- solving multi-step problems
- answering multiple choice questions
Each group spent a lot of time discussing the 'why'. We talked about the need for more multi-step problems in classrooms, beyond the problem solving Fridays or Tuesdays. We also discussed the need for the:
- consistent use of concrete materials (manipulatives)
- modelling of explicit mathematical language by the classroom teacher (e.g., expression, equation, equality)
- application of the Four Step Problem Solving Model (i.e., understand the problem, make a plan, carry out the plan, reflect on the solution)
- modelling of appropriate problem solving strategies (e.g., act it out, make a model, draw a diagram, guess and check, make a table)
One of the biggest discussion points in all the groups was around the spotlight placed on Grade 3 and 6 teachers. They're feeling the pressure! EQAO has renamed the assessment to send the clear message that the Primary Division Assessment involves K-3 teachers, and the Junior Division Assessment involves 4-6 teachers. Intermediate teachers are not off the hook either! Your students are coming into your classroom with a wealth of knowledge and understanding that they learned from their K-6 teachers.
As classroom teachers, we all need to understand where our students came from and where they're going.
Start by looking at the assessment booklets. You can find them (Primary, Junior, Grade 9) in the SE2 Math Lab conference on TEL.
Thoughts? Questions? Leave me a comment (it's completely anonymous!).