Monday, 4 August 2014

Maths to Self

I attended a PD session today for our local Canberra PYP network of schools. It was a literacy session with David Hornsby, a pretty big name in Australia for reading and comprehension.

Yes - it may surprise you to learn I also teach literacy as well as a bit of maths in my classroom. And probably a few other things too.

Anyway, David said a few interesting things.

The first one that caught my attention and made me sit up was...

"Mathematics (as a subject) has no content."

I had to stop and think about this one.

His point was that Mathematics, like English and Visual Arts, is a vehicle for exploring and expressing "content" from subjects like Science, SOSE, PDHPE etc.

I'm still processing this - I'll get back to you when I've sorted out my thoughts.

Making Connections

Anyway, the other big thing that came up was about reading comprehension. David was talking about some ideas to do with how students can connect with the texts that they read. He had a series of suggestions of different strategies.

One of the strategies, "Coding the Text", gets students to code a text as they read it to identify their responses, rather than waiting until they had read the whole thing before they actually do anything.


There are 3 "codes" for students to write on the text as they read it:

a)    T-S (Text to Self) - when they read something in a text that they can connect with an experience in their own lives

b)   T-T (Text to Text) - when the reader finds a connection between the text they are reading and another text they have read previously

c)   T-W (Text to World) - when the connection is between the text being read and the real world

So, you've probably seen this before.

But then I started to make some connections of my own...

Let's rethink this in terms of Maths

What if we were to actively search for connections when we are teaching maths in the same way?

It would be like....

a)   M-S (Maths to Self) - how does this maths connect to something I have seen or done before in my life?

b)   M-M (Maths to Maths) - how does this maths relate to some other maths I have seen before?

c)   M-W (Maths to World) - how does this maths relate to the real world?

I know I've used these ideas before in an informal sense - you probably have too.

But now I've got a framework I can hang my random thoughts on. I wonder how this will look in the classroom...



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