I have talked about the proficiency strands of the Mathematics curriculum and how I see them as the sparkle of my maths program in a previous post. After coming to terms with what they mean I wondered how to get them into my lessons in a meaningful way, and if I could get the full sparkle into every lesson!
I have been experimenting with covering the different proficiencies in each lesson. I have been structuring my lessons with each of the proficiencies forming a different segment of the lesson. I made up some focus questions to help me plan for implementing the proficiency strands throughout the lesson.
The understanding proficiency works well at the start of the lesson when setting the scene for why you are learning about the topic and how it connects to the other things the class has been learning about. This works particularly well when you are a few lessons into a program, as the students can make predictions and connections before they jump into the new content.
The main part of many of my lessons is spent on some sort of problem solving or investigation activity. This is where students deal with the new content being introduced or dig deeper into the concepts we have been working with.
Fluency type activities tend to happen towards the end of my lessons, so that the students have had time to feel comfortable with the main content of the lesson. Simple games, quiz questions, defining terms on the vocabulary wall or timed tests are great and quick ways of encouraging fluency.
Lastly, I like to end the lesson with a reasoning question or two. This is a good time to get students writing in their maths journal, or sharing their ideas with a partner. Posing a question that requires them to justify and prove is also a great way to end a lesson on a reasoning note.
The strands can be rearranged to better suit a particular lesson, or some proficiencies can be left out if the focus is on a particular skill. Either way, it is possible to get the full sparkle that the proficiencies have to offer, in most lessons.
To download a copy of the question posters click here.