Numeracy Advanced Skills

This course can only be undertaken by participants who have completed the Numeracy Basic Skills course.

The target group for this three-day course is leaders, teachers and school services officers currently involved with QuickSmart who wish to know more about the program and ways to improve further the benefits of the program throughout their school.

Many schools have reported that QuickSmart has been a catalyst for changes across the school, leading to improved learning outcomes for large numbers of students. The sessions offered will serve to enhance the possibility for this to occur. We expect that the program will stretch participants’ thinking and enhance their practice, whether they are leaders, coordinators, teachers or instructors.

In total, the program consists of three days, and comprises two distinct Workshops. The first workshop is a two-day workshop. The second workshop is a one-day workshop. In addition, there will be a small school-based activity developed in collaboration with each participant towards the end of the first Workshop. This will be undertaken during the interval between the two Workshops. Experiences/learnings associated with the agreed activity will be reported at the second Workshop.

In general terms, the aims of the workshops are:

  • To strengthen confidence and knowledge of participants about the role that QuickSmart plays in addressing the differentiated learning needs of students in mathematics and numeracy development.
  • To support the most effective implementation of the QuickSmart Numeracy program.
  • To develop a broader school-wide perspective on student learning needs for those experiencing difficulties in mathematics.
  • To re-energise the work and purpose of QuickSmart in schools, and to help establish enhanced networks of informed practice among schools.

Expected outcomes include:

  • Deeper understanding of the QuickSmart theory of learning and the relevant neuroscience ideas behind the program. Participants will gain more insight about how the brain can impact on students’ learning responses in ways that are supported by the evidence. Participants will come away with strengthened QuickSmart instructional strategies that are linked to practical interpretations of current advances in learning and teaching from a brain perspective.
  • Consolidated knowledge about QuickSmart, reinforcing and extending participants’ thinking behind QuickSmart and their understanding of effective learning of Numeracy/Mathematics
  • Improved small-group and whole-class teaching processes for mathematical fluency and a strengthened repertoire of effective strategies to give feedback and support struggling students.
  • A repertoire of options to cover implementation issues related to QuickSmart Numeracy.
  • Sharing and learning more from other schools using the QuickSmart Numeracy program.

Important ‘big ideas’ in the Advanced Skills Workshops include:

  • Quality teaching and learning approaches used in QuickSmart and being clear about what we mean by ‘quality’ in a QuickSmart Lesson
  • Applying brain research and neuroscience to improve student learning: what are the key ideas, how and where do they fit
  • Exploring what is ‘Learnable’ and how it relates to QuickSmart
  • Updating and extending knowledge of QuickSmart teaching skills: examining intentional (deliberate) practice and its place in learning and QuickSmart
  • Examining important features of mathematics learning and teaching through QuickSmart
  • Reviewing important education ideas linked to QuickSmart
  • Considering underpinning ideas in QuickSmart problem solving.

These ‘big ideas’ are built on in different ways at each workshop.

Most sessions entail information input. However, this will be interactive. There will also be opportunities for collaborative group work around fundamental ideas. Participants are encouraged to bring their current issues and stories concerning QuickSmart to the workshop.

By the end of the 3 days, participants should have a deeper knowledge to answer the following ‘big’ questions:

  • Why does the QuickSmart approach work, for whom does it work and how does it work?
  • How does QuickSmart effectively engage learners? What are associated benefits that are learnable through QuickSmart?
  • What is the relationship between progress in QuickSmart and growth in mathematics?
  • In what ways can we address any student, teacher and parent attitudes and misconceptions about what it means to attend QuickSmart and be ‘successful’ at mathematics?
  • How can we use student participation and progress data more effectively and responsively to promote QuickSmart, implement the program, monitor progress and adjust targets? How do we get the right balance between ‘quick’ and ‘smart’?
  • Do we have any outstanding issues related to implementing an effective QuickSmart Numeracy intervention program in our school?

Participants who complete Advenced Skills training will receive a certificate of recognition from the SiMERR National Research Centre at UNE.