Mia Szymanik Manaiakalani CoL Inquiry 2018

Kia Ora. I am delighted to be a within schools CoL teacher at Point
England Primary School for 2018.

I will be using the Manaiakalani cluster inquiry framework to focus my inquiry and make my learning and teaching visible in 2018. This framework has been co-constructed specifically for Manaiakalani schools drawing on the New Zealand teaching as inquiry framework and using the Learn, Create, Share pedagogy as a guide for inquiry.

Throughout the year I will label my blog post to make sure it is easily accessed by others. I will label them using the Learn, Create, Share structure.

This year I have chosen to focus my inquiry around the

Manaiakalani Achievement Challenge 6:

Lift Achievement in Maths for all students year 1- 13.

Our overarching  school focus is: Acquisition of Language.
I will be inquiring into:

Would integrating the teaching of strand maths with number, help kids to better acquire key
mathematical language, raising their achievement?

Possible Strategies
What might work?
What can I try?
Ideas to investigate

I think that the DMIC work we are doing with Bobby Hunter is going to fit in really well with what I
have chosen to do for my inquiry. Last week I did an activity with my class where I wrote some ‘maths’
words on pieces of paper and got the children to tell me what they thought they meant. I made it very
clear there were no right or wrong answers. I wanted to get an idea of what the children’s understanding
and ideas around these words were.
Here the are the some images of the children’s ideas. Please note I have recorded their answers.
Underneath each picture I have written my thoughts around what the children came up with.

There were some interesting ideas associated with this word ‘subtract’. There were only 2 ideas put forward from
the class ‘if you take a number away it will make that number less’ and the word ‘take away’. I was surprised
that no one said that to subtract you normally count backwards. You can see I added that idea at the end.

In my mind, there are so many concepts and words you can associate with this word subtract. It could also be
said as minus, subtract means to remove.

Again I found the children’s idea around this word ‘add’ really interesting. Remember that I didn’t do this activity
as a specific ‘maths’ activity. So I didn’t introduce these as maths words. They were just words that we were going
to discuss. It interested me that this word ‘add’ was just considered a maths word. They talked about ‘adding one
thing to another to make that thing bigger’, someone mentioned ‘adding colours’, ‘add numbers’, someone
mentioned the word ‘plus’, and then I got a ‘listen to the teacher’. So a varied mix of ideas here!!!

There are so many ways the word ‘add’ can be used in the english language. I was surprised no one mentioned it
was short for addition. Although someone did mention that adding makes things bigger, they didn’t mention
counting on. No one thought of the word add in terms of anything other than maths, you could for example say
that someone ‘adds’ to the positive feeling in the class. I really want to make children realise that this mathematical
language doesn’t JUST HAVE TO BE USED IN MATHS. Mathematical concepts and vocabulary are used in
our lives all the time.

This was another interesting word that caused some interesting responses. I said to the kids, what does ‘half mean’.
They came up with these responses, ‘fraction’, ‘when something is big you half it’, ‘halving between two people’,
‘cutting something in half’, ‘when you have a whole and you cut it in half, it’s equal’. There were some interesting
thoughts that came from this word.

What are other things the word half could be associated with or mean? Half an hour is 30 minutes. You could say
someone is ‘half’ the way there, etc.


There were 4 people, in my class of around 30, that contributed to this discussion. So keep in mind this is only a
fraction of the classes ideas. These 4 people are the same people that often share ideas. This has made me think…
how do we get those quieter kids to share? How do I make sure everyone’s voices are heard.

There is limited, deep understanding of mathematical vocab in my class. It seems that there is basic
understanding of these terms. How am I going to stretch and tease out these words for greater understanding?

In short, I have a lot of work to do. I am excited to begin my Inquiry for 2018! Watch this space!


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