The first lessons we developed were language rich but content poor and haphazardly sequenced. Our belief that mathematical learning is vertical, and each concept builds on the previous meant that a scope and sequence needed to be investigated and a structure formulated to ensure teaching and learning success.
The planner
A planner was developed based on the teaching sequence followed in Accelerated Literacy and a mathematical sequence based on the Big Ideas in Number was identified. A process of backwards planning was utilised which entailed the initial four project teachers planning and teaching a sequence of lessons and then gathering together to critique, alter and resequence where necessary.
Lesson/teaching sequence
Lessons were videotaped, viewed, critiqued and reflected upon by the Cluster group which led to a formalisation of the teaching sequence and a focus on gaps in teacher knowledge.
The teaching sequence (see diagram below) provided each lesson with a structure that quickly became familiar to the students and enabled teaching to occur in an environment where all shared a common purpose.
Lesson Sequence

Description

Low Order / Intro Activity (510mins)

In Low Order the teacher starts the process of ‘pointing the students’ brains’ towards the maths concept to be taught. The Intro Activities are included as a warm up to tune the students into mathematical thinking. Initial activities in the Place Value unit are linked to earlier Trusting the Count learning.

Goal / Purpose of lesson

Explicitly stated using a shared / common language.

High Order / Modelling (1015mins)

The learning task is explained and modelled by the teacher in this time. Links are made to prior learning and shared explicitly with the students. Relevant vocabulary and language is explicitly taught, used and reinforced consistently throughout. Teachers need to ensure that all students understand the task before moving to the next stage (application).

Application (20 mins)

Children are set to task. Teacher observes and provides scaffolds where required. Questioning is vital during observation as it can highlight *handoveras well as teaching points that can be addressed immediately or planned for in future lesson(s). This time provides the opportunity for the teacher to work with a small focus group. Anecdotal notes can be gathered at this time.

Joint conceptualising / meaning making (10 mins)

Sharing and discussion of mathematical strategies used. Teacher’s need to be aware of the questions that they ask and the manner in which they ask and answer them. Preformulation and reconceptualisation are central to the success of each lesson. Look for *handover at this time. Use this discussion as a guide when planning the next lesson.

Diagram: The Lesson Sequence we developed.
Over the course of the last four years we have developed a comprehensive teaching resource that uses scaffolded pedagogy to deliver the content of the Big Ideas in Number. We have seen an embedding of scaffolding pedagogy across the four sites and a deepening of mathematics content knowledge. Teacher’s now have a solid repertoire and understand the how, what and why of classroom mathematics.
*Handover: evidence of student understanding shared throughout the lesson.