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The AICS Numeracy Strategy began as the Resilient Professional Numeracy Network in the Kimberley Schools in 2008. This grew out of a genuine desire from AIC schools for greater curriculum support in numeracy, following on from the success that literacy support has generated since 2001. Funded by the Australian School Innovation in Science, Technology and Mathematics (ASISTM), the Resilient Professional Numeracy Network covered the 6 Kimberley AIC Schools, who also contributed their DEEWR funded Targeted Programs - Numeracy money, in order to run the project for one year with a full time Broome based consultant.
The major outcome of this project, was the rich mathematical conversations that took place in the AIC schools. Teachers, AEWs and principals discussed the maths that students needed, and this resulted in more focussed and explicit numeracy teaching.
AICS Numeracy Strategy 2012
The AICS Support Unit managed the funds received by the Association of Independent Schools of Western Australia over 2009-2011. The Agreement requires the Final Progress Report to demonstrate progress against Project Outcomes described at Item C.3.1. This report will meet this requirement.
The schools involved in the Numeracy Strategy were: Kulkarriya Community School, Yakanarra Community School, Yiyili Aboriginal Community School, Wulungarra Community School, Nyikina Mangala Community School, Purnululu Aboriginal Independent Community School, Strelley Community School, Rawa Community School, Kunawarrijti (Campus of Rawa), Karalundi Aboriginal Education Community, Culunga Community School, Coolgardie Christian Aboriginal Parents Directed School (CAPS), Kurrawang CAPS, Wongutha CAPS. These schools are found in remote or very remote locations around the state of Western Australia.
Students attending the AIC Schools of WA can be categorised as those “most in need” in the Australian independent school landscape. They share four common sources of educational disadvantage:
- lack of English language proficiency;
- low socio economic status.
Nature of the Project
The AICS Numeracy Strategy included all students in the AIC schools, from Kindergarten through to year twelve. During 2010, data was gathered from 741 students, and in 2011, from 608 students.
The AICS Numeracy Strategy focussed on the Number section of the mathematics curriculum as an understanding of numbers is the basis for learning in all other areas of mathematics.
The Numeracy Strategy is focussed on helping teachers to work out what mathematics students know and what they need to learn, this information is used as the basis for their planning. In this way teachers were encouraged to become more efficient in their teaching. The model that underpinned the Numeracy Strategy is shown in the diagram below.
The AICS Numeracy Strategy included the following components:
- Development of an On-Line Resources to support teachers
- Professional Learning for Teachers, Principals and Aboriginal Education Workers
- In-school support
- Remote support.
Resources for teachers
The project includes the development of a collection of resources to support teachers to assess, plan and then teach students efficiently and effectively. The resources focussed on the three main area of the Number Strand; Understanding the Numeration System, Calculations and Understanding the Operations.
It was hoped that all of these resources would be put on-line for teachers, however funding and time has meant that the first layer, Understanding the Numeration System is on line, with the second layer currently being edited. It will be added to the website using residual funding. The last section, Understanding the Operations will not be added to the website unless further funds are forthcoming to allow for this to happen.
The first layer of this resource focussed on the area of Understanding Numbers, including counting, reading, writing and saying number sequence, subitising, partitioning and place value. These components make up the building blocks for all other areas of number work.
The on-line resource includes:
- Australian Curriculum
- A Scope and Sequence
- Aassessment tasks for each aspect of the Scope and Sequence.
- The mathematics students need to learn as shown by the Scope and Sequence.
- Activities teachers can use to help students to learn the mathematics.
- The AICS Numeracy Tracking Tool, (ANTT) which can be used to monitor students progress.
- Planning Tool, to allow teachers to easily create work plans using the above.
During 2010 and 2011 consultants visited their schools at least once each term and where possible, twice per term. The direction and focus for school visits was decided in consultation with the teachers prior to the visits. Assessment tasks were carried out at the beginning of each term, analysis of data collected and then planning for future lessons supported teachers in learning more about the progress of their students. Professional development for teachers and Aboriginal Education Workers (AEW’s) was offered at the school level during these visits.
Consultants support schools in a variety of ways:
- Team teaching/modeling lessons
- Providing assistance with assessment and analyzing data.
