Our Lady of Mt Carmel (OLMC) Waterloo has found the perfect equation to lift students’ confidence and skills in mathematics.
One third of the school’s classroom teachers have reached the highest level of accreditation in Sydney Catholic Schools’ ground-breaking Mathematical Expertise & Excellence (MEE) program since it was introduced in the school in 2018.
“MEE supports young learners with the foundations for numeracy as it focuses on an exploration model, where learners build on prior knowledge by exploring mathematical concepts,” OLMC principal Margaret Holles said.
“Learners have the opportunity to connect new concepts with content they have already mastered” – Margaret Holles
HOW IT WORKS
The program’s research-based approach gives teachers extensive professional development so they can guide students to adopt the communication, problem solving and reasoning skills that are at the heart of being numerate.
By the end of the 2021 school year, all teachers at OLMC will have completed the 108 hours of professional learning needed to reach a proficiency level in the MEE program.
FISHBOWLS AND SPYWALKS: MAKING MATHS FUN
As part of the MEE program, OLMC students receive challenges in maths lessons, known as launch tasks. They get a five-minute introduction to the lesson and an hour to work on these launch tasks.
‘Spy walks’ are among the strategies students use to solve these tasks. This is where they are encouraged to ask, or to observe, their classroom peers working out a problem on a whiteboard, known as the ‘showcase’ space.
If the teacher wants to draw attention to a student who is working well, or feels others need support in reaching an answer, they can use the ‘fish bowl’ technique.
For this, the whole class will listen as the teacher questions a student about how they got to a certain point in their work. As a group they will then solve the next stage together.
ADDING LIFE SKILLS
Ms Holles said teachers have marvelled at how engaged and confident students become while completing the MEE program’s ‘launch tasks’.
“During the lesson, the students show independence,” Ms Holles said.
“They know where the materials are to collect when required to solve a problem, and develop a real-life understanding and connection to mathematical concepts.
“These opportunities provide a foundation for mathematical skills and concepts that become more sophisticated as students progress in their learning.”
START YOUR CHILD’S LEARNING JOURNEY
OLMC Waterloo is enrolling now! Click the link below for more information or to register for a 2022 Open Day and to start your child’s maths learning journey today.
The 2022 Open Days are on Tuesday 22 February from 5pm-6.30pm and on Tuesday 8 March from 5pm-6pm.