Professional learning communities involve teachers working together in a collaborative, interactive and ongoing way in order to improve teacher practice and outcomes for students. Professional learning communities can take many forms, for example, a group of cooperating teachers within a school or cluster of teachers from different school working together in an education centre or online forum. This type of collaboration between teachers has the potential to improve practice and is particularly important as teachers work to implement changes of the forthcoming curriculum.
The teachers presenting these series of workshops have been working exploring the teaching approaches recommended in new curriculum. Across these three online meetings, they will share their experiences and will encourage teachers to try out ideas in their own classrooms and discuss their successes and challenges in follow-up meetings.
Incorporating Digital Tools for Supporting Teaching, Learning and Assessment of Maths in Junior Classes
●Virtual Manipulatives in Maths lesson from Junior Infants to Second Class
●Use of QR codes to aid children’s access to technology
●Small task to try in your classroom
●Sharing experiences of how task went
●Setting up a Virtual Classroom
●Small task to try in your classroom
●Sharing experiences of how task went
●Digital tools for formal and assessment in maths from Junior Infants to Second Class
Sarah Byrne is a primary school teacher in St Vincent de Paul Infant School in Dublin. Sarah has a keen interest in the use of digital technology to support all areas of education, in particular, the area of maths education in junior classes. Sarah completed a Masters in Education specialising in Inquiry-Based Learning focusing on how the use of digital tools supported the link between inquiry-based learning and maths education in the primary classroom.
Using Universal Design for Learning to support all learners in Mathematics
Providing appropriate differentiation can be challenging. Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is an approach that aims to provide all individuals with equal opportunities to learn. It involves providing multiple means of engagement, multiple means of representation, and multiple modes of action and expression. These workshops will explore classroom strategies for including the principles of UDL, focusing on designing, implementing and reflecting on lessons to support all learners.
This professional learning community will be facilitated by primary teachers, Jennifer Holligan, Deirbhile Travers and Lisa Walsh who have been working to implement these ideas in their own classrooms. A professional learning community involves teachers working together in a collaborative, interactive and ongoing way in order to improve teacher practice and outcomes for students. This professional learning community will involve 3 online meetings. Jennifer, Deirbhile and Lisa will share their experiences and will encourage teachers to try out ideas in their own classrooms and discuss their successes and challenges in follow-up meetings.
Jennifer Holligan, Senior Infant Class Teacher, Broadmeadow CNS, Swords, Co Dublin
Jennifer is Deputy Principal and SEN Coordinator. As part of her M.Ed., Jennifer focused on the teaching of Maths and has implemented UDL principles in her class.
Deirbhile Travers, Fourth Class, Sacred Heart of Jesus National School, Huntstown, Dublin 15.
Deirbhile completed the major specialism in mathematics in the DCU Institute of Education.
Lisa Walsh, SET, Corduff NS, Lusk, Co. Dublin (Multi-grade school)
Lisa’s Masters’ thesis focused on exploring the co-teaching of mathematics in a multi-grade primary school setting through the lens of Universal Design for Learning
The teachers presenting these series of workshops have been working together to explore the teaching of number in the context of the new curriculum. Across these three online meetings, they will share their experiences and will encourage teachers to try out ideas in their own classrooms and discuss their successes and challenges in follow-up meetings.
Teaching Number in the Junior Classes (Infants- Second)
Presenters will explore (i) how to develop number sense using counting games, problems and modelling; (ii) how to approach the teaching of addition and subtraction. They will share classroom examples and make connections to the content and recommended pedagogies of the new curriculum, including playful approaches, as appropriate.
Rachel Brennan is a primary school teacher in Harold’s Cross ETNS. Rachel completed a Masters in Education in Teaching and Learning where her research focused on children’s use of representations and reasoning in number tasks. Rachel lectures part time on the Bachelor of Education programme in Dublin City University.
Elaine Dillon is a Senior Infant teacher and Assistant Principal in Bishop Shanahan NS, Dublin 6W. Elaine completed a Masters in Education and focused her research on developing children’s mathematical thinking during playful moments. Elaine has a keen interest in creating rich mathematical experiences in classrooms.
Josephine Fitzgerald is a primary school teacher and Assistant Principal in Duleek Girls National School. Josephine has a keen interest in rich mathematical tasks and developing students’ number sense. Josephine completed a Masters in Education specialising in Mathematics and lectures part time on the Bachelor of Education programme in Dublin City University.
Sinéad McGill is a primary school teacher in St. Joseph’s NS in Dundalk. She has completed a Masters in Education specialising in Mathematics. Sinéad has a keen interest in the teaching of number in the junior classroom.
Orla Ryan is a Junior Infant teacher and Assistant Principal in Scoil Carmel JNS, Firhouse where she is Maths Coordinator. She completed a Masters in Language Education and has a keen interest in learning through play.
Sophie Roche is a primary school teacher in Scoil Mhuire Junior in Dublin 15. Sophie completed a specialism in Mathematics Education as part of her Bachelor of Education Degree in Dublin City University. Sophie has a keen interest in classroom discourse and the use of rich tasks in mathematics lessons in the junior classroom.
Teaching Number in the Senior Classes (Third- Sixth)
Edward Fitzgerald is a primary school teacher with over ten years’ experience. He is currently teaching 6th class in Scoil Mhuire, Clarinbridge, County Galway. In 2017 he completed his Masters of Education in DCU, specialising in Mathematics Education. The research area for his thesis was focused on using picture books to enhance parental involvement in mathematics. Since then he has worked as a Mathematics Tutor and Research Supervisor with Hibernia College and a School Placement Tutor with DCU. Edward has also been employed by DCU to create resources for the Maths4All website. Edward has co-authored an academic paper based on his research which he presented at the Mathematics Education in Ireland Conference in DCU in October 2019. He has also contributed resources to the MathsThroughStories website and has written an article for the InTouch magazine based on his experience of using picture books in the classroom. In 2021, he produced a video for Maths Week Ireland highlighting the use of picture books in the classroom. Edward is also a regular contributor to the Mathematics TeachMeet seminars. In 2020 Edward completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Educational Leadership and Management from Maynooth University and most recently has completed an Advanced Diploma in Law and Education with Kings Inn College.
Gráinne Higgins is a deputy principal in St Philomena’s N.S., Tullamore. She holds an M.Ed. in Teaching and Learning from DCU. As part of this M.Ed. Gráinne researched the mathematical learning experiences of pupils through the use of Izak9. She has presented her research findings at the UK Mathematical Association Conference and the Mathematics Education in Ireland Conference. She has provided teacher CPD in the use of Izak9 in the teaching and learning of mathematics through Laois and Kildare Education Centres. Gráinne also participated in the Teaching Council’s Researchers in Residence Scheme, where she explored the use of picture books in mathematics as a stimulus for mathematical story writing. In 2023, Gráinne presented her work in this area to the Inspectorate at a Children’s Literature Professional Network event. A video featuring Gráinne’s use of mathematical picture books in the classroom is also featured on the Maths Week Ireland website. Gráinne has presented at online Maths4All ‘Teach Meet’ events, aimed at sharing mathematical teaching and learning practices among teachers.