In looking at my school’s goals and our action plan for learning numeracy is listed along with literacy and character education. Our numeracy goal reads: “How can we improve students’ computational understanding and mathematical fluency while reducing math anxiety? How can we foster perseverance in students when approaching a challenging math problem?” these are great questions to begin and build an inquiry from.
While we have this written in our Action Plan for Learning from the 2020-2021 school year our conversations as a staff continue to be around literacy. We have both writing and numeracy as goals yet do not give numeracy the time it needs. Much of our collaboration is within our grade groups of 3-4 teachers with limited work across grade groups, this is influenced by the fact that we have a common time for collaboration with our grade group each week for 30 minutes while our admin take our students for DPA. While we list resources and strategies there is limited conversation about what we are doing and what is working. For our goal to really move forward we need to have on going conversation. I have been trying “Building Thinking Classrooms in Mathematics” and am noticing a difference in my student’s willingness to try challenging problems. Math anxiety remains higher than I would like but with some of the strategies suggested by Jo Boaler it is decreasing, this will take time and building our classroom math culture, it’s only the beginning of October, we are still building the culture of thinking, solving problems, and taking risks with our math. Our goal addresses the cross curricular nature of learning and that numeracy is a foundational skill, we have somewhat tied it to the core competencies as well. Right now we need to begin looking at more cross curricular assessment of numeracy skills, the data we have been relying on includes the FSA tests (we all know how valid those are) and our district numeracy assessments at grades 3 and 4 for our data, we need to look at data across grade levels and assessing in multiple ways.