Category Archives: Mr Tracker

MR Tracker – Is it making a difference?

I met with a group of recently trained MR Tracker teachers

I  started be asking them three questions:

Q1: What did you learn from the assessment interviews?

A:

  • We can underestimate the ability of children
  • It highlighted areas of difficulty and suggested why they were struggling
  • Took a lot of time
  • numbers across the decades are tricky
  • It highlighted the discrepancy between verbal and written maths
  • Children rely too much on their teacher’s approval
  • There is a lot more to early numeracy than level A would indicate.

Q: How have your lessons changed?

A:

  • More Practical
  • I take more time reinforce and consolidate skills
  • Extending children knowledge – always challenging them for more
  • Getting children to explain their strategies
  • Much more self assessment
  • More counting (especially counting back)
  • Faster Pace
  • More active learning
  • Asking for alternative strategies (“Can you show me a different way?”, “Prove it!) 

Q: What are the advantages and challenges of MR Tracker ?

A:

 Advantages: Challenges
Identifying the gaps in knowledge Resources – can’t buy them have to make them
Children accessing lessons at their own level Time management
Children are more willing and able to complete written task/recording because of all the practical experiences Convincing parents/other staff
Active Learning!  
Saves money on workbooks!  
Better Understanding  
More secure of level A concepts  
   

MR Tracker – getting started

 •Initially ‘roam the known’ – Choose activities similar to the assessment  interview to start with

•Plan daily – include 4-6 progression activities

•Consider and hypothesise about the current ways of thinking based on an initial interview or early lessons (OBSERVATIONS)

•Test your hypothesis by posing tasks and closely observe response

•Modify your hypotheses if necessary and continue the cycle

•Monitor children’s willingness to tackle the problem and how comfortable they are

•With practice and reflection teachers can learn to adjust in subtle and important ways the pace, difficulty and challenge in the tasks.

•Tailor the teaching as closely as possible to the initial and ongoing assessment. It should be at the cutting edge of children’s knowledge (ZPD)

•Activities should continually challenge with the aim to bring about reorganisations in the child’s thinking and the development of more sophisticated strategies.

•Use the skills of wait time, repeating, reposing and probing responses which you learned in the assessment phase.