LACHLAN CHAMPION, HEAD OF MATHS & NUMERACY (2017), BRIGHTON SECONDARY COLLEGE, VIC
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Creating The Maths Pathway
The Maths Pathway Learning and Teaching Model is an approach to structuring, teaching and learning mathematics.
Structuring: Each school term is typically structured to include four fortnightly learning cycles — each of which contains at least one whole class rich lesson — and a week-long rich project. Within each learning cycle different students are learning different mathematics, both individually, and in small teacher-led groups. Learning cycles conclude with a formative assessment that identifies which parts of the learning cycle’s objectives have been achieved, and which are yet to be achieved. Preparation for the next learning cycle forms an important bridge, and includes student-led reflection, teacher feedback and goal-setting, along with an update to the student’s learning profile based on data from the formative assessment.
Teaching: Teachers have access to student data, which informs how they can support student learning, and provide targeted instruction. The data provides visibility of what students are learning, what they can work on next, and automatically groups students who are ready to learn new concepts together. Teachers can then, for example, use this data to run small group tasks targeted to the needs of a specific set of students.
Learning: In addition to helping students develop their mathematical competencies, Maths Pathway strives to help students become good learners. The model is structured to provide opportunities for students to develop soft skills such as collaboration, self regulation, creative problem solving, the ability to work to deadlines, and organisation. Discourse between students gives them the opportunity to articulate their mathematical ideas, challenge the thinking and logic of peers, and understand mathematics from another person’s point-of-view. A focus on independent learning, as well as consistent reflection and goal setting sessions, reinforces positive learning practices.