NRICH Teacher Research Group

This is a group set up in response to the positive feedback from previous NRICH conferences

The aims are:

* to continue to develop problem solving skills and share good practice

* develop mastery strategies within the context of NRICH

* to implement a lesson study approach

 

Our NRICH challenge activity of the month (May)

Heads and Feet  http://nrich.maths.org/924

 

Stage: 1

LA1

 

LA2   LA3
 LA4  LA5

The children in my Year 4 class loved this activity even though there is a wide range of abilities. Some children completed it quickly but struggled with explaining their solutions.

Ways to support and challenge

Other children who further along the road to become, ‘expert reasoners’ were able to have a go at writing their own problems.

Possible ways to support

Most of the children drew their ideas on whiteboards. However for younger children maybe having some farm animals to hand and adapting the problem to whatever resources you have, may be a good way around this.

For some children with SEND, I used a sheet that I laminated so children could be clear about how many animals they had counted.

 

How could it be adapted to Key Stage 2?

If you have a go at this activity in your own classes please let me know how it went.

Let me know your thoughts on what you would like to have in this group.

Best wishes

Lisa

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

You may like to read these two articles from NRICH on developing reasoning skills.

1) Reasoning: Identifying Opportunities

http://nrich.maths.org/10990

2) Reasoning: the Journey from Novice to Expert (Article)

http://nrich.maths.org/11336

 

See below for previous month's challenges and reflections

March 2017: GOT IT

Read more...

Key Stage 3 Reasoning

Please complete the application form or alternatively to attend session 1 complete the Googleform, please note funding will only be available to schools once a completed application form is retumed. 

Googleform link to attend session 1

Link to application form

Link to information pdf document

Mathematical Reasoning at KS3 National Collaborative Project

All Maths Hubs are currently recruiting schools to take part in the second year of the Maths Hubs National Collaborative Project on supporting mathematical reasoning at Key Stage 3 (KS3). This document provides details of the project and how to apply.

 

Background

Developing mathematical reasoning is one of the key aims of both the new National Curriculum and the new GCSE, and is currently a focus for the national Maths Hubs Network. It is essential that schools develop students who are able to think mathematically and solve problems in a range of contexts. Students need to be able to articulate their reasoning in order to deepen their understanding of the mathematics and develop solutions to problems.

In 2013-14, the NCETM led a successful pilot project that examined multiplicative reasoning at KS3. The professional development model used was commended by the external evaluators. In 2015-16, the Maths Hubs Network built upon this project by establishing a National Collaborative Project to support schools that wanted to develop their approaches to supporting mathematical reasoning across their KS3 teaching. The first cohort of over 180 schools across the 35 Maths Hubs took part in Work Groups and because of the positive impact of the first year, many of these schools are continuing to work together for a second year as they embed approaches.

Maths Hubs are now keen to widen the opportunity for more schools to participate in the project and so are establishing Work Groups for a second cohort of schools.

 

What does the project involve?

Each Maths Hub establishes a Work Group, normally involving 5-8 schools. A key feature of the leadership of each hub Work Group is the HEI partner bringing research expertise into the learning of mathematics and teacher professional development alongside that of a PD lead. The Work Group uses the TIME(teachers improving maths education) team professional development model which combines workshop and departmental activities.

Each school nominates two lead teachers to work with teachers from the other schools in four workshop sessions during the school year. The workshops will offer a small selection of reasoning tasks as the focus of the professional development. In between the workshops, the lead teachers then work with their departments to test and evaluate the impact of the reasoning activities using a lesson study approach. As the cycle of workshops and departmental work continues, each department identifies the approaches that they wish to embed as part of their ongoing practice.

 

What are the benefits for participating schools?

Participating in the Work Group is intended to provide the following benefits to participant schools:

  • teachers will deepen their understanding of the subject knowledge and pedagogy related to the teaching and learning of mathematical reasoning

  • teachers will plan more effectively to address the reasoning component within all lessons drawing on a wider repertoire of appropriate activities

  • the lead teachers will develop their own PD leadership skills and the department will establish effective PD models to support ongoing improvements

  • the department will identify resources and approaches that can be built into the schemes of work

  • pupils will improve their confidence, fluency and logical precision when they engage in mathematical reasoning and appreciate more the centrality of reasoning when doing and learning mathematics

 

Who can apply?

