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Numeracy in the news

Educator story

Aaron Bayliss
Alberton Primary School
Alberton Cluster

The students in my class tended to enjoy literacy a lot more than numeracy, so I decided to put a literacy spin on a numeracy topic. The students hadn’t learned about data at all this year, so I decided to make a project on data called Numeracy in the News. The topic revolved around data collection, data recording, writing and drawing out questions for investigation, graph drawing and analysis of a number of different graph types.

As I have some pretty advanced children in my group, I also left it broadly open for the kids to explore their ‘investigations’ as far as they wanted to take it. They had to write questions about their investigations of data and after the project they had to answer them, using the information as their evidence. This was all done by writing a newspaper article with the graph and analysis attached.

The students were extremely engaged throughout the whole process, and are eagerly awaiting the first issue of ‘uniquely Alberton’ to be published across the school.

Aboriginal Students’ Success
The Nunga students I have in my class are Tom, Ned, Jo and Sarah. Jo was engaged in the topic and pulled other boys in the class into his group to help them understand. His article was fantastic, as was his understanding of each of the graphs and how they are plotted, as well as reading information from other graphs, was fantastic. He hasn’t particularly changed a whole amount, as Jo is a student who is generally engaged in whatever he does. One thing that I have noticed in Jo though, is that when we revert to traditional methods, he does tend to become disengaged.

Tom is quite a low achiever, and started the year well below where he should be in terms of averages and standards. Across the few units of work he has done with me, I have seen small changes in his learning behaviours more than his level of achievement. With the contextualised theme, he tends to be more involved and excited about his learning, particularly when he has the one-on-one support with a partner. He still finds it hard to grasp the ‘raw’ mathematics, but seems to be more focused and is more willing to be resilient and have a go. Tom was very engaged in the topic when he was there, and always wanted to do his own part of the group’s duties. This is quite different for Tom, as he usually finds it hard to engage in any topic, and relies on the support of his peers or teachers before reverting to off-task behaviour. The support he had with Tim (another member of the group) was fantastic, which was also a positive. The article they wrote together, as you could imagine, Tim was leading, but for the first time when Tom was working in a group, he wasn’t just watching someone do the work, he was actually having an opinion on what should go in the article...

Numeracy in the news

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