The Australian Government Department of Education and Training initiative provides resources to help students from Foundation to Year 10 learn maths in an innovative and engaging way.
A Years 7-10 maths teacher in her sixth year at Marian College in Myrtleford, Victoria, Skahill decided two years ago that she was keen to improve her teaching practice and the level of engagement in her classroom.
It was suggested she look into applying to be a maths champion with reSolve.
“The reason for my change was that I was finding I was short of time in the classroom, and at that stage, I think, I had about 25 students in the classroom with around four different levels to teach to.
“I was just finding that my time in the classroom wasn’t being used wisely.
“I now do all of my direct instruction in instructional videos, that the students can access online, so they’re all pre-recordings of myself teaching the content.
“And then my actual face time in the classroom is taken up more by spending time with the students working on the application of the content and doing mini-lessons as required..."
The reSolve initiative provides a range of learning tasks for students that are accessible by all students in the class.
“So, because reSolve tasks are challenging, yet accessible - they’re low floor / high ceiling tasks that enable ... students who may be finding the content difficult to tap into [them], whilst at the same time you’ve got your stronger students in the class where you’re able to extend them in the same learning task, with extending questions.
“The tasks themselves enable students to utilise not just what they’ve been taught today or last week, but what they’ve been taught in their whole journey – in a situation or with a concept that’s not necessarily familiar to them.
“So they’re purposeful tasks that require students to draw on a whole range of skills, but still building on what we’ve been learning in class.”
A senior medical scientist for ten years prior to entering teaching, in her role as a champion of resolve Skahill has been working with colleagues at Marian College and in her region to trial reSolve resources, conduct professional learning and promote a spirit of inquiry in school maths.
“We’ve got a small group of staff in our maths learning area and we draw on each other’s knowledge and experience to better our own teaching, but beyond that, through reSolve, I’ve made contact with teachers in other schools and have shared my experiences with the program with them.
“I’ve started creating a curriculum map of what I call rich learning tasks, so it’s just a 7-10 map, that we can tap into.”