Monthly Archives: June 2010

Contiki Tour Maths

Editorial Note:  This blog post has been sitting in the draft box since 22nd May. With reports, professional development and life in general, I put it on the back burner for a few weeks…..

contiki_busIt’s a Thursday morning and I am working with my numeracy coach.

It’s nearing mid-year report time and I want to confirm my judgements about students on the topics we have covered earlier in the year.

I run my eyes over the students assessments. Many of areas are blank. Many of the areas we had “covered” Topics we had covered early in the year.

“We teach Contiki Tour Maths”, I proclaim.

I go on to explain. “The way we teach maths is just like travelling on a Contiki Tour. We climb on a bus, travel around, take a look round and the good stuff and before you know it, we jump back on and move on to the next town. That’s how we teach Maths. We pick a topic, do stuff with it for two weeks then move onto the next topic.”

Our discussion didn’t solve anything. Instead it left me asking more questions.

If I know the way I teach maths isn’t working, what does good maths teaching and learning look like ? How is this structured ?

Is it better to not to teach some concepts deeply and develop solid understandings . Who then decides what gets left out ?

How does this work come reporting time when you need to assess across all of the dimensions (number; measurement , chance and data; space; working mathematically; and structure)of mathematics ?

So, how do you teach maths ?