Tuesday 16 June 2015

Using Maths Pathway with Year 7

This year at Ivanhoe Grammar School a decision was made to completely revamp the way Mathematics is taught in Year 7. Unsatisfied with the ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to development and learning, staff wanted a program that was ‘just right’ for every child as well as a focus on developing mathematical processes rather than rote learning and skills. The aim was to develop students’ ability and willingness to tackle unfamiliar, non-routine problems, in order to develop their logical thinking and reasoning skills.

Maths Pathway is an online program which acts as a personalised textbook for each student, based on the level of Mathematics that a student is currently working on. The students begin each unit with a diagnostic test, which not only determines the level they are working at, but also identifies any gaps in their knowledge they may have from their work at primary school. Once the diagnostic has been taken, students are given a personalised learning pathway, consisting of skills practice that they need to develop within each unit. There are video tutorials for students to watch if they need to, and of course they are encouraged to work with their peers and teacher to gain further understanding.

Each fortnight the students are given an individualised test based on the work they completed over the past few weeks. From that, teachers are able to give students specific feedback based on the concepts they understood, and ones they still need to consolidate. Students will have the chance to be re-tested on anything they didn’t understand the first time around.

The role of the teacher completely shifts: no more chalk-and-talk, or setting left-hand-side textbook questions. Instead, teachers work with small groups and individuals providing feedback, giving targeted direct instruction and helping where needed.

Through Maths Pathway a fully blended learning environment for Year 7 mathematics students has been created. Students are exposed to teaching both online and in-person with their teacher on a regular basis. Students are also provided with a high level of personalised feedback due to the regular formative assessment on Maths Pathway.

The Year 7 team continue to reflect on and improve the Maths Pathway program in the classroom and will continue to discover exciting initiatives in the future.