2Aims of Session:To help you identify girls who will potentially underachieve from your data;To understand the key issues affecting the progress of these girls;To outline an overview of possible proactive intervention strategies;To investigate girl friendly teaching strategies and approaches;To provide a range of resources, activities and ideas to take back and use in school.
3Background: Involvement in a Local Authority working party in 2008-10; Action Research project in School;Dissemination of research findings to Head Teachers in 2011;Primary Maths Specialist Teacher training – ;Masters Degree – Girls and Maths focus for dissertation – 2010 – 2012;Leading intervention programmes – ;Overseeing intervention programmes – 2012 to date.
4So, what did they do about this? Background: The dataIn the issue of girls underachieving in Maths became an issue for National Strategies.So, what did they do about this?
5Background: The dataThere was a serious lack of research into this issue.Whilst there has been more research since then…
6In 2008 this search returned just 2,000,000 results.
7Percentage of pupils at level 4 or above (Test) Table 2: Percentage of pupils achieving level 4 or above and level 5 or above in key stage 2 tests and teacher assessments by genderPercentage of pupils at level 4 or above (Test)MathematicsBoysGirlsSource: gov.uk statistics website
8Percentage of pupils at level 5 or above (Test) Table 2: Percentage of pupils achieving level 4 or above and level 5 or above in key stage 2 tests and teacher assessments by genderPercentage of pupils at level 5 or above (Test)MathematicsBoysGirlsSource: gov.uk statistics website
10Why is this important?Focus on more than expected progress – i.e. 3 levels (from KS1 KS2) – your 2As to 5.Ofsted’s focus on challenging the more able.The new focus on ‘secure level 4s’.
11Boys are making this progress, girls are not. Children achieving a level 2A, 3C or above at the end of Key Stage 1 should be achieving level 5 at the end of Key Stage 2.Boys are making this progress, girls are not.Nationally in 2013 there was a 4% difference between boys and girls achieving level 5.This gap had varied from between 4% – 6% over the last 7 years, but the gap has not narrowed.
122A in Maths at the end of KS1. Which children?Girls2A in Maths at the end of KS1.
13Your DataActivity 1Use your tracking data to identify these children in your class/school.
14Which children? What about the girls who achieved a 3C? Issues: How well is your data at the end of KS1 quality assured/moderated by your SLT?Are the 3Cs secure level 3s or girls who are really 2A?Should 3C girls be included or not?
15These girls need to be tracked carefully throughout Key Stage 2. TrackingThese girls need to be tracked carefully throughout Key Stage 2.You should expect no less than one whole level of progress by the end of year 4.3C girls should be monitored and, if no progress has been made by the end of year 3, intervention should be put in place.
18Activity 2Read through the 14 comments attributed to boys and girls’ attitudes to / feelings about maths.Decide which fit your impressions of boys and which are more suited to girls (7 each).Which comments will have the greatest bearing on girls who feel that they are not achieving?
19GirlsCan often use weak, inefficient strategies, which initially get the correct answer but which need refiningNot confident in taking onboard more efficient mental strategiesLike to have methods clearly defined and explained and to be shown how to use them.Pay more attention to detail and are more unsettled by the unexpected.Want to complete what they are being given to do and need time to think about how they can respond.Prefer to follow rules without developing ‘real understanding.’Are often convinced that mathematical success is down to effort, but failure is through lack of ability.BoysAre less likely to keep using time -consuming strategies for calculations, and will try alternatives for bigger numbersWill quickly try out a method soon after it has first been demonstratedAre less worried about rules or understanding – just want to get the correct answerWill ‘have a go’ without worrying about presentation, consequences and resultsAim to reach the end as quickly as possible even if they have not answered everything on the way.Will use a new strategy or just get the answer wrongAre more likely to put mathematical success down to ability, but see failure arising through lack of effort.
20Research shows that girls do well at Key Stage 1 through using strategies taught to answer questions.When moving into KS2, boys are happy to use a range of strategies, including newly taught ones, whilst girls prefer to use previously taught but now inefficient strategies.
21Calculation StrategyHow well do you know the steps in your school’s calculation policy?Activity 3Let’s think about the two operations that often receive less teaching time: subtraction and division.On your own or with a partner, write down the teaching steps for both of these operations.
22Calculation Strategy Be confident with your calculation policy. Be aware that you may need to go back a step (for confidence building) as well as looking at moving forwards.When encountering decimals or larger numbers, for example, earlier stages of the calculation policy may need to be revisited to ensure children have the understanding.
23Problem SolvingGenerally, girls do not do as well at problem solving activities which are (should be) undertaken regularly in Key Stage 2.
25Leicestershire Maths Team undertook a major study of girls’ maths attainment and found that…Girls enjoy the routine practicing of skills and techniques more than boys.However they often get too little opportunity to consolidate what they know when lessons are dominated by the response of attention seeking boys.The quiet hardworking girl is often hidden by her own silence and desire to please.
26StrategiesDo your KS1 staff understand progression in calculation (both written and mental)?Children are often taught one strategy rather than a range of strategies.
28Negative PerceptionsMany girls tend to lack confidence in Mathematics.Studies have shown that negative perceptions of Mathematics from mums, and especially female teachers, makes almost no difference to boys’ but a significant difference to girls’ attitudes and confidence.Source:
30When? Early identification and intervention is key. Girls need to be identified at the end of year 2 (from KS1 data) and intervention put in place in year 3 and continued in year 4.Action research shows this works.One cohort achieved expected progress with a number of girls having moved from a 2A to a 4C by the end of year 4 as a result.
31Why?In my action research project, intervention starting in year 5 and year 6 made NO difference at all.Years 5 and 6 are too late to address this issue.
32A tried and tested approach… All girls group (ideal size is 6-8 children).Once a week – best done outside of normal maths lessons mins.Teacher or Teaching Assistant, Male or Female.Two ground rules:No question is a silly questionYou can ask the same question as many times as you like (because ifyou don’t understand first time it is my fault for having not explainedit correctly, not your fault for not understanding).Games based approach.Focus on weekly in class objectives – a second attempt to have a go.
33Staff Who will lead the session is important. What doesn’t matter: Whether it is delivered by a Teacher or Teaching Assistant.Whether the Teacher/TA is male or female.What does matter:Whoever is delivering the session must have a good subject knowledge and must show an enjoyment of Maths.
34The difficulties Not enough staff. Support needed in year 6. Other interventions take priority.There are only 5 days in a working week.Etc.
35Teachers Negative attitudes to Maths impact on girls but not boys. Activity 4What can we do about this?Discuss on your tables an come up with a list of strategies.
36TeachersNegative attitudes towards Maths normally exist because of preconceptions based on past experience.In other words, teachers who didn’t like or understand Maths at school will not like teaching it and will spread their negative perceptions.Changing PerceptionsCoaching and Mentoring support:Pedagogical/Subject Knowledge support;Teaching support;Planning support:How to extend the more able;How to support those that don’t understand.
37Tea, coffee, juice and biscuits available at the back of the hall. BreakTea, coffee, juice and biscuits available at the back of the hall.
38Girl Friendly Teaching Strategies and Approaches
39Trying to ‘empathise’ with girls who have negative perceptions of maths doesn’t work. What does work:Giving the same girls the impression that maths is ‘easy’ if we:Have time to think about itHave time to discuss itHave resources to helpHave a variety of approaches, especially for calculationCan organise our thinkingIt is also extremely important to show an enjoyment of maths and link it to real life.
40Girls feel you gain mathematical success through effort, and that failure in maths is through lack of ability.Boys feel that mathematical success is down to ability and that failure comes through lack of effort.Failure linked in the child’s mind to lack of ability has a greater negative effect than anything else on further performance.Therefore failure in mathematics is more likely to impact on a girl’s future achievement than on a boy’s.
41Girls are adverse to risk taking, whereas boys are not! Also…Girls are adverse to risk taking, whereas boys are not!
43StrategiesChildren will fail if we teach them one and only one method.They need to be taught a range of strategies from which they can choose the most appropriate.Model Imitate Apply
44Strategies Activity 5 Let’s sort some sums! With a partner, work through the calculations on the yellow sheet in the middle of your table.DO NOT SOLVE THEM!For each one identify the most appropriate strategy that should be used to solve it.
45How would you solve it? (calculation sorting) There is no right or wrong answer.The point is…About stopping and thinking;Making things easy for yourself;Using known facts to solve the problem(by doing as little maths as possible!)
46How would you solve it? (calculation sorting) Should be introduced from year 3Should be used to develop lateral thinking about strategiesShould develop and build on . previously learned strategies.
47Mental Maths Practise Tests Use as a teaching opportunity to discuss strategies
48The most important part is NOT the testing or the mark achieved, but the discussion that follows the test.
49Lancashire ProjectA project in Lancashire found that overall the most successful strategies in improving girls’ confidence, engagement and achievement in mathematics were:The use of talk partners and thinking time (no hands up);The development of an ethos in the class dialogue about difficulties and a ‘team approach’ to overcoming these;The use of success criteria, learning prompts and working walls;Giving frequent praise and encouragement;Maths club aimed at girls.
50Lancashire Project Other key findings were: 80% of girls preferred paired and group work;Biggest successes were in Schools using BLP;Plenaries and reviews where time was taken to go over strategies used, demonstrate, talk and explain were highlighted as a contributory factor;The use of games also increased enjoyment and achievement in maths;That marking was an important factor. It revealed that girls respond better to questioning statements in marking, e.g. Could you explain the strategy used in question 6? If you know this, what else do you know? Do you think there is a quicker way of finding your answer? Etc.
51Other Findings Collaborative work Real life links Questioning techniquesSpeaking and Listening activities
52Good Practice report - Findings OfstedGood Practice report - FindingsReal life applicationTeacher subject knowledgeCollaborative workSingle sex maths sets and girls maths clubsPhysical resourcesOpportunity to reasonMarking – positive and developmental
53Other Considerations Groupings/Sets – mixed/single sex. What does the Sutton Trust Report say about this?Grouping your 2A girls together on the same table in the classroom.
54Other ConsiderationsResearch has shown that boys dominate the ‘talk’ in Maths. Do they dominate in your classroom?Do you (without realising) direct more questions at boys that girls?Do you choose boys to answer questions more than you choose girls?
56Girl Friendly Classrooms Activity 6Working as a group, make a list of all of the things you could do to make your classrooms more girl friendly in Maths.
57Girl Friendly Classrooms Working WallsAll girl table groupNo hands uppolicyTalk PartnersEncouraged touse a range ofstrategies3B4Me/Peer supportPractical resourcesavailableGap tasks/markingMeta-cognition/learning stylesUse of games
58Motivating Girls to Achieve Their Potential – Four Key Points Focus on the positives. Girls often favour problem solving – systematic, organised working – pattern spotting and creating rules.Organise grouping. Changing mental maths strategy competitions to paired discussions & time-managed challenges – more time and thought allowed.Cross curricular investigations. Making maths relevant and contextual gives girls a reason to apply their skills.Guided group work. The format and design of guided group work brings together all of the above elements in a format that works for all pupils.
59Resources, Activities and Ideas to use in School
60Should these be competitive or Games and ActivitiesShould these be competitive ornon-competitive?
61Games and Activities Where to start? Areas to focus on: Times Tables (knowledge and recall)Place valueBridging the hundreds barrierFour operations (mentally or written)
623 21 15 24 27 9 6 30 12 18 Teaching ideas Stack ‘em up games Three Times TableStack ‘em up2796301218Stack ‘emup gamesMultiplicationand Division
63Bing Bong Zong.One player is the ‘Odd Person’, the other is the ‘Even Person’.Each player says ‘Bing Bong Zong’ then holds out one to five/ten fingers.Multiply them. Odd Person scores for an odd total, Even Person scoresfor an even total.Change the game by:First person to shout the answer scores the point.Play in groups of three or four.Add instead of multiply for less able children (or to build confidence).
65Play in pairs or individually. Tower game - additionPlay in pairs or individually.Keep going!Roll die (0-6 or 0-9) and add number to first number rolled. Record total.Roll die (0-6 or 0-9) and record number
66Games and Practical Activities Example Booklet:Games and Practical ActivitiesBooklet of examples
67Play on your own or in pairs. Does there need to be a winner? Add 9 or HalveHalve evens, Add 9 to odds.Roll your 0-9 die and write the number here:STOP! When you get back to the number you started with.Play on your own or in pairs Does there need to be a winner?
69Problem Solving National Strategies Publications: - Finding all possibilities- Logic problems and puzzlesFinding rules and describing patternsA word of warning!Generic materials. Need adapting for any kind of use.Change context/scenario and use with girls.
70LiverpoolProblem SolvingMaterialsBooklet of examples
71Key Messages Confidence is crucial; Early identification is key; Girl only intervention groups;Games based approach is essential;Don’t empathise – show girls Maths is easy.
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