Newsletter – The Insightful Classroom

The Insightful Classroom

Welcome to The Insightful Classroom

Practical, thought-provoking and easy-to-read articles, tips and techniques for primary maths teachers and HOCs – new issues also available by email.
Remember to tell us your ideas for stories!

Issue 1 – “ACARA, Problem-Solving and How to Grade”:

  • Problem-solving approaches (including support students)
  • How the Australian Curriculum changes grading
  • How to….make pie graphs without equations
  • Insightful Learner, Inspired Teacher
  • NAPLAN – Evil, dirty, nasty – and surprisingly useful
  • A Word to HOCs – on preparing staff for the Australian Curriculum

Issue 2 – “The ACARA Issue”:

  • Problem-Solving: Not just word problems or simple application
  • Improving Student Reasoning: The antidote to “I just knew it”
  • Ask the experts: Differentiation
  • Teaching tips: Decimal Numbers
  • AAMT branches endorse and promote Back-to-Front Maths
  • A Word to HOCS – on chatting with Prof. Peter Sullivan about the efficiency and effectiveness of problem-based teaching

Issue 3 – “ACARA changes, Fixing Misconceptions and more”:

  • Teaching Tips: Decoding Algebra
  • Fractional Misconceptions
  • Understanding vs Fluency: working out the differences that ACARA brings
  • How to review mathematics resources using ACARA and a review of EQ’s C2C
  • Interview with Richard Korbosky, president of Mathematical Association of Western Australia
  • A Word to HOCs – on achieving change with resistant staff

Issue 4 – “The NAPLAN Issue“:

  • Understanding NAPLAN Trends – what you need to know before May
  • Weird things that kids think… decimal numbers
  • Teaching tips: subtraction
  • Developing NAPLAN understanding through asking non-standard questions
  • MASA president Carol Moule
  • Expert Advise – on handling kids who just want to do worksheets

Issue 5 –  “The School Issues…Issue”:

  • Behaviour management in problem-based lessons – three simple principles to make behaviour management in maths a non-issue
  • Using your classroom setup to create learning opportunities – make differentiation much simpler by just arranging your furniture differently
  • Why gifted students end up in support maths and how to find them – with links to 7 simple diagnostic tasks for assessing Understanding rather than Fluency
  • Training your staff: keys for implementing successful professional development for both whole-school and individual staff members
  • Guest article by Margery Jorgensen: Great teaching and how to create it
  • Number facts with a twist – simple ideas for making multiplication facts fun

Issue 6 – “The Technology Issue”:

  • How the drive for interactive maths software is missing the mark
    Part One: The problem with existing technology
    Part two: Addressing the problem – a new model for new requirements
    Part three: An effective solution
  • Great ideas sent in by you!Multiplicative Thinking…and a collection of smiles
  • Engagement vs. Entertainment –  Maths and the YouTube Phenomenon
  • Timely Thoughts on Teaching Analogue Time – It is not every day that I meet someone who seriously challenges my thinking…

Issue 7 – “The Assessment Issue – Part One”:

  • Demystifying assessment
  • What the policies say and what that really means
  • Deciding on a grade
  • Reader question:  Are the proficiencies all equally weighted?
  • Student sample work

Issue 8 – “The Assessment Issue – Part Two”:

  • Final grading from different assessment pieces
  • Moderating
  • Fitting it all in
  • Making line-calls on student work
  • NAPLAN success stories

Issue 9 – “Our Favourite Things in Maths”:

  • The favourite maths teaching moment – that didn’t happen in a maths class!
  • Favourite way to teach coordinate geometry
  • Favourite maths books
  • Favourite iPad apps
  • Games for teaching partitioning

Issue 10 – “Starting Strong”:

  • How to make an extra hour of teaching time (every week!)
  • Two critical number concepts to get right in F-2 and how to do it
  • Rotation groups and how to use them – including must-have resources to make now and use all year
  • My Must-Have resources to make now and use all year

Issue 11 – “Middle Schooling”:

  • Critical number concepts to get right in upper primary (including a common misconception many teachers have themselves!)
  • Depression from a child’s perspective – Kathryn’s story
  • Hand out for parents
  • Awesome maths investigations for kids in the middle years
  • Why Richard kept sneaking into my classroom: The link between risk-taking and engagement

Issue 12 – “The Intervention Issue”:

  • Eight-Lesson Intervention Project – Results of a model project for rapid improvement
  • Extract from the new “Fixing Misconceptions in Fractions” book
  • A word to HOCs – how to build and use an extension box
  • Making rotation groups work

Issue 13 – “The On-Balance Issue”:

  • The danger of “either/or” teaching.
  • Keeping life in balance
  • Teaching ideas: length
  • Tips for teaching multiplication and division
  • This year in review
  • A word to HOCs: The power of “yet”!


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