Mathematics is a crucial part of the curriculum at Altona Primary School, with the expectation that it is taught daily and for at least five hours over the week. The content of these lessons is based on the Victorian Curriculum and adapted based on student needs for either support or extension.
Our focus is to develop mathematical understanding, fluency, logical reasoning and the ability to problem solve in all of our students by providing them with a skill set through authentic learning experiences that are transferrable to everyday life.
The key aspects that underpin the teaching of Mathematics at APS are:
Purposeful planning of lessons based on assessment data and our guaranteed and viable curriculum
Following the APS Instructional Model for teaching and learning that is founded upon evidence based ‘best practice’, specifically the Gradual Release of Responsibility (GRR) and High Impact Teaching Strategies (HITS)
Following a lesson structure which includes a warm-up, introduction, student activity and reflection
Designing an engaging curriculum based around connecting multiple topics of mathematics to one another and to real life experiences
Setting individual learning goals with students within each unit of work
Exposing students to, and explicitly teaching mathematical vocabulary
Teaching and using multiple strategies to solve problems
PLANNING FOR LEARNING
Our staff plan and deliver sequences of lessons that are:
Based on the Victorian Curriculum at each year level
Mapped out across the school from Prep – 6 as per our APS Numeracy Scope and Sequence
Informed by research in terms of how students learn content developmentally
Focused on the needs of the students in each grade based around pre-assessment, student work samples and observations within each unit of study
Our APS Numeracy Scope and Sequence has been developed to ensure that all areas of the Victorian Mathematics Curriculum are taught across the year. Topics have been arranged within each year level to support the connection between multiple topics of mathematics (e.g. multiplication and area).
Student assessment data is analysed by teachers in Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) and sequences of lessons are designed to meet the needs of students from both a support and extension capacity in each individual grade.
APS LESSON STRUCTURE
The APS Mathematics Lesson Structure has four components:
The warm-up is a short, sharp activity that activates prior knowledge in an engaging way to motivate students for the lesson ahead.
Within the introduction, the learning intention and success criteria are unpacked with the students to inform them of the objectives of the lesson. At this point, the relevant and essential vocabulary of the lesson is explored and discussed. The introduction concludes with modelling, articulation and explicit teaching of the maths concepts to be explored within the student activity.
Students work both independently or in collaborative groups to undertake activities directly related to the learning intention and success criteria of the lesson as well as their own personal learning goals. Activities are designed to build mathematical understanding, fluency, logical reasoning and problem solving skills and where possible, are presented within rich, real life contexts. Student-to-student and student-to-teacher conversations are encouraged as a way of addressing misconceptions and sharing strategies.
Students are given the opportunity to talk about, write about and reflect on their learning. Sharing provides a chance for students to learn from each other and articulate their thinking using the essential vocabulary. Reflection also provides students with the opportunity to participate in higher-order thinking processes such as reasoning, analysing, justifying etc. Share reflection can occur at any time during the lesson, not just the end.