Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Team teaching

Today Kirsty and I had our first crack at a new team teaching approach. Our classes already interchange daily for maths and, although the two classes exchange students to cater for different abilities, they are planned and taught quite separately. Today we took it a step further. In order to maximise our shared spaces, equipment and teaching strengths, we combined our classes and took a more collaborative approach to planning and teaching our measurement lesson.

Together, Kirsty and I decided on our goals, the timeframe and our roles for the lesson. We devised some independent measurement investigations for the kids and collected the equipment we needed - rulers, scales, ipads, Numicon equipment, text books, worksheets, whiteboards and maths books. We also planned our own group lessons. At the beginning of the session we explained the format of the lesson, their instructions for the set investigations, expectations for self-management, work standards, and the equipment available to them.

The children were invited to work wherever and with whomever they liked. They were able to work at either end of our double classroom, at desks and low tables, on cushions or the couch, on the floor or outside. So they gathered up their equipment and off they went to measure their little hearts out.
We had 100% of both classes on-task and engaged for the whole hour and a half. They loved it!

Learning about perimeter and area using Numicon

They had to take a selfie with their creation

Kirsty and I took turns at teaching specific skills to focus groups. While she worked with a group of students with particular needs, I roamed around the rest of them guiding and teaching wherever it was required. Then we swapped - I worked with a group while she took on the roaming teacher role.

At the end of the session, we regrouped, shared our learning and evaluated the lesson as a class. The kids enjoyed it. They loved the freedom, the challenge and the ability to work with whoever they liked. They also enjoyed having a teacher free to help them when needed. Around 70% of them said they worked with a teacher at some point, so we'll be aiming for a better hit rate next time. It was a complete success, however. The kids got some real quality learning time with easier access to a teacher at all times, and each teacher's strengths were more fully utilised than they might otherwise be.

Probably a bit much for daily use until we streamline a few things but definitely a great option for future Wednesdays! :)

1 comment:

  1. Kurt, this sounds fantastic. Clearly, a lot of work went into the planning of how this session might run but wow, what results with 100% of the class engaged and involved. Drawing on each teacher's strength must be beneficial and overtime, it will be interesting to see what the student feedback is. Great idea to start out slowly i.e. once a week while you refine this trial programme. I'm looking forward to following along and see how these Wednesday's progress, what you might change and what suggestions the students will have as well.