Professional Development Materials

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Standards Unit: Improving Learning in Mathematics professional development materials. Features notes and presentations describing the active learning approaches.

Getting started To encourage participants to: * reflect on their current assumptions, beliefs, and teaching practices; * consider the aims of the approaches in this resource; * begin exploring ways in which learners might become more actively engaged in their own learning.

Learning from mistakes and misconceptions To encourage participants to: * reflect on the nature and causes of learners’ mistakes and misconceptions; * consider ways in which we might use these mistakes and misconceptions constructively to promote learning.

Looking at learning activities To encourage participants to: *explore the five different types of mathematical activity contained in the resource. *Classifying mathematical objects: reflecting on the properties of mathematical objects; sameness and difference; definitions. * Interpreting multiple representations: interpreting concepts from a variety of perspectives; making links. *Evaluating mathematical statements: testing generalisations, generating examples and counter examples. *Creating problems: creative thinking, ‘doing and undoing’ mathematical processes. *Analysing reasoning and solutions: comparing different methods for doing problems, organising solutions and/ or diagnosing the causes of errors in solutions.

Managing discussion To encourage participants to: * experience discussion of mathematics; * reflect on how discussion can be used to promote learning; explore the characteristics of purposeful discussion; * explore the management skills that are needed to implement purposeful discussion.

Developing questioning To encourage participants to reflect on: * the reasons for questioning; * some ways of making questioning more effective; * the different types of ‘thinking questions’ that may be asked in mathematics.

Using formative assessment To encourage participants to reflect on: * the reasons for assessment; * the differences between formative and summative assessment; * some difficulties commonly experienced with formative assessment; * alternative methods for formative assessment; * the type and quality of feedback given to learners; * the implications that assessment has for teaching.

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