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Make Math Moments Academy Forums Mini-Course Reflections Spiralling Math Class Wanted – Buddies to Spiral Curriculum

• Wanted – Buddies to Spiral Curriculum

Posted by on June 28, 2019 at 6:54 pm

Hello, I am keen to spiral my curriculum. I am in Australia, so we are half way through the year. I have been playing with chunking the curriculum and doing weekly check-in’s. I would love to have someone who is attempting spiralling or has done this so we could share experiences and ideas. It is the year 7 Australian curriculum I am playing with. I have been playing with patterning – what stays the same and what changes to build up to rules and understanding of coefficients and constants. I am about to introduce geometry (triangles and angles on parallel lines) and am weaving in fractions, building to multiplication and division (covered addition and subtraction, but they are still struggling, so will re-visit through multiplication and division), and will play with area using the area model and link that back into geometry. I will still need to think about chance and data, but chance will come in with fractions, decimals and fractions, if I can think of the right way to do it. Anyone willing to work with me?

3 Members · 17 Replies
• 17 Replies
• Robin Dubiel

Member
July 1, 2019 at 3:01 pm

Hi, Vanessa.  I’m not sure if year 7 “translates” as Gr. 7 here in Canada, but the content/outcomes you’re addressing sound familiar.  I attempted some spiralling this year myself.  Our provincial curriculum is divided into four strands: Number, Patterns and Relations, Shape and Space, and Statistics and Probability. Each strand has several outcomes attached to it.  In our three terms, I did my best to address outcomes from each strand (sometimes the same outcome multiple times) in order that students could build on their prior knowledge.  I played around with Kyle’s template for planning, and I used some other tools in my toolkit.  I’d love to talk shop with you about this!  I am heading out for family camping this week, but maybe we could do a slow chat and swap thinking/ideas that way?  Looking forward to hearing from you.

• Vanessa Wright

Member
July 2, 2019 at 9:24 pm

That would be great Robin. Yes Grade 7 (12-13 year olds). What would be the best way to have contact? Email, through this chat, or message through this group?

• Kyle Pearce

July 2, 2019 at 11:06 pm

I love seeing partnerships forming from the other side of the world!

Would love if you kept your partnership public for folks to lurk and learn on the side.

@VanessaWright since you’re halfway through the year, doing some regular check-ins and bringing back ideas throughout the year seems like a super low hanging fruit you can jump all over.

Would love to keep listening for how things progress here…

• Vanessa Wright

Member
July 4, 2019 at 4:13 pm

Hello Kyle, I added some stuff, but not Iâ€™m not sure how to tag people. I have a query in the thread for you, but wasnâ€™t sure if you would see it.

• Vanessa Wright

Member
July 4, 2019 at 4:07 pm

I thought I would start by talking about the â€˜Check Insâ€™. It is double sided and has 4 questions we worked on during the week and 4 that reflect on topics covered previously. We have 3x 70 min lessons each week and I found the check ins were hijacking the lesson and done students needed the whole time to do the work, whilst others covered it in 20. (Mixed ability class). So I decided to send it home in our first lesson of the week, collect it in the last, Mark it over the weekend, create focus groups for our first weekly lesson to build skills or extend, depending on the groups need (a consolidating lesson). That leaves me 2 lessons a week for rich, investigations, e.g – 3 act maths, ReSolve, RIME, Maths 300. Iâ€™m happy to share these resources, but would love to know what you use as well? But, I was still spending 3hrs on the weekend marking, sorting, recording, grouping, and finding relevant consolidation tasks. So this week I decided to create a making sheet with  well explained answers calculated in a variety of ways. I will spend some lesson time getting students to peer asses and write down answers. Then they will receive there own where they can fill in s tick box that lets me know if they need more time, almost there or feel confident. Basically taking control of there own learning. I will only need to record, group and organise resources, saves me time and they get a richer experience. Any feedback or ideas would be great. Thanks.

• Vanessa Wright

Member
July 4, 2019 at 4:09 pm

@kylepearce it would be great to have an option to attach documents in the thread so we could share what we are doing.

• Vanessa Wright

Member
July 4, 2019 at 4:10 pm
• Robin Dubiel

Member
July 9, 2019 at 3:13 pm

Hi!  I survived family camping!  (It was fantastic; weather was perfect, family was happy, played lots of Catan, and hung out in the sunshine!)

I’ve been thinking about this a LOT.  First, I need to tell you that all this math exploration got rocking and rolling with Jo Boaler’s “Mathematical Mindsets” book (2015).  That led me to https://www.youcubed.org/ (they also have an excellent Facebook group), where I discovered all kinds of awesome about growth mindset and the fun and team thinking that should be Math.  Then, last summer (through Twitter and a colleague) I discovered https://tapintoteenminds.com/ (Thanks, @kylepearce!) and watched the video series on spiralling.  And here I am, trying to combine it all in a way that is about the right approach at the right time for learners.