The Work Group is intended for schools with maths departments that are fully committed to developing mathematical reasoning at Key Stage 3. In particular, departments should be committed to and have the capacity for engaging fully in this development work during 2016-17. The nominated lead teachers should be experienced KS3 teachers who are keen to develop their own practice and to support their colleagues as well. They would be expected to work closely with the head of department in leading change in the department. (Note: The head of department could be one of the nominated teachers.)

 

What are the expectations of participating schools?

Schools chosen to participate in the Work Group commit to the following expectations:

  • The two nominated lead teachers will participate fully in all the workshops

  • The head of department working with the lead teachers will ensure that the department carries out the gap tasks between the workshops including departmental discussion, collaborative planning and lesson study

  • The school senior leadership will support the departmental leadership in participating fully in the project and in maximising the benefit to the department

  • The project Work Group Lead and / or the HEI partner representative will be welcome to visit the school and observe mathematics lessons in which gap task activities are being used in the classroom.

 

What is the funding or charging for the Work Group?

There is no charge for schools that participate fully in the Work Group. The Maths Hub meets the cost of running the Work Group.

 

How do schools apply to take part?

Schools interested in applying to be part of a Work Group in 2016-17 should complete the expression of interest form found at this link and submit to Patricia Parish at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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KS2&3 Problem solving and Bar model research

We are looking for schools to take up a FREE trial of the Bar Logik software as part of this workgroup.

South Yorkshire Maths Hub is looking for teachers of key stage 2 and key stage 3 to join others across the country in delivering lessons based on some of the principles outlined below. This is a classroom scoping research project aimed at measuring the effectiveness of this strategy and associated resources. Schools do not have to use the BarLogik resource to take part as SYMH is looking for schools to deliver the teaching with and without the benefit of this practice app.

 

How does my school benefit from this?

Participating schools will be given resources to deliver a series of lessons aimed at developing pupils' ability to access and succesfully complete worded problems.

Schools will be encouraged to try out these and similar lessons to explore the use of bar models in problem solving and invited to trial the Bar Logik practice app with some or all of their students.

Non-participating schools will be able to access the resulting resources and exemplar materials produced by the work group via this website and IRIS Connect.

Below are the answers to some FAQs and some important information about accessing the preliminary materials.

 

What is the cost of the workgroup?:

The cost for engagement in this workgroup is FREE

 

Can I choose which classes to involve?:

Yes you can select which and as many or as few classes as you feel appropriate for your school.

The age groups to which this is appropriate is up to schools to decide but we suggest Y3 to Y8 are the most likely.

 

How many lessons will this involve?:

This depends on the classes you choose but we suggest no less than 4 lessons to around 10.

Schools can decide how often they want the lessons to occur but the proposal will be 1 per week for a set period of time.

 

Do I have to use the BarLogik app?:

No this is up to schools.

We are interested in measuring the impact of BarLogik so we would like some schools to use BarLogik and some not to as a control.

 

What is the cost of the Barlogik app?:

The price quoted on the Studysmart webpage is £100 + VAT. However South Yorkshire schools have a 25% discount.

To get this discount book through SYMH by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Schools can claim a free licence for 2016/7

 

Can I have a look at the materials before deciding?:

YES The materials for this will be accessed through IRIS Connect which I know many of you are taking up the offer of a FREE content licencefor your school.

We realise this will may take some time to organise, so to enable schools to access the BarLogik group and see the resources and support materials created so far you can use the temporary login to access a shared account.

Username: SYMH

Password: password

You will need to select the GROUPS tab on the top menu bar and then BARLOGIK

 

How can I engage with this workgroup?:

Please email Pete Sides to register an interest without commitment on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Introduction to the Bar Modelling workgroup

Bar modelling is a strategy increasingly being used by teachers to help pupils visualise the calculations they are addressing in their studies so that the bar model (pictorial) sits alongside the number sentence or equation (abstract).

Used in many “mastery” systems this pictorial representation can be facilitated to help pupils develop and expand their conceptual understanding of arithmetic, but can also be used to translate word problems into a diagrammatic format. This allows pupils to see more clearly the route through a multi-step question.

