Paula Mundell for The CBI Mathematics Project Testimonial

November 02, 2023

Video Transcript

Speaker: Paula Mundell, Elementary Teacher, ABA Oman International School

What did your mathematics teaching look like before you started using The CBI Mathematics Project?

Paula Mundell: So my maths approach is cringe worthy. Now, when I compare it to how I'm teaching now, thanks to the wonderful CB mathematics and project, I definitely taught more for skills and knowledge through procedural approaches, more than teaching for understanding ashamedly. So and and even the comparison of my maths experience at school compared to what my students are receiving is phenomenal. And two particular aspects that really stick out in comparison to how I used to teach are the learning materials. I find them extremely clear, they're in depth and they are really easy for me to share with my teaching assistant who is now able and empowered to take small groups and larger groups and depending on what's happening and with our maths classes, we do have a wide range of learners. And thanks to the phased approach within the CB I project, we are able to much more easily target those Children. And thanks to the to the scope that the materials present. Another big difference is the opportunity to provide transfer tasks which of course I could have been doing before. But CB make it so easy because they're there. You just download and print off the necessary resources. And again, it just challenges Children to really apply their learning and it helps us to see actually how in depth their understandings are. It's just fantastic. And I'm so fortunate to have come and to start a school that's a pilot school for this project. At this time, I'm learning so much and I'm very grateful to the people and how hard they worked on this project. It's really exciting now it's launched and I fully advocate the approach.

How has your planning and teaching changed since you started using The CBI Mathematics Project?

Paula Mundell: My planning has changed because this approach actually saves a lot of time. Everything is there in the website, you just need to determine what you're going to use for which groups of Children or individual students. Um The children's feedback so far is that it's a lot more fun. I would use the term engaging. They are so much more engaged and um they actually are enjoying the generalization task where they have to explain in their own words, a response in terms of the generalization question or statement and which is incredible. So that tells me that they are already reflecting on their own learning and getting excited because they're realizing their new understandings. And again, I think the transfer tasks just offer that extra step for them to really prove to themselves and to us that they got the understandings that we're trying to teach them. I am able to with these resources because of their clarity, share them with my teaching assistant whose native language is not English and we are able to go through them. We have planned times in each day where we plan what we're going to be doing and we get everything ready. And then when we reflect on how the lessons went and what we think the targets need for the following day.

What impact has implementing The CBI Mathematics Project had on your students?

Paula Mundell: The impact on my students is definitely the higher engagement, their responses when they see on the board that we're going to be having maths time and their energy when interacting, whether independently or with one of the teachers here and their, their attention is definitely greater and, and it's two fold I think because I am enjoying teaching math more, they are enjoying being on the receiving end of me. And because I'm just as excited with them and we're all on this learning journey together and it's the same with my teaching assistant. She has never seen math like this in a classroom before and she's also learning and getting a lot from it. And so the ambience is a lot more positive. It's a lot more focused, intentional and, and when the Children have been applying this outside of the classroom, you know, on the weekends and in the holidays, they're much more eager to come back and report as are the parents, I think they're learning just as much.

How have the assessments helped to inform your teaching?

Paula Mundell: OK, assessment is the fuel of learning and teaching. So I, I feel honestly like I was always very strong in assessment because I cannot teach unless I don't know what the students have grasped and where they're at. And so again, it's just a daily practice. I mean, we go through their books at the end of each day to try to determine from their written work which we paste into their maths book. So it's all in one place, how they manage to do things independently. And when we're sitting in groups, we have tick lists with us which we're ticking or marking appropriately to know which students to revisit with which students can be pushed on. We also have our own comment boxes so we can write down, you know, like maybe there's fantastic statements that Children have said, which far exceeded what we were aiming for hoping for. So it's formative assessments all day long. And then of course, the pre assessments that are provided by the CB project and what you could call the summits are just a great way to kind of get a final and beginning clarification on where each child is. They're integral, they're integral.

What would you say to teachers who are considering joining The CBI Mathematics project?

Paula Mundell: Um I would say stop considering and do it. Um I have worked in various schools having taught all ages of elementary and primary schools and this is by far the most effective approach and of mathematics I've experienced and I'm not just saying that I can see that I can feel it and I'm experiencing it on a daily basis. And yes, it's the first year for us. And so there has been a lot to digest and you get those overwhelming moments. But if we didn't have those moments, we wouldn't get over to the other side where we are stronger and more skilled and, and better teachers and learners ourselves. And it really is about time that students started experiencing a mass approach like this where we are teaching for understanding, not surface level skills and knowledge, those have their place and they are obviously taught as well, but the understanding piece is so crucial. And so I would say absolutely get on this journey with us and I'm pretty sure you would agree with what I'm saying very quickly.

Produced with Vocal Video