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Why we say this

This story below illustrates why the Cluster knows that continual improvement of mathematical content knowledge is critical to improving mathematics outcomes. Sally Barbarich teaches Kindergarten and Pre-Primary at a Swan Cluster school. She talks about her success with implementing recording. 

“This is not something we would have done in Kindy where we used to ask them to orally explain what they could see, but not get them to record that on paper. When you hear that other teachers are trying it, you try it. This is the peer support stuff in action. In the same way, we have pushed on towards partitioning five which we never used to do at Kindy level. It is the encouragement to give it a go.

"(Professional learning) has helped us look for finer detail in assessment. When you put the proforma with the activity for what you’re assessing, previously the proformas for the maths activities were worded broadly for outcomes: ‘I could count to five’; ‘I could subitise’. Now I specifically say where they can count to. It’s a change of emphasis and detail.

“We get together with Tracey (Cluster Coordinator) and Sharon (Teacher Mentor) once a term to review what we’re doing and plan where we’re going next. Sharon is a Kindy teacher and it is good talking to people doing the same thing as you. We give each other ideas. I have said to her I can see this working for a lot of other kids, not just Aboriginal kids.

I think it works well with boys: they talk about Aboriginal kids being hands-on learners, but boys tend to need hands-on things too. The kids are engaged as long as you’re doing something that is fun and relates to their age.”


Aboriginal education officer and education assistants learning about the mathematics in counting collections