While each mathsquad resource can be used independently of the others, the resources were created with the aim of developing an all inclusive Year 7 program. The intention of this page is to guide individual schools on how they might use the mathsquad resources to drive their Year 7 program. There is no one-size fits all solution, and mathsquad resources have been designed to be highly flexible to meet the needs of a wide range of settings. That said, it is impractical to list all options within this site! Below outlines one possible approach and suggests possible variations that could be made to personalise the program for individual schools. If you are interested in having some assistance as you develop your school’s Year 7 Mathsquad Program head to the services page to learn more about PD opportunities and consulting services.
Please note that it is assumed that people reading below are already familiar with the four key mathsquad resources; homework books, times table warm ups, skill development books and mathsquad assessments. If you aren’t already familiar with these please begin by looking at the resources page (here).
Why teachers will love a Mathsquad program
- Program is fully resourced and resources are freely available
- There is no need for students to purchase a textbook and so no pressure to ensure all students are using this one resource (which for some students is completely inappropriate)
- In-built flexibility allowing teachers to plan lessons and distribute resources that best cater for their students’ needs
- Routines of homework and non-topic based assessments maximise students’ retention of skills
- Removing time pressures associated with topic-based testing changes the priority of getting through content to prioritising students’ learning
- Directly aligns with Victorian Curriculum and spreadsheets produce automated levels for reporting
- The program lends itself to a range of routines simplifying teachers’ planning
Why students will love a Mathsquad program
- Clear and consistent learning goals are motivating for students
- Students’ progress is visible and successes can be celebrated
- In-built systems for support and extension to ensure no child is left behind and no child is left waiting for more
- Differentiation is done inclusively and attention isn’t unnecessarily drawn to those working well ahead or well behind the majority
Why parents will love a Mathsquad program
- No need to purchase a textbook for maths
Getting Started, what is a mathsquad driven program?
A mathsquad driven program is a Year 7 program that predominantly uses mathsquad resources to support the teaching and learning of Year 7 mathematics and does not require an externally purchased textbook. The mathsquad program is centred around weekly homework sheets that cover a range of skills. In a mathsquad driven program, assessments take the form of progress tests. Each progress test is either at the foundation or core level and structured exactly like a homework sheet. This means that assessments are not topic based, but instead assess students’ progress on a range of skills. Progress tests occur roughly on a termly basis and allow students and teachers to see how students’ skills are progressing. In a mathsquad driven program, class time is spent developing students’ skills. This includes skills contained within the homework sheets, times tables and problem solving. While there are suggested weekly structures, suggested skill sequences and suggested options for differentiating the work, it is up to individual schools, and perhaps individual teachers, to decide how the mathsquad resources can best be used to maximise the progress of their students.
Suggested Weekly Structure
It is helpful if each lesson or week has a similar structure. Once key routines are understood by students each will become more efficient and allow for a more productive learning environment. There is a lot of room for flexibility so when interruptions occur it won’t be a big deal, though where possible a reliable structure will be super helpful for student learning and teachers’ planning. The below guide is based on a 3×48 minute lessons + 1 x 96 minute lesson per week time table.
|Lesson 1||Lesson 2||Lesson 3||Lesson 4a||Lesson 4b|
|Warm Up||Times table warm up||Times table warm up||Times table warm up||Times table warm up||times table warm up|
|Lesson Focus||Whole class skill lesson||Whole class skill lesson||Problem solving||Whole class skill lesson||Review lesson|
Notes on suggested weekly structure:
- Homework could be corrected by students during lesson 1, or alternative, homework could be corrected by the teacher outside of class and then returned to students in say lesson two.
- The times table warm up can be replaced with Numeracy Ninjas in Semester 2
- The First whole class skill lesson can be replaced by a “Skill of Choice” lesson once students are familiar with the skill development book (perhaps after the second full cycle of the above weekly structure)
- Once a term Lesson 4 will be replaced with a Progress Test. Please refer to the assessment page for details on this.
Suggested Skill Sequence
The mathsquad program was created due to the frustrations caused by prescribed timelines that lead to prioritising teaching of content of students’ learning of skills. Similar frustrations arose due to being required to teach topics that had high levels of prerequisite knowledge that the majority of students did not yet have. For these reasons it is important that the below skill sequence is a guide only. It is likely that at the beginning of the year this will be a great support for teachers new to the program, though over time teachers will feel more confident using student data to inform their choice of skills to teach.
Click here to view the skill sequence.
Suggested Implementation Guide
If you are going to run a Mathsquad driven program at Year 7, implementation and uptake by teachers will be much smoother if each staff member has access to an implementation guide. I have found that using a google doc is a good approach as they are easily accessed, modifiable and allow you to have hyperlinks within the document. A sample implementation guide can be found by clicking here. If you want to create your own implementation guide click here to use the sample as a template which can be copied and edited by individuals. It is also advised that there is a year level coordinator to communicate the program to new staff members, arrange printing and coordinate communication. A sample guide for a subject leader is found here. To create your own subject leader guide click here to use the sample as a template which can be edited.