2+2 != Maths

September 6, 2011

SBG takes little steps

Filed under: teaching — Numbat @ 17:33
Tags: ,

A few weeks ago I stood up at the Maths staff meeting and made my pitch.  “This is SBG,” I told them, “I think it’s the way we should be heading.”  Overall I thought the session went as well as can be expected when someone they don’t usually associate with “change” gets up and tells them we all need to change the way we’re doing things.

Since then there has been some progress.  A few of the staff are starting to introduce smaller concept type tests.  While not truly SBG concept tests, they have trialled shorter more frequent tests with the same concepts being repeated.  And in almost every case they’ve found that the students are responding.  The students are engaging with these tests, they’re attempting more questions and are investing in their performance.  Some students are even staying back and making up time to improve their results.

While this may not be news to many who have implemented this previously, it is certainly a surprise that such a small shift toward SBG can produce such a significant change in attitude. Whether this is just a fad that the students will tire of or whether they will have the stamina to last a whole year only time will tell, but the initial signs are good.

What is also very interesting is that some of the teachers who have made the switch, and perhaps seen the biggest response, are those who I would not have considered the “strong” teachers.  This begs the question whether an SBG based approach may help some teachers more than others?

The last thing I’d like to comment on today is that we’ve now had two sessions working on creating the concepts list.  There have been many interesting and very useful discussions on how we generate our final list and how many concepts we need.  Some teachers have even remarked how we might reasonably need a large number of concepts to accurately identify a years worth of Math instruction….

I haven’t had the heart to point out the irony in those statements.  As it stands, our “concept list” is 10 items long.  It starts with  Chapter 4 Number Patterns; Chapter 3 Lines and Angles; and ends with Chapter 13 Maps, Coordinates and Directions.  If nothing else this work has caused the staff to think about exactly what concepts we’re teaching our students and to put those concepts into greater perspective than just Chapters 1, 5, 9.



1 Comment »

  1. […] few months ago I blogged about how I’d presented SBG to my Maths staff and how they’d started to think about and adopt the ideas in a small way. Since then we’ve been making some progress and have spent many hours going over our existing […]

    Pingback by Our first attempt at SBG « 2+2 != Maths — December 19, 2011 @ 16:01 | Reply

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