Friday, 26 May 2017

Problem Solving Approach - Increases student participation and engagement

Week 1-4
Goal: Students are not listening during Maths time. They talk but not Maths talk, they are talking about other things. I need to know how am I going to get them to listen and participated actively in group discussion.

Dated: 1 May 2017

Teaching & Learning  (Pedagogy & Ako)
How are you going to do it? What are the deliberate steps.   
(Include DAT, resources, PLD readings, support etc.)
Knowing the learner - LINK

Professional discussions with colleagues

Observation notes (sometimes share with TA about what I have noticed)

Student work and sharing of understanding
(Gap analysis and back mapping - depends on SEA test and anecdotal notes)
Maths planning sheets LINK

Multiple opportunities:  ipad, Problem Solving Approach, Using of materials, Responsibility - managing behaviour, and build a sense of belonging (being inclusive)

Indicators of progress
(What I’m looking for that shows I’m making a difference to student progress)
- all students will participate in terms of talk
- minimal teacher talk and more student talk
- students to elaborate their sentences a bit more
- confident in recording their work on ipads

- confidently use materials to help them explain their thinking

Problem Solving Approach

5 Parts to a Collaborative Problem Solving Lesson

Launch the Problem

Independent Thinking

Pair Share

Group Discussion

Link the knowledge to the strategy used

5 Practises 

Anticipating likely student responses to challenging mathematical tasks

Monitoring students’ actual responses to the tasks while students work on the tasks in pairs or small groups

Selecting particular students to present their mathematical work during the whole-class discussion

Sequencing the student responses that will be displayed in a specific order

Connecting different students’ responses and connecting

the responses to key mathematical ideas

I have been using this approach for a while and I quiet like it. Problem Solving Approach always go together with Mixed Ability Groupings. It is really hard to establish such approach but I reckon that this is really helpful especially trying to increase student talk and student understanding numbers.

- My students year level, they needed to know basic Maths knowledge
- It took a while for the little students to get used to the process
- Creating Rich problem that encourages talking / sharing
- Finding a student who has the courage to talk or share at the beginning
- setting classroom norm that helps managing behaviours

- positive attitudes
- cooperative skills

- interesting and enjoyable.
- student talk increases
- student helping each other in their own language
- no need to teach Maths knowledge separately
- students learn through talking 
- less misbehaving
- students see meaning in numbers
- students are able to make connections between numbers and real life 
- teachers plan collaboratively once a week - share ideas and create problems together
- increases teachers' knowledge about Maths content & curriculum

Problem Solving Approach helps students engagement especially with Pasifika students. 


  1. Talk moves is such a clever way to have our Year 0 - 1 students get familiar with the Maths Terminology. Well done!
    - Ken Wilson

    1. Thanks, Ken. You could try this in your class too. I am sure you will see the difference that I have mentioned above.