Mathematical Thinking 3

This was the final session connected with our first ‘big idea’ Mathematical Thinking’. Had to drive all the way to Nottm Trent Uni after being at school all day. Not the ideal way to put yourself in the right frame of mind for mathematical thinking!

The session was a bit strange as it didn’t really build on the previous one. This was because whereas some of us had completed our residential and done session 2, others hadn’t and had only had their initial network session.

The aims of the session were to explore the role of mathematical thinking in teaching and learning, to consider how teachers can develop their own mathematical thinking skills and support their development in other teachers and to consider how to develop children’s mathematical thinking skills.

A huge set of aims for a 2 hour session!

We looked at a whole range of activities that could be used in classrooms to develop children’s mathematical thinking. One of the lovely things about this course is how many practical ideas I get that I can use in the classroom

I loved the idea of making estimation into a kind of competition between groups that really would make them think mathematically. The idea of using an unlabelled graph to promote discussion of ideas is one that I have used before but not at such a high level. Not sure that my year 5’s would be able to identify that particular sport!

Although the practical activities were enjoyable and useful as a resource, it was a shame that we skipped rapidly through the remainder of the slides which were more focused on how to develop children’s thinking through problem solving.

Our latest directed task (to add to the ones we already have from the residential) is to plan and carry out a problem solving activity in class. We are to try and involve as many as the pedagogic ideas as possible and record their impact. I think that is definitely something that I need to leave until the Easter holidays. Planning a problem solving activity isn’t a problem but involving all the pedagogies will take a lot of thought.

There was some discussion at the end of the session about the Personal Learning Log which will form a large part of our assessed material. People (myself included) are nervous about how much work is expected to be in this and what level of reflection is expected of us. It’s a long while since I did anything like this and I have no idea what the expectations are.

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