Friday, 5 May 2023

Structure of Implemented Change

Here is my initial plan of a structure of implemented change.

Formulating a Hypothesis

This week in our Kāhui Ako meeting, we discussed formulation of hypotheses. I have chosen to summarise my hunches, as well as research that has supported these hunches and feedback from my Kāhui Ako colleagues. I believe that my hunches are still too broad and more work needs to be done to narrow down my focus to something which is going to be measurable. 

Friday, 28 April 2023

Initial Planning for Maths Group


Along with my colleague and inquiry partner, Clarelle Carruthers and Year 3 and 4 team leader, Angela Moala, we have created a group which I will take for maths once a week. 

Initial planning leans towards me teaching these students using a problem-based learning approach with these students where the maths is applied. From these workshops, the students will gain knowledge which they will then be able to take back to their class to support the rest of their class learning for the week. 

Thursday, 6 April 2023

Tools/ Measures/ Approaches - Part 1

Our challenge:

Student Challenge:  How do we accelerate achievement in maths when students have a range of maths abilities with various gaps in maths knowledge? 

Teacher Challenge: How do we accelerate achievement in maths when teachers are tasked with teaching a classroom of students with a range of maths abilities and with various gaps in maths knowledge?

Personal justification of running an extension maths programme (see previous blog post):

A typical classroom includes a range of mathematics levels. How do we as teachers realistically support the children who find maths really challenging while also extending those who find the logic of maths more natural? It is challenging, that's for sure! We have a really unique opportunity here where we can run an extension programme for those children who we identify as gifted in Maths, allowing the classroom teachers to spend that session focussing on building the knowledge for the rest of the class. The extension group can then return to their classroom and use their new knowledge and skills to work alongside their other classmates to build their maths knowledge.

What does the Manaiakalani research say to provide evidence and justification for this inquiry?

See previous blog post

What does the wider research say?

In any inquiry, it is important to have tools, measures and approaches which are planned for use so we can get a more detailed and accurate profile of students' learning in relation to a challenge. If we aren't doing this, then any implementation of something new is really just a guess!

To start this off, I went to the research. Over the course of this inquiry, I want to make sure I look at multiple view points to see how to best teach extension level maths students. 

Text: Linchevski, L & Kutscher, B. (1998). Tell Me With Whom You’re Learning, and I’ll Tell You How Much You’ve Learned: Mixed-Ability Versus Same-Ability Grouping in Mathematics, Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, Vol. 29, No. 5, P533-554.

Key Points:

  • Ability Grouping (subject-by-subject, also known as tracking vs. all subjects at once, also known as streaming).
  • Ability grouping can be used to change content, pace or teaching methods.
  • Some research has shown that by ability grouping, the gap between abilities increases. 
Personal note: does this mean it is negative effect for those who do better? We will be doing things differently where we will be reducing class numbers for an hour per week so the classroom teacher can give more time to those who need it for the basics of maths. 
  •  Quality of oral language used (within communication) differs greatly between lower ability groups and higher ability groups. With this comes differences in expectations (Gamoran, 1993).
Personal note: we will need to make sure we don't allow this to happen.
  • Preteaching (described in study on page 536). Mix of homogenous and heterogenous groups. Students have preteaching in homogenous groups. "Whenever a teacher felt that a large, specific homogeneous group of students would benefit from the teacher’s direct intervention, that setting was used—for example, to better prepare weaker students to be integrated into a planned heterogeneous group activity." Page 536.
Personal note: This sounds very similar to what we are trying to achieve.
  • Homogenous (children of same ability) vs. Heterogenous (children of different ability) grouping
  • Study 1: After 1 year, in 10/12 schools, Mixed ability grouping did not impact the gap between achievement between children of various abilities. In 2/12 schools, it widened the gap however there were signs of this gap reducing after two years.
  • Study 2: Mixed ability grouping was hugely benficial to average to lower ability students. Higher ability students did not lose any achievement by being in mixed ability grouping.
  • Goroman (1992) - workshop type pedagogy - look more into this.
  • Overall, this Journal Article and studies are in favour of Heterogenous grouping/ Mixed Ability Grouping for teaching mathematics.
Next Articles to look into:

Gamoran, A. (1992). Is ability grouping equitable? Educational Leadership, 50 (2), 11–17.
Gamoran, A. (1993). Alternative uses of ability grouping in secondary schools: Can we bring high quality instruction to low-ability classes? American Journal of Education, 102, 1–22.

Thursday, 9 March 2023

Collaborative Inquiry Group Meeting

 Today we had time in our staff meeting to meet and talk about our inquiries. Clarelle, Danni and I discussed what the challenge of learning was that we wanted to focus on. We realised that there were more than one challenge and we wondered whether dividing and conquering would be the best approach to tackle more than one of these challenges.

The challenges to student learning:

-Inability to apply knowledge 

-Not choosing the most efficient ways of solving problems

-Knowledge of gaps and next steps. (children being aware of these) 

-Self efficacy, learning from each other. 

We wondered whether tackling different challenges and then coming together collaboratively may be the best approach to our inquiry. For example, I will only be seeing a group of extension maths children so it would make more sense for me to focus on the first challenge (Inability to apply knowledge OR Knowledge of gaps and next steps).

We also heard from Rob Wiseman who is the Year 7&8 team leader. He is looking at the challenges in reading and discussed a challenge the children have when inferring.

Friday, 3 March 2023

Creating surveys to start painting a picture of the challenge school-wide

 While Clarelle and Danni have been gathering data from the students in their classrooms, I started creating some surveys to be sent out to Senior management, Teachers and Students from across our school. The three of us then sat down to add some more questions, make a few tweaks, simplify the surveys and then send them off. Our focus was to find out what our colleagues own views are around challenges in maths for their own students as well as their own teaching. 

Here are the surveys that we created.

Student Survey:

Teacher survey:

Senior Management Survey:

Monday, 27 February 2023

Inquiry as a collaborative process

 This year, Clarelle Carruthers, Danni Stone and myself have decided to undertake a collaborative inquiry with a focus on raising achievement in Maths. 

We met on Friday to discuss our inquiry:

Inquiry Focus: How do we accelerate achievement in maths when students have a range of maths abilities with various gaps in maths knowledge? 

Possible strategies/ hunches (What might work? What can I try? Ideas to investigate): 

-Understanding the subtraction addition relationship, multiplication, division. 

-Fractions of a set, order fraction, fraction to decimals. 

- Maths as a real world skill. 

-Discuss in maths. 

-Maths as a collaborative skill. Multiple parts to a problem, individuals working in parallel. 

The start of an Action Plan


  • Gloss
  • PAT
  • IKAN
  • Knowledge check lists.
  • Asttle- Read to the kids
What does Maths Whizz add to the data? 

We also discussed the Manaiakalani Data that I pulled out in my last blog post. We shared a concern of what this data showed and agreed that this inquiry is essential for our school. We are keen to survey our senior management team to figure out why they think this might be the case and what they think of maths in the school.

Since Clarelle and Danni are in the classrooms, they will be spending the next couple of weeks Gloss testing and undertaking the Maths PAT tests. I will then go in to support Clarelle with undertaking Asttle tests on children we identify as our priority group of students. We want to read this test to the children so remove any barrier that reading may have for these students. While Clarelle and Danni focus on the testing, I am going to put together a survey for our teachers as well as our senior management to start painting a wider picture of the challenge we face.

You can find more out about our inquiry by visiting Clarelle's and Danni's blogs.

Clarelle's blog

Danni's blog: