The Double Decker Bus

A primary numeracy collaborative inquiry

Primary Numeracy Collaborative Inquiry Proposal

Student Learning Need: Students have difficulty solving math problems using efficient computational strategies.


Problem: Students are using basic counting strategies when solving math problems. They would benefit from having a larger repertoire of computational strategies to draw upon.


Purpose Statement: The purpose of this inquiry is to determine how to build students' fluency with various computational strategies.


Inquiry Question: What is the impact of explicitly teaching computational strategies on students' ability to investigate mathematical ideas through problem solving?


Theories of Action

  1. If we engage in collaborative inquiry focusing on explicit instruction for teaching computational strategies, then we will be able to improve students' ability to select an appropriate strategy to explore mathematical ideas.
  2. If we make computational strategies explicit for students through number talks, then we will increase their capacity to investigate mathematical ideas and relationships through problem solving.


How does this work support the board’s Engage Math initiative?

This targets numerous facets of the PDSB’s EngageMath initiative including Basic Facts & Computational Skills, Purposeful Practise, Staff Collaboration, and Professional Learning.


Resources Required

  • Number Talks (Parrish)
  • Landscape of Learning (Fosnot)
  • Investigating Number Sense, Addition, and Subtraction (Fosnot)


Assessment Strategies for Students

  • Leading Indicator Data – Numeracy Task (developed by PDSB) ~ Initial & final tasks completed via individual conferencing with a scoring guide
  • Assessment for learning: “look-for” observational checklist; Anecdotal notes of observations & conversations recorded during number talks


How will we know we know we met our goal?

We will compare our baseline diagnostic task (PDSB Numeracy Task for grades 1 & 2) with our final task by noting improvements on the scoring guide. Both the tasks will be completed through individual conferencing.

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Learning Goal & Success Criteria


We are learning to represent our math ideas using thinking tools to solve math problems.


  • I can show what the problem is.

  • I can show how to solve the problem.

  • I can show the solution.

Mid-Point Check-In

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Observations to date

Review daily

A few students are still counting one by one

Labelling parts of the number talks, increases reference

Improved methods to solve it, open to solving others

OK to see different ways

Increased confidence

Chart paper – dots and numbers

Next Steps

Continue with lessons as planned, including lessons 8-10

Write stories of on and off the bus

Continue to develop computational strategies