That said, I began the year with lessons from YouCubed’s “Week of Inspirational Math”.  These lessons set the ground work for our year by building an atmosphere of safety (we are ALL mathematicians) through science (brain research) and low-floor high-ceiling tasks. After that, I wish I could say that the whole year was fantastically spiralled and easy to follow – but when is that ever the case?  I reviewed student data gathered from the previous year, looked at connections between outcomes in our curriculum, and jumped in.  I am going to end this post by telling you I am going back into my planning to try and outline the sequence of concepts/outcomes as I addressed them. Maybe that will help with your original question about algebraic expressions and equations?  Talk to you soon!

• Vanessa Wright

Member
July 17, 2019 at 6:02 pm

Thanks Robin, I only just read this. I have been busy as well. I do believe that we have travelled a similar journey, youcubed, then the facebook group, which led me to Kyle and Jon. I love their podcasts. They give me motivation and reminders and get me thinking about how I can do maths better. Another must do site is NRich, https://nrich.maths.org/ . <span style=”font-family: inherit; font-size: inherit;”>Next month we have our annual mathematics conference and I am organising it. Big job, so I may not be able to be here as much as I would like. Just about to read your next instalment.</span>

• Robin Dubiel

Member
July 16, 2019 at 4:37 pm

Hi, Vanessa.  Thanks for being patient with my delayed replies. I am sharing a link to my first attempt at spiralling this past fall (warts and all).  I look back at it now and am proud of some things (like the games, open-ended tasks, WIM lessons) but cringe at others (what I planned for assessment and how I actually assessed did not always match).  This needs all kinds of on-going work, but it’s a start.  You should be able to view the google document at this link:

It includes outcomes from all four strands of our Math curriculum, as well as building growth mindset and routines. I’d love your input.

• Vanessa Wright

Member
July 17, 2019 at 6:12 pm

Good idea to use Google Docs. It wouldn’t let me in, but I have sent a request, so it might ask you to do something your end. It would be nice to talk about the type of tasks and thing that you do. I do have lots, but I am not sure, as always, if they are the best etc. Maybe we can look at some tasks and break them down and find out where they fit.

My data collecting is going very well. I might use drop box if that works for you? Here is the link:

Tell me if that works?

I have put in a check in and the one I have answered so the students can use that to mark their own. I know it isn’t awesome, so that is why I am sharing it, hopefully we can do better (or on a positive note, maybe I am being to hard on myself). It also shows you the topics that we are doing in class, even though they only see this format with check in’s and Tuesday’s work as the rest of the time we do exploration type tasks where they have to use their toolbox of ideas and reasoning (I hope that is what I am achieving).

• Robin Dubiel

Member
August 31, 2019 at 5:57 pm

And just like that, Vanessa, almost two months has gone by!  My absence is a reflection of all the time I’ve gotten to spend outside this summer without my computer.  Yay!

How are things going with your check ins?  What adjustments might you have made?  You mentioned that time seemed to be a factor (for marking and such).

I’d love to hear how things are going.  I plan to be around much more as the school year has started!  Hope to hear from you soon.

• Vanessa Wright

Member
March 28, 2020 at 8:30 pm

Well Robin, I know. First log in for a while myself. So I started chunking and then spiralling a bit better towards the end of the year last year. The Check In sheets worked magic and i can really notice the student in my class this year (moving from 7 to 8) who had me last year have retained more information and the students who didn’t have me, I have to go back and re-teach in so much more detail.

But, I have moved into a senior role this year, working full time and the teachers I am working with are right at the start of their journey, so coming in like a bull at the gate I think I have scared them off a bit, plus of course Covid-19 chaos. What I have done is back off, our check in’s have gone from weekly to fortnightly (They were having trouble seeing the value when they spent most of their time chasing them up from students who didn’t hand them in and hopefully now that will be easier I can get them to start recording their results. The magic grows when you see the results.

How are you going?

• Robin Dubiel

Member
April 10, 2020 at 5:05 pm

Great to hear from you, Vanessa! Life has this way of prioritizing for us, doesn’t it? I presume you haven’t been touched directly by COVID, and thankfully neither have I.

I began a new position this year as an Instruction and Learning Consultant. This has afforded a few opportunities to work with classroom teachers on spiralling, and I will cautiously say that baby steps had been made in different ways. And then, COVID. So, now emergency remote learning and all the questions that go with it have become priority.

How has math instruction gone for you during this time? Have you remotely tried out the tasks Kyle and Jon have posted? What’s been your biggest success?

• Vanessa Wright

Member
June 15, 2020 at 6:18 am

Hello Robyn, we had about 4 weeks of remote learning. We set up courses on Canvas which is a platform that our government have purchased. It worked well and was good to learn new skills that we can continue to use. I havenâ€™t used the lessons from Kyle and Jon, to tell you the truth we just hit our curriculum the best we could.
Things are back to normal for us, but of course we still need to be careful and ensure we manage the situation so we donâ€™t get another wave.
How is going for you?

• Kyle Pearce

September 1, 2019 at 3:28 pm

Love that this spiral group is getting bigger and bigger! Can’t wait to hear how things progress with this new school year.

• Vanessa Wright

Member
March 28, 2020 at 8:32 pm

I think you are a bit optimistic Kyle, but love the feedback anyway. It has been a while since I have been on, due to school year ending last year, then coming back full time in a senior role and now Covid-19. An interesting year.

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