The Structure of Mindset Maths

Wednesday 05 Jun

In a recent article, we introduced you to Mindset Maths, an approach based on three key ideas:

  1. Anyone can learn Maths to high levels
  2. Mistakes and struggle are good for brain growth and brain strengthening
  3. Visual mathematics helps brain connections and is really important for students’ learning of mathematics

The following information explains how the Mindset Maths curriculum is structured across a semester.

Project-based Learning Framework

The Class Teachers in each year level have designed the Maths Units around a project-based learning framework. Each unit spans across the semester and has a project focus to make the learning more engaging and authentic. This means that Maths may be integrated with other subjects such as Science, Technology, English or Humanities and Social Sciences (HaSS). For example:

  • The Year 5 Maths Semester 1 Unit is integrated with Digital and Design Technology as students use Maths concepts to write algorithms that will program a Sphero (a small robot) as well as build an obstacle course for the Sphero to navigate.
  • The Prep Maths Semester 2 Unit is integrated with Science as students use Maths concepts to explore lifecycles and plants.

Click here to access the Maths concepts being learnt in Year 5 in Semester 1 and Prep in Semester 2.

Gateways

In every year level, our students pass through a series of gateways across the semester. Each gateway focuses on one or a number of Maths concepts. There can be between 8 - 10 gateways that students complete across the semester. Every student works on the same gateway at the same time across the year level and completes an assessment task at the end of each gateway. Click here to see an example of a gateway. (This example is an in-house document used by staff. Students are shown only the shaded areas of the document, in order to set goals of proficiency and improvement.)

Gateway Routine

When students begin a new gateway they follow this routine:

  1. Quiz - The students complete a short quiz which shows their prior understanding. This enables the teachers to target their teaching to the needs of the student.
  2. Collaborative task - The students grapple collaboratively on a task. This enables them to make connections to the concepts being taught and to develop a growth mindset and grit within a supportive environment. Teachers offer all students feedforward on this task that they can use when completing their individual task at the end of the gateway.
  3. Explicit teaching - Teachers explicitly teach all the concepts that are a focus of the gateway. Students complete a series of activities both individually and collaboratively to develop their understanding. Students who need extra assistance will be re-taught concepts in small groups or may complete differentiated activities. Students who require it will be extended.
  4. Independent task - The students complete an independent assessment task on the concepts that have been taught in the gateway. They use the teacher’s feedforward and the resources distributed during the explicit teaching sessions to help them to complete the task. The task is broken into steps and explained in detail to all students. Click here to see an example of an independent task and the success criteria.
  5. Quiz - The students complete the short quiz again and compare their results at the beginning of the gateway to determine their improvement in learning and understanding.

At the end of the semester, the Class Teachers use the success criteria to determine the grade on the report card.

- Rebecca McConnell, Director of Learning and Innovation