Mathletics @ Amaroo – an Action Research Project
In 2013, Tiffany Ward was approached by her Deputy Principal to engage in an action research project exploring the effectiveness of the Mathletics program at Amaroo School, a P-10 school of approx 1700 students in Canberra. After collecting data from staff, students and the community, she presented her findings to the Executive team. A majority of teachers and students were not using Mathletics effectively and feedback indicated they were seeking professional learning in Mathletics, the students were disengaged because their teachers did not use the program in the classrooms and parents liked the idea of Mathletics but they weren’t seeing it being used at the school.
With this in mind, Tiffany developed a Professional Learning Community focussed on Mathletics aimed at engaging staff in focussed learning experiences that they could in turn present to their sectors. These teachers became the administrators for Mathletics in their area and Tiffany manages and supports their learning. With ongoing guidance and leadership, the 5 teachers involved are currently becoming certified Mathletics educators. As a team, they developed an action plan that incorporates Mathletics in student home learning and integrated in teacher planning documents and re-launched Mathletics to all teachers across the school. Since then teachers across all year levels have been enthusiastically developing homework plans, lessons and assessments to support the students learning.
In Term 3 this year Tiffany facilitated a second Mathletics learning opportunity for over 60 staff focussing on using reports, results and assessments to develop lessons through Mathletics resulting in staff being fully engaged and committed to developing programs using Mathletics. Her teaching team have been at the forefront of developing lessons using the Mathletics tool integrated these into their Number and Strand lessons. Further, Amaroo plans to use the assessment tool to inform their teaching so that lessons are focussed on individual strengths and weaknesses of students.
Concurrent to this, the school is celebrating the successes of students by presenting certificates during sector assemblies and posting updates on the school’s Facebook (Amaroo School) and twitter (@AmarooSchool) accounts and in fortnightly school newsletters reaching our school community and the Gungahlin area.
Tiffany and her Mathletics team are now determining the next learning goal for the school. Towards the end of the year Tiffany will collect data from teachers, students and the community about the improved effectiveness of Mathletics in her school and to determine where to next for Mathletics at Amaroo.