Maths Learning Specialist - Michelle Borderick
This year at Willmott Park we want students to develop a growth mindset when it comes to Mathematics. We have all heard people say, ‘I am not a maths person’, or ‘ I was never good at maths at school,’ and I am sure there are many versions of this type of fixed mindset. We have set a challenge at Willmott Park PS to change what we say and how we see mathematics.
Our Numeracy follows the Victorian Curriculum and create engaging activities that often involve students to collaborate on a problem together. Within the curriculum are, The Four Maths Proficiencies: Understanding, Fluency, Reasoning and Problem Solving. Teachers plan activities that encompass these proficiencies, as it allows students to be able to learn new skills and apply them to different parts of the mathematics curriculum. The students are encouraged to explain and justify their solution to their peers. It is exciting to see a classroom where the students are leading the discussion by questioning each other and asking them to clarify their explanation.
One important aspect of Numeracy is fluency. Often when we hear this word, we think of being the fastest one to solve the problem. At Willmott Park fluency is viewed as the ability to retrieve previously learnt skills and apply them to a different problem. Sometimes this may take some time and there may be errors. Our teachers skilfully question and scaffold the student’s learning to achieve success, when completing the problem.
We do not follow one program as we look at our student data to show us what students know and where they need support. Our activities are created based on ‘low floor, high ceiling’ model, which means activities allow all students to begin the task with some independence and then is adapted or differentiated to ensure that all students are challenged and experience success. We encourage inquiry-based learning, where students are provided activities where there is more than one way to solve the problem. This helps students to think deeper and more creatively in maths. Students are always reminded to try and think of more than one solution to the given problem.
We provide regular Professional learning, on the most up to date evidence-based practices, so that our students are continually challenged, but most importantly enjoy mathematics.
We want students to see themselves as mathematicians and to the how creative and fun mathematics can be.