.