Second Year of Professional Development for QuickSmart Co-ordinators and Instructors: Advanced Skills Training for QuickSmart Numeracy

The QuickSmart program of professional learning is an extensive longitudinal program spread over two years. Under this model there are three two-day sessions in Year 1 and three one-day sessions in Year 2. These days are open to school executive staff (including principals), classroom teachers, and para-professionals (teacher assistants, teacher aides, etc). Those who attend the allotted days receive acknowledgement through certification either linked to professional teaching standards (for school executives and teachers) or professional competencies linked to TAFE standards (for para-professionals), which can enhance teaching portfolios or CVs.

In Year 2, QuickSmart professional learning moves beyond the basic knowledge, skills and understandings established by the end of the three two-day workshops and practice associated with Year 1. The focus in Year 2 is on acquiring deeper skills and understandings to enhance further student learning, place the instructor/student interactions on a stonger evidence-supported basis, and to place QuickSmart instruction in an even stronger context linked to current advances in learning and teaching.

There are five themes that drive the three one-day workshops in Year 2. These themes are designed to be highly relevant and extremely practical in supporting instructors in the QuickSmart program, in particular, and also classroom practice more generally. They are:

  1. Elaboration of quality-teaching approaches within QS;
  2. Exploring QS student learning through brain research;
  3. Up-dating and extending QS teaching skills;
  4. Examining important features of mathematics learning and teaching and their links to QS; and
  5. Working through important educational underpinnings of QS.
These themes are elaborated on and built up in different ways at each of the three workshops. The days are a mixture of input sessions and hands-on activities, as well as involving reflection and discussion of the issues and ideas raised. In addition, there are opportunities for participants in informal and formal settings to learn from colleagues and to hear of developments being undertaken in local schools.

Efforts are made to have the three workshops delivered at a location close to the participating schools’ locations. The sessions will be a mix of presenter-led information sharing, and participant-led discussion and feedback sessions.

Participants who complete Year 2 training will receive a certificate of recognition from SiMERR at UNE. All teachers who are accredited at the level of Professional Competence with NSWIT will be credited with 18 hours’ of Institute-endorsed Professional Development.

 

Outline of the Second Year of QuickSmart Numeracy Workshops

Workshop 4 Workshop 5 Workshop 6

Key ideas:

Evaluation of significant ideas from Year –Addressing any outstanding issues

A basic introduction to neuroscience, and the implications to QS and the learning brain

A practical investigation of a special form of practice and development of ways of using it in a QS and normal classroom

Use neuroscience ideas to become an even better instructor of QS

The power of analysing errors in QS and how to use this in QS lessons

Key ideas:

QS is about educating students developing learnable skills

Revisit deliberate practice and report back since WS 4

Neuroscience and QS: Selective attention Blind man

What do we mean by quality in QS? An Investigation of several quality aspects of QS

Developing a ‘Quality’ Rubric to use at school

Problem Solving Matrix: Classifying questions using the matrix, Writing questions to help low-achieving students

Key ideas:

Professional learning and the process of change, working with others, involving partners in the school

Where is the value on QS? Thinking about the people you work with

A deep exploration of Feedback and how to use it to improve performance

Understanding basic number concepts – developing an operations proforma, seeing numbers as adjectives not nouns

Data discussion and analysis discussion