Students Reaching their Full Math Potential

Students Reaching their Full Math Potential
Math PotentialMathematics has been a focus for all Boards in the province, including Kenora Catholic over the last couple of years. We are proud to report that Education, Quality and Accountability (EQAO) Math scores at all grades assessed improved over last years’ results. We are happy with the improvement but will not be satisfied until all students reach their math potential. We have identified a need to do the following for and with our students:

- Building Problem Solvers - Our Math Leads at each school received training from Marion Small, Author and International Professional Development Consultant for Improved Mathematics Education and used Marion Small’s MathUP program for the remainder of the year last year. This work continues as it has proven to be effective.

- Helping students recognize and capitalize on their Math strengths.
- Helping students recognize and improve on Math concepts and skills in which they are less confident including building a sense of wellness with respect to Math
- Building a love for Math - Our Math supports in each school provide, at-the-elbow support for our students and also act as a valuable resource for all staff. Educators continue to make math more visible in the school (e.g. Math Stairs, Protractor floor mat. Student Mathematicians at work in all areas of the school and in the community, weekly questions up on the board, and Math concepts prominently displayed in the foyer). Holiday and special occasion themed work such as “Pumpkin Slice” had our student mathematicians using estimation to guess how many rubber bands it would take to cut through a pumpkin. The many examples of activities like these go a long way in helping our students truly see themselves as the talented and brilliant mathematicians they are.

All educators continue to improve their skills in designing programming around student needs, supporting instruction through good assessment and otherwise sharing best practices with each other from around the world. With respect to designing programs around good assessment, educators have been using diagnostics to support Assessment for Learning practices and are continuing to use them in the schools. Examples of these diagnostics include Leaps and Bounds diagnostics, gap closing resources, Nelson Pre-Assessments, and other diagnostics designed to see if students are ready to learn specific Math expectations, including educator created diagnostics. Our educators are ever more data-informed as they make the best programming and implementation decisions possible for our students.

On November 22nd, our keynote speaker for our Math focused Professional Development Day; Tom Boland focused on:

- How do we teach math basics in ways that promote a gradual progression from a solid grasp of the basics to the development of higher-order skills?
- What do I believe and value about math and how does that impact student success?
- What is the role of resiliency and its connection to mathematics?
- How do we make math meaningful for our students?

We will take this learning and best practices we’ve learned from around the world and use them to continue to benefit our students at Kenora Catholic throughout the years to come.
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