Tag Archives: maths

IB-PYP: Maps – Gathering prior knowledge: Show me the way to your home from school. What did I learn? I should have known more about this student!

We’re learning about maps so I asked my students to show their way home from school. They could choose how they would show their journey. One of my students started drawing…. What did I learn? I know that how we ask children to show what they know is incredibly important and when gathering prior knowledge we can’t assume what a child knows. One of my very quiet 7 year old students started drawing their map.

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Can I find the way to my student’s home? YES How did this student know what they know? Would I have discovered what I now know about this student and their thinking if I’d presented my initial question a different way? QUESTIONS!

Cheers Nina


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Question: What does learning Maths look like? How best will we learn? Visible Thinking & Learning!

I asked my students to write on sticky notes what they thought learning Maths looked like. After our poster was finished we discussed their ideas and related their ideas to our Learning Cycle. The children were able to talk about our learning cycle and relate our school cycle to numeracy.

The Learning Cycle enables me to reflect when planning. I need to be able to answer these questions!

What do I want my students to know / learn? How best will they learn? How will I know they know what has been taught?

Learner Cycle

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Making learning explicit to our students in all areas of the curriculum is essential.

Cheers Nina


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Preps (5&6 year olds) & graphs. How does ‘clumping’ a series of learning experiences help children understand a concept / skill?

So what is clumping? I often revisit a skill or concept and clump a series of planned  learning experiences for my children. The first learning experience is designed to gather prior knowledge. It’s always interesting to revisit a skill or concept to find out the learning entry point of each child. I usually note their answers in their language whilst looking for misconceptions.

This post follows on from Numeracy: Graphing – Column Graph. The children have completed various class graphs, collected data, inquired as to the purpose of graphs and revisited constructing a tally.  My students collected data on PD’s favourite sea creatures, completed a class tally and recorded the data on a graph for display.

Once the graph was completed my students were asked to make statements about what the graph indicated. These statements were recorded by the children and placed on the graph. The graph will be displayed as a reference point in the classroom.

This week my students will explore pie graphs using a colored bead necklace to help them construct their own pie graph. They will also independently construct their own column graph as an assessment item. The independent column graph will be annotated by the children to show their understanding of constructing a graph, creating a tally and drawing conclusions.

I’ve found that clumping a series of lessons on a particular skill / concept deepens my students’ understanding of what they have been taught. Having said this, all skills and concepts a regularly revisited and extended.

Cheers Nina


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