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EDMA310/360 Mathematics: Learning and Teaching Mathematics 2, 2014

Assignment 1 Template 1 of 3

Rational Number Assessment


Louisa Sberna S00125860
Australian Catholic University
Teacher report on your students
Knowledge and any misconceptions.

Rational

Number

Based on the data, the students Rational Number Knowledge is quite


developed. The student draws on prior knowledge in order to develop a sound
answer for the data presented and he uses efficient mental strategies to aid
him throughout the interview. Paul was able to use residual thinking throughout
the interview, where he explains that the greater the denominator, the smaller
the remainder, therefor a larger fraction. When asked to explain his answer,
Paul drew on prior knowledge to aid his thinking. Benchmarking is a thinking
strategy that can be used to compare the quantity or size of two fractions
(Clarke & Roche, 2009). Paul was able to complete questions that asked him to
order a set of fractions by using benchmarking. Although it was clear that he
could complete the question mentally, he was still able to prove through
benchmarking the steps he followed to answer the question. Overall, based on
the data from the interview, Paul was able to complete all questions correctly
with satisfactory explanations.

Critical evaluation of the usefulness of mathematics


interviews for gaining knowledge about students current
mathematical knowledge that can be used to plan future
learning opportunities. Be sure to draw on relevant research
literature to support your evaluation.

The usefulness of mathematics interviews for gaining knowledge about


students current mathematical knowledge is not evident in the data presented
during the interview conducted. Many teachers, in particular pre service
teachers, tend to question the validity of the interview process, for instance
where the students feel nervous or on the spot (Crespo & Nicol, 2003). This is
evident throughout the interview because at times the questions seem
confusing and misleading and essentially are made to question students
thinking. Students are also limited to the use of materials throughout the
interview, so for many students who are visual learners, may find this difficult.
The results from the interview is not a true indication of what the student really
knows as they are expected to complete questions mentally without having the
opportunity to think and draw on prior knowledge and/or a brainstorm of the
concept required. Students need the opportunity to reflect upon their actions
with manipulatives, and through discussion, articulate the meaning they
generate, so that the link between their representations and key mathematical

EDMA310/360 Mathematics: Learning and Teaching Mathematics 2, 2014


Assignment 1 Template 1 of 3

ideas is apparent (Clements & Sarama, 2009, p.274). When conducting


interviews, it is important to encourage talk with the student as they explain
and discuss their strategies while solving problems. Additionally, it is essential
to facilitate mathematical thinking rather than direct it through the use of
probing questions that provoke thinking. Active learning involves providing
opportunities for students to meaningfully reflect on the content, ideas and
concerns of a subject (Meyers & Jones, 1993). Research and evidence support
the claim the students lean best when they engage with materials and actively
participate in their learning. This is why the use of mathematical interviews are
not one hundred per cent accurate in gaining knowledge about students
current mathematical knowledge. However, there is some usefulness of
mathematics interviews such as determining whether or not students can
complete basic mental tasks such as multiplication, addition etc. This is an
opportunity for teachers to produce an interview solely for closed tasks. This
does not determine the strategies students use, however does show the
teacher if the student knows the answer or not.

Critical evaluation of the usefulness of Open Tasks with


Rubrics for gaining knowledge about students current
mathematical knowledge that can be used to plan future
learning opportunities. Be sure to draw on relevant research
literature to support your evaluation.

Open tasks provide challenge, choice, student control over learning,


opportunities to collaborate with others and to construct meaning (Turner,
1995). They allow for the application of a range of strategies that give students
the opportunity to make connections and essentially provide a deeper level of
thinking rather than answering a closed question/sum. Closed tasks afforded
students fewer opportunities to control their learning and explore their interests
because these tasks did not permit students to make choices and decisions
(Turner, 1995). Open tasks support student motivation through positive,
affective consequences and by fostering students determination, effort and
thoughtful engagement (Turner, 1995). Rubrics support student learning.
Rubrics help teachers to focus on the key concepts and standards that the
students must obtain. Rubrics also enable teachers to evaluate students
performance progressively and help teachers to focus on key concepts that
makes students work accomplished, and/or in need of improvement.
Furthermore, rubrics provide students and teachers with valuable information
about the degree of which a specific learning outcome has been achieved
(Thinking Teachers, Teaching Thinkers, 2014). By using rubrics, teachers give
students experience in their higher-level thinking processes. Scoring open tasks
against a rubric is beneficial to the progression of student learning as it allows
for the teacher to pin point the strengths and weaknesses of the students
understanding and therefore are able to plan future learning based on
individual needs.

EDMA310/360 Mathematics: Learning and Teaching Mathematics 2, 2014


Assignment 1 Template 1 of 3

References:
Clarke, D. M., & Roche, A. (2009). Students' fraction comparison strategies as a
window into robust understanding and possible pointers for instruction.
Educational Studies in Mathematics, 72, 127-138.
Clements, D., & Sarama, J. (2009). Learning and Teaching Early Math: The
Learning Trajectories Approach. New York: Routledge.
Crespo, S., Nicol, C. (2003). Learning to Investigate Students Mathematical
Thinking: The Role of Student Interviews. Retrieved from:
https://www.msu.edu/~crespo/Lg_to_interview2.pdf
Hill, H.C., Rowan, B. & Ball, D.L. (2005). Effects of teachers mathematical
knowledge for teaching on student achievement. American Educational
Research Journal, 42(2), 371-406.
Meyer, C., & Jones, T.B. (1993). Promoting active learning: Strategies for the
college classroom. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Teachers First (2014). Rubrics to the rescue, 2014. Retrieved from:
http://www.teachersfirst.com/lessons/rubrics/why-use-rubrics.cfm
Turner, J., Paris, S.G. (1995). How Literacy Tasks Influences Childrens
Motivation for Literacy. Received from: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20201530