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His confidence continues to grow

Jenny Ferguson
Noarlunga Downs Primary School
Noarlunga Cluster


Finding 3.2: Learning Goal
Practise explicit and scaffolded teaching with a defined and planned learning goal for each lesson that is shared with students to orient them to the learning.

Student A (Yr 1) initially presented in class as a shy, withdrawn, disinterested Indigenous student. His rate of absence was high, with virtually no oral participation in class.

This was his first exposure to the scaffolded maths pedagogy in which an explicit learning goal was identified for each lesson, clear explanation of terminology related to the topic given, and a scaffolded approach used to develop the concept.

Almost immediately Student A began to answer questions and /or give an explanation on how or why he had arrived at his particular solution. Not long after this change, I saw his mum and expressed to her my pleasure at his participation and enthusiasm in the maths area. One could note her obvious pleasure in receiving the news. Absenteeism has reduced and his participation rate and confidence continues to grow.
He has also gained respect from his peers – they now seek to work with him, knowing that he is able to help them if they are struggling.

For me, the teaching style has helped change my teaching strategies to ensure that not just a basic concept is introduced but also to ensure the concept can be extracted and used within word problems such as those found in NAPLAN and Mathletics. I found that explicitly teaching the maths language (both understanding the variety of terms used and having the ability to read the maths terminology) was beneficial for all of my
students. The scaffolding helps to consolidate concepts by building and expanding on previous steps. I could easily see if students had mastered a concept or if I needed to revisit it.

I now find myself using these strategies in other areas of the curriculum with success.


Some questions to prompt discussions with your colleagues:

  1. How does Jenny orient students to the learning?
  2. What has been the impact on Student A’s engagement in maths in the classroom? Who else has benefited?
  3. What other Cluster Findings can be found in this significant episode?

His confidence continues to grow

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