Friday, September 26, 2008

I had a cool teacher-moment this week!

I had such a cool teacher-moment in my Year 5 class this week! In the life of a teacher, these moments are rare, but cherished!

I've been encouraging my students to become 'powerful learners'. On their ePortfolios, they have had to reflect on last term's goals, think about what they've achieved and set new goals for next term. I want them to take ownership of their learning, and I'm encouraging them to really think about their learning.

To do this I have empowered them by giving them links to sites explaining the strategies in Maths and Reading that we are focused on. All year long I have kept referring to our AsTTle results, and explained the relevancy of every task we do in connection to the skills they are practicing. On my class Home Page, I have a link to the NZMaths Numeracy Framework. It has each of the stages illustrated by animations, and you can even see videos of students explaining their strategies. I use this to help my students verbalize their goals.

This week, I overheard a conversation between some students. It seems my efforts have been rewarded!

(I've changed the students' names to protect their identity.)
Sammy: John, you're stage 8 for Maths aren't you?
John: (In the middle of a chess game, and from a different class.) A-hu.
Sammy: (Persistently nudging John.) So what did you have to do to get to Stage 8?
John: Huh? I dunno? I just got it.
Jim: (Who's sitting at a nearby computer, and is in the same class.) It's on our Maths page, silly. Come here, I'll show you.

A while later, I notice Jim and Sammy pouring over the Numeracy Framework and looking at the animations, but I get sidetracked by another student and forget the whole conversation.

Next Day, enter Sammy with ear-to-ear grin.

Sammy: Mrs T, I'm ready to be tested for Stage 8 now.
Me: Oh? How do you know.
Sammy: I know rat-tee-oh now, Mrs T. I asked Mum and Dad to help me. I have to know decimals, percentages and rat-tee-oh to get to Stage 8. And I can do it.
Bless his little cotton socks - it took me a while to figure out he meant ratio!

P.S. I've just noticed that Sammy wrote on his Maths Goals, for his ePortfolio: "I want to find out more about phi = 22/7 = 3.14285714." Gulp. Anyone know of Maths catch-up lessons for teachers? ;)


  1. Wow! That is just awesome! And what a neat way to use the nzmaths website to encourage goal setting and self reflection/assessment. I think your Year 5's could teach my Year 5's a thing or two. Love that someone wants to learn about phi - LOL! I'm lead Maths teacher at my school and I'd be thrilled if our kids were as enthusiastic and motivated as these guys. As for Maths catch - up... I find the website Ask Dr Math at really useful. ;)

  2. yay for self motivated learning!

  3. Raenette, great to see you getting your students to refelct on their goals in their eportfolios. Are their eportfolios availabe for viewing by the public? I would love to have a look. See you at uLearn maybe?

  4. Thanks, nick. Yes, I'll be at uLearn!

  5. Hi Keamac, thanks for the link. I'll be brushing up on phi!