Friday, 27 May 2016

Knowing The Full Story

How well do you know the NZ maths curriculum? No, I don't mean just the curriculum for the level(s) that you've taught or teach....I mean the full curriculum...

Some of the best professional development in maths I ever had was when we were tasked with matching measurement problems with the different levels of the maths curriculum from Level 1 to Level 5. It was a much harder task than we all first thought it would be but once we had done it, it gave us such a clear picture of the journey a learner takes through the topic of measurement.

Lately, I have been involved in writing a curriculum for maths....taking one topic at a time and writing outcomes from Level 1 onwards. Doing this has given me such a deeper understanding of the curriculum and the layers of learning within each topic.

I believe every teacher should have this understanding of the full picture before teaching at any level. Sometimes you can get so wrapped up in the level you are teaching that you forget to look at the full picture. You may even be inadvertently setting students up with misconceptions that inhibit their learning at higher levels of the curriculum.

The level of maths you are teaching at is just a chapter of the full story. Doesn't it make sense for teachers to know what the full story is before writing that particular chapter? If you don't, then how will you know exactly what the main character in the story has been through and what you need to write in order to mould that character for what is yet to come in the story?

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