End of the year - Numeracy

June 8, 2011   

Firstly, I've been seriously lax in actually commenting on here. I have been reflecting but I've been snowed under with everything so haven't had a chance to post. The college year is coming swiftly to an end and I have many things to reflect on. I'm going to divide the reflections into all the subjects I teach and I'll start with numeracy.

Good things about numeracy classes this year was that most of them were willing to learn and the classes themselves were sometimes very enjoyable. I had several classes who were highly motivated and worked very hard.

I have many things to work on though. Contextualising the material is sometimes difficult and I need to work harder. Motivating some of the students can also be very difficult. Although some of the classes work hard many just want to get it over and done with and don't want to work hard. I need to be better in explaining why numeracy is useful and in using tasks that keep the students interested.

I tried it in one of my classes this year - took a diversion from the course to look at performing simple calculations without a calculator and managed to get in a bit about converting units and fibonacci's sequence. I got them to use their phones to look up the sequence and see if they could learn anything about it. Some were more enthusiatic about it than others but its something I think I need to do more of next year.

I also experimented with group work and presentations which although producing a slightly noisy atmosphere, it seemded to be quite well received by the students. I plan to use more group work next year but will need to be careful about the topics. The sometimes infrequent attendance can make this more problematic but I should be able to work around this.