- Planning units of work with the teachers and AEW’s
- Provide the teachers with resource materials electronically when not in the school.
- Providing support to those schools undergoing the re- registration process.
- Liaising with principals
Consultants have worked with the AEWs in a variety of ways to support them in contributing to the education of their student. Ways in which the consultants have worked with the AEW’s include:
- Establishing professional conversations during classroom tasks.
- Demonstrating how to administer diagnostic tasks.
- Organizing and demonstrating games/activities for small group work.
- Collaborative discussions regarding language issues.
- Planning for students who are targeted for extra assistance.
When consultants are not in the schools remote support is provided by way of email, telephone and an online network system that was created for teachers to have contact with other teachers and consultants. This network system allows teachers to share comments and ideas about lessons that were successful, and provides a forum for discussions.
AICS Numeracy Strategy - Monitoring Student Improvement
AICS Developed Assessment Tasks
The AICS Numeracy team developed a suite of Diagnostic Assessment tasks related to each of the critical aspects of the number curriculum. A tracking tool (the ANTT) was developed to record data from the assessment tasks.
The assessment tasks were used to gather baseline data in February 2010 for the Understanding the Numeration System. After this, the Numeracy Consultant team reviewed the assessment tasks based on the data and feedback from teachers, AEWs and students. Changes were made where necessary. The updated tasks and ANTT were then used to gather data for the remainder of 2010 and 2011.
Administration of Tasks.
Initially the Numeracy Consultants administered the tasks, with the teachers and AEWs observing. Over time, teachers were encouraged and supported to choose tasks that were appropriate for the year level of their students. This means that teachers did not use all of the tasks, only those they thought relevant.
Many of the assessment tasks were interview style, while others were small group, or whole class tasks. Aboriginal Education Workers were asked to act as translators when needed.
Each task included a set of instructions, giving teachers and consultants details of what to look for. Standard proforma were used to ensure that the data was gathered in a consistent way across all of the schools.
The students were given a task at the level where the teacher felt they would succeed, and asked to complete the tasks until they could not succeed any further. The students’ highest level of success was recorded against the appropriate checkpoint on the ANTT.
Data was gathered on 741 students in 2010 and 608 students in 2011. The students ranged from Kindergarten through to year twelve. However, not every student was assessed on every task. Teachers selected tasks to suit the needs of the students. Not all students attend the same school on a regular basis, so some students were away when others were assessed. Student transience is a major issue in all remote schools in Western Australia, including AIC Schools.
All of the AIC schools’ data has been amalgamated into year groups. The progress in each of the year groups can be compared against the year levels of the tasks. The percentage of students achieving each of the year levels checkpoints can be compared. This is reported on below.
Data was collected in February and November 2010 and again in November 2011 in the following areas of Understanding the Numeration System:
- Reading Numbers
- Writing Numbers
- Saying the Number Sequences
- Counting Collections, including money
- Place Value
Baseline data in this section allows comparisons to be made and progress to be shown across the two years of this project.
Data was also collected in November 2011 in the following areas of Calculations:
- Basic Facts
- Addition and Subtraction
- Multiplication and Division
- Judging Reasonableness of Results
Term One – Junior Primary Plan for Understand Number
Term One – Middle Primary Plan for Understand Number
Illuminations - A library of 105 online activities that help to make maths come alive in the classroom or at home.
Maths 300 – rich mathematical lessons with accompanying software (subscription required)
NZ Maths – New Zealand Ministry of Education site with very useful activity ideas and teaching units
Barry Kissane’s Homepage – Murdoch University Lecturer with many useful links and ideas
Rainforest Maths – interactive activities that can be used on an electronic whiteboard (mathletics login required)
National Library of Virtual Manipulatives - A large and very impressive collection of applets, with substantial support provided for teachers and parents. Linked to the NCTM Standards.
Count Me In Too – NSW Education site with numeracy ideas for teachers as well as parents
Adrian Bruce – Some games as well as templates and posters to download
Kaye Treacy (Numeracy Consultant)
Tel: (08) 9441 1649
Fax: (08) 9244 2786
Mob: 041 6338 992
Kim McHugh (Numeracy Consultant)
Tel: (08) 9441 1682
Fax: (08) 9244 2786
Mob: 045 7759 587