Bar modelling gives pupils a method of representing calculations pictorially, helping them gain an understanding of the underlying principles rather than just learning a series of algorithmic procedures.

BarLogik is a framework of increasingly sophisticated problems that provide teachers with a progression of reasoning development that can be addressed in the classroom and practiced at home.

BarLogik provides a series of exercises in both printable worksheet and web-app format. These are designed to help pupils understand and apply the principles of bar modelling in a series of varying puzzles. The suggested teacher strategy can be used to introduce an aspect of reasoning or pupils can be challenged independently to use their own logic.

 

Why is BarLogik useful?

With the increasing use of bar modelling as a method of conceptualising arithmetic in Primary and Secondary maths, the need for resources to aid teachers in implementing this technique has also increased, a need which BarLogik aims to address.

BarLogik is divided into a series of stages, providing a structure designed to support teachers in guiding their pupils’ development. These stages’ intuitive design and the simplicity of the early stages can also help motivate learners to tackle more advanced situations and techniques as they progress.

These levels/stages can be either explored in the classroom in connection with normal curriculum progression, or used to challenge pupils out of class through independent puzzle activities. This could be particularly useful for older pupils who have not met bar models previously - tackling the earlier stages is a way for them to become familiar with bar modelling without taking up lesson time.

The printable resources allow for practice within class or as homework, whilst the app adds an element of motivational challenge that pupils can both practice their fluency at one level whilst tackling the logic of a more advanced stage.

 

How do the offline resources and web-app work?

The BarLogik strategy is complemented by paper-based resources and digital exercises. The former can be used to introduce bar modelling to pupils, integrate BarLogik into their curriculum and support teachers in other classroom activities. Examples of suggested activities are available for teachers in the supporting materials. To use the online app, only a modern browser and a computer is required.

The BarLogik app enables pupils to practice and develop their newfound skills outside the classroom and under timed conditions, with the aim of providing increasing proficiency and motivation as challenge scales with ability. This also has the advantage of allowing parents the opportunity to join their children on the learning journey and understand this new learning methodology themselves.

The online app will in time give teachers the opportunity to easily generate more exercise sheets based on their specific needs, combining any number of randomised questions from any of the stages. This is particularly useful if you need more than the different exercise sheets currently provided on TES resource page or if you would like to generate questions with specific number intervals.

 

How does BarLogik fit into my curriculum?

At all ages the development of reasoning is crucial and yet often overlooked. BarLogik allows teachers to address this aspect. Teachers can choose to use the resources whilst focusing on supporting arithmetic skills or use them in a problem solving scenario helping children to use and apply these skills.

 

Foundation Stage & Key Stage 1

In early years and the start of KS1 teachers would be expected to make much greater use of manipulatives. We strongly advise the use of BarLogik only once the bar model has been introduced alongside other pictorial representations such as the number line.

Once the pupils have an understanding of the basic model and have mastered the first principles of addition and subtraction they can tackle the BarLogik stages.

 

Key Stage 1 pupils with bar model experience & Key Stage 2

By now pupils will either have been already introduced to the bar model strategy or will be mature enough to tackle stage 1 without prior experience. Teachers are encouraged to use a real life example familiar to the children in words alongside a bar model diagram and an appropriate number sentence.

Pupils could be asked to spot the links between these three representations and discuss the process they would use to find the missing value. Teachers are encouraged to ask the children to write a new calculation they could use to find the answer.

Finally the students should be able to spot the connection between their new calculation and the bar model and explain and justify how they arrived at this.

This process could then be repeated with a new problem and at an appropriate time teachers should bring in each variation of that stage’s problem so children have experienced them all before they start to practice.

Teachers are encouraged to mix the procedural practice using the worksheets with worded problems and remember the bar model is a tool for students to use not an end itself.

 

Key Stage 3

Older students can be introduced to BarLogik as above but it is more likely that the early stages can be given to the pupils as a series of puzzles to tackle themselves independently followed by a group discussion to summarise what they have discovered by working through them.

Teachers will then be able to quickly decide which stage is the most appropriate for the class to focus on together.

