> Moving on

Moving from "I can't" to "I can"

Educator Story

Laura Scali
Alberton Primary School
Alberton Cluster

Context: My Literacy and Numeracy group consists of 19 children: 13 boys and 7 girls; 4 of these students are Aboriginal.

My initial focus for this year was teaching maths through Higher Order Thinking Skills and Technology. Our whole school timetable means that all classes are involved in Literacy and Numeracy at the same time. This quickly became a problem when trying to teach through technology as there was high demand for the computer room, and I did not want to ‘hog’ the time needed by the other fourteen Literacy/Numeracy groups. I put the focus back on HOT (High Order Thinking) Skills. I used a variety of tools to help me do this including graphic organisers, Bloom’s Taxonomy, open questions, word problems, creative thinking tasks, etc.

For some of the students the tasks fitted perfectly. The competitive nature of the boys in my class meant that they were challenging themselves as well as each other. They wanted to do things bigger and better than anyone else. But for the four Aboriginal students (Denise, Jenny, Alice and Stuart), this challenge was beyond the skills that they had to achieve success. I tried many different tasks and ways to support these children to achieve success, but it just wasn’t working.

I will reflect on one student in my class, Denise, to show her attitudes and feelings towards maths from earlier in the year to now...



See Laura's Unit of Learning Masterchef to find out more about her teaching approach.

Moving from 'I can't" to "I can'

Download the PDF of this inspiring story in FULL. Use it to prompt discussions with your colleagues.