16 May 2012

Getting Excited About Math - Learning Communities update

Getting Excited About Math 
For the third SEA Learning Community (LC) session, the focus was on the Interactive White Board (IWB) and the Mathematics curriculum. Our LC teachers and SEA department were fortunate to have had the opportunity to partner with the Math Department, along with members from the DD and ASD Teams. LC teachers of Home School Program (HSP), Learning Disability (LD), Gifted, Behaviour and Mild Intellectual Disability (MID) classes focused on the three-part math lesson. The teachers of the Developmentally Delayed (DD) and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) classes concentrated on Functional Numeracy and Language-Based Strategies/Visual Support for Problem Solving.

An Itinerant Teacher with the SEA Assistive Technology Department and Sue Macvicar-Stewart, Low Incidence Consultant, partnered up to create a math model that highlighted the developmental stages of functional numeracy, skills which students are required to learn before computational numeracy skills can be taught. Interactive sample lessons and activities were demonstrated to show how various skills could be taught and practiced, all through the eyes of their students. The LC teachers were also given time to create their own activities to use with their students. As a follow up, the LC teachers had the chance to host or observe a math lesson co-planned/taught with Sue and the Itinerant teacher. The students learned matching and counting with farm animals.

An IWB activity highlighting the importance of Functional Math during a
DD Math Learning Community.
Using the IWB in the classroom to develop
numeracy skills with visual supports.

A similar partnership was formed with Monica Rivera, Speech and Language Pathologist with the ASD team. This LC focused on math language/vocabulary and using real-life examples to help students better understand abstract concepts and solve problems. Various activities were demonstrated that showed the use of comparative words with visual supports to help address difficulties with math vocabulary. Similarly, lots of suggestions were presented to show how visuals could be used to support problem solving. The LC teachers used the remaining session time looking through various resources and designing math lessons for their students. Some sample pages are below.
Using the IWB to show comparative words and visual supports for math

Which animal is bigger than or
smaller than...

How likely is a new student to a school...

On behalf of the SEA team, we would like to thank the various departments for their partnerships, along with all of the LC participants for embarking on this wonderful journey of learning and exploration.

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