The process of comparing worded problems, models and calculations is still appropriate for older students with perhaps a greater emphasis of generalisation and introduction of algebraic terms.

 

Read more...

KS1&2 Reasoning & problem solving using NRICH

For the latest ideas and this month's challlenge - see Lisa's page

"This was the most valuable course I have been on in many years."

This work group is a repeat of last year's joint venture between South Yorkshire Maths Hub and the NRICH team, aimed at developing the mathematical reasoning of primary pupils. The engaging and very much "hands on" launch event took place at the Source Conference Centre, Meadowhall in late November led once more by the enthusiastic Fran Watson.

How do schools benefit from this? 

Over 60 schools from across the region have been involved in the project so far. The days' faciliation will be paid for through SYMH funding although there is usually a small charge to cover the cost of the venue and refreshments.

Participating schools are encouraged to contribute to a network of ideas and support which can be shared both online and at the half-termly teaching for mastery network meetings. It is anticipated the participating schools will support the development of a resource of tried and tested ideas and examples for other schools, using NRICH activities to foster the elements on the reasoning spectrum  http://nrich.maths.org/11336

Some comments from last year's participants

I found the session really useful. I have been using the ideas and website in my own practise through and across the year group in which I am working this year.

People know it's out there but for whatever reason are reluctant to use it. The event enabled me to look and have a go then feedback to staff. It was great one of the more useful events I have attended. 

Definitely worth repeating! Had huge impact on how we teach reasoning particularly with regards to progression of skills.

This was the most valuable course that I have been on in many years. This day provided training on using the website - but not just for resources (how I have always used it) but for planning too and gave us the time (a luxury in a teacher's schedule) to go through, with guidance, navigating the website. The session also gave us time to actually complete NRICH activities and advice on how to differentiate these activities to suit the different age range and abilities.

 

How can I engage with this workgroup?
 
The next full day launch event will be held at Porter Croft School on Friday 26 May 2017 .
Details of the cost and how to book will be released shortly.

The next follow on event on for participating schools will be held at the Source, Meadowhall on Thursday 25 May 2017, when we will be delighted to welcome back Fran Watson to share with her what we've achieved so far!

Read more...

Reasoning & Problem Solving

Associated work groups

KS1&2 Problem solving & reasoning using NRICH materials

KS2&3 Problem solving & bar modelling research

KS3 Mathematical reasoning

Maths is so much more than .....

To many, maths concerns itself with mathematical techniques and procedures, but fluency in these procedural skills is only part of the national curriculum.

The development of mathematical reasoning is fundamental to the development of a pupil’s progress and being able to use reasoning to solve problems is essential to not only achievement in examinations but being able to apply what has been learned of maths in the real world.

There are a number of ways that teachers can incorporate problem solving and reasoning into everyday maths lessons and the South Yorkshire Maths Hub aims to support teachers to develop their own practices to reflect the importance of these aspects of mathematical learning.

Read more...

There's more to NRICH

The NRICH website is rightly recognised as one of those "can't do without" resources for Maths teachers.

 

SYMH have a group of schools looking specifically at using NRICH resources but we encourage all teachers to search for relevant resources to support them in developing both reasoning and problem solving skills. As well as resources both paper based and interactive there are thought provoking articles that address key aspects of mathematical learning.

For example the article on reasoning can be found via this link http://nrich.maths.org/11336

NRICH Teacher January Newsletter 2016

A new website WILD.MATHS http://wild.maths.org/ has also been launched by the NRICH team, aimed specifically for Maths Clubs and independent research into interesting and stimulating topics. We strongly recommend teachers bring this to their students' attention.

For teachers and older students is the PLUS+ magazine website that is well worth a look. https://plus.maths.org/content/

 

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NRICH Teacher Research Group

13-02-2017 Hits:147

This is a group set up in response to the positive feedback from previous NRICH conferences The aims are: * to continue to develop problem solving skills and share good practice...

Read more

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Please complete the application form or alternatively to attend session 1 complete the Googleform, please note funding will only be available to schools once a completed application form is retumed.  Googleform...

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We are looking for schools to take up a FREE trial of the Bar Logik software as part of this workgroup. South Yorkshire Maths Hub is looking for teachers of key...

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