Our Junior Campus staff have been engaging in professional development to enhance their knowledge of mathematics teaching and learning, to improve student outcomes as part of a Numeracy Improvement Project. Two facilitators, Kathy Palmer and Leah O’Neill from Back-to-Front Maths guided our teachers.
Kathy and Leah shared PAT and National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) data to demonstrate how, by adjusting our teaching strategies, we can lift results. Using Back-to-Front Maths strategies, students are encouraged to think hard and explore new concepts before the teacher gives the formal explanations. This helps the maths to stick better, builds new connections in the brain and significantly improves student results which makes maths much more engaging. Kathy returned to lead demonstration lessons, support staff, in trying new strategies and reflect on what is happening with our students. The workshop was split over three sessions, Prep-Grade 2, Grade 3 & 4 and Grade 5 & 6, beginning each group with a pre-lesson briefing, demonstration and application of technique and ending with a post-lesson debrief.
Staff have already been putting the strategies into practice and are challenged and encouraged by what is happening. Kathy’s feedback will be invaluable, ensuring that our strategies align with those that are proven to work.