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Sunday, 24 June 2018

Balancing Strand and Number with the DMIC process

Before I started DMIC this year I always felt that the balance between teaching Strand and Number was difficult to get right. If you spent too long on Strand you felt like you didn't progress your students enough in Number Strategies.

With the DMIC process I spend the majoritysds of my teaching time in Strand, however there is a strong focus on Number through the Strand teaching. In fact often the Strand element of the problem is only to introduce the number.

For example when teaching a Measurement problem, the context may be converting Kilometers to Meters or vice versa (and that will be a crucial piece of strand knowledge to have/ obtain). However, the actual problem will require the use of number knowledge to solve.
When introducing the strand concept of conversion I would keep the number problem relatively simple, as the conversion is the focus. i.e. 5km plus 3000m or something.
However, as we become comfortable with the idea of converting measurement units then this simply becomes the context for tricky number problems. i.e.  3.05km - 1200m, 0.32m x 4 etc.
Students then decide for themselves whether or not the conversion aspect is necessary.

For this reason the Strand and Number balance has become really easy.
The basic principal is:
- If the Strand knowledge is the focus keep the number aspect simple.
- If the Strand knowledge isn't the focus then complicate the number aspect.

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