As teachers began implementing the new curriculum they asked the ‘what’ questions in regards to the changes. In other words they focused on the math content. “What do we need to teach, which outcomes are new, which have been removed and how have the outcomes moved across the grades?” Some wording for particular outcomes have been difficult to interpret but, fortunately, most of these answers have been quite straightforward.
Next came the tougher ‘how’ questions about pedagogy. “How do we shift the way we teach math so that we honour the intent and philosophy of our revised Program of Studies?” Here is a brief summary, the instructional focus:
(The 7 mathematical processes are: Communication, connections, mental math and estimation, problem solving, reasoning, technology and visualization.)
We are learning new ways to plan and design instruction and this is very challenging but also full of opportunity. I feel that, by shifting our practice to reflect the five statements listed above, EVERY student can be successful in mathematics. We don’t have all the answers but I believe that we are on the road and headed in the right direction.
More recently the questions have shifted to, “Now that we have begun teaching differently, how do we assess our students in math?” This is a tough question and there is no immediate or quick answer. In my role as consultant I am fortunate to have some time to reflect on my journey with assessment, discuss strategies with my colleagues as well as delve into current research. This will be a major focus for me over the next year.
Through this blog I look forward to sharing my reflections, new ideas, suggestions and links to websites and blogs that relate to pedagogy and assessment in math.