Proportionality

This morning was very early for a Saturday as I had a MaST session at NTU so had to get up well before 8 0 clock!

The session was on the 4th big idea ‘Proportionality’. This is probably the part of the course that inspires me least for some reason. All the sessions are interesting and this one was no exception but the idea of proportionality doesn’t seem to inspire me in the same way as the others. Maybe it’s because there seems to be less direct relevance to my classroom experience. I love to be spoon fed and love the way that I take away so many ideas that I can use from this course. Proportionality doesn’t seem to work in the same way. A lot of the ideas seem to be aimed at year 6 or higher. I know that getting a bank of teaching ideas is not the primary aim of the MaST course but relevance to my own teaching and that of my colleagues is one of the things that makes me so enthusiastic about other sessions.

We looked at fractions and discussed the idea that maybe we focus too much on finding parts of a whole eg find a quarter of this number. Do we put enough emphasis on the whole? We looked at the idea of giving students a given shape which is a certain fraction and asking them what the whole shape could be.

Most of the session was looking at the idea of scaling and proportionality and we looked at 2 lessons which were aimed at addressing this idea. It was interesting that the more open ended approach was a japanese lesson where the teacher never really told the children what the correct answer was but let them work it out from each other’s work.

Apparently, children often try to solve proportion problems by addition strategies rather than mulitplication so we need to look at how we can address this misconception. I need to think about how I can look into this and address this issue in my lessons.

The rest of the morning was taken up with looking at our next assignment. At the moment I’m guilty of taking the ostrich approach. I’m putting my head in the sand so that I can’t see it, or just avoiding it in the hope that it goes away. I have the horrible feeling that it really isn’t going to and I am going to have to get some serious work done.

 

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