You are on page 1of 10

ETL421

Reflecting on the Curriculum

Enriching the classroom activity

Lauren Wilson S187171

As I Reflected on the numeracy art based activity I designed for my year seven visual arts
class at Nightcliff middle school, it wasnt as challenging as I first though it would be. The
more time I spent reflecting on the activity I had created the more I could see how it
lacked in numeracy and mathematical context. This left me a little frustrated as to how I
could improve or enrich the activity I had originally created. The original outline of the
activity required students to create an A4 sized artwork based on the artist Frank Stella and
his protractor series. The learning intention involved students developing their planning and
art making techniques and processes as they used rulers, protractors and compasses to
sketch and design an artwork with reoccurring 2dimensional shapes. This activity clearly
and appropriately addresses the visual arts curriculum outcomes (image 1) but falls short at
meeting the numeracy curriculum outcomes I said it would.
CURRICULUM OUTCOMES
ART

Develop planning and skills for art making by exploring

techniques and processes used by different artist.
(ACAVAM120)

Practice techniques and process to enhance representations

of ideas in their art making. (ACAVAM121)

NUMERACY
year 7 Maths ACARA, 2015
While addressing these curriculum areas student will also develop
understanding of measurement and geometry under the
proficiency strands of:
Understanding
Fluency
Problem solving
Reasoning
Students will do this through
Measuring
Shapes
Symmetry
Image 1 (screen grab for assignment one, ACARA. (2015).

Rational of Changes
The easy part was recognising my original activity didnt adequately meet the curriculum
outcomes of numeracy. The difficult part is how can I improve this activity so it better

ETL421
Reflecting on the Curriculum
Lauren Wilson S187171

meets the curriculum as well as extend my students learning and appreciation for
numeracy through art. My main question is how can I incorporate more numeracy into
this activity without taking away the fun creative art aspects?
The Curriculum improvements
Image 2 below is a screen gab of the original classroom activity outline of the task and
Image 3 shows how each of the numeracy outcomes has been improved and extended
on so they more adequately meet the numeracy curriculum within the original classroom
activity.

Measurement
A
c
t
i
v
i
t
y

A
c
t
i
o
n

Students are to plan and create an A4 size artwork

based on the artist Frank Stella and his Protractor
series.

request students employ spercific

measurement requirements to all
shapes and lines ruled by providing
students with these measurement
requirements for the differernt
shapes used.

Learning Intention: Students will be able to

develop their planning and art making techniques
and processes by creating an artwork based on
the Frank Stella Protractor Series.

Shapes

Students are to
Using a pencil, protractor, ruler and or
compass begin designing an A4 sized
creation inspired by the images of frank
Stellas protractor series.
Apply at least 4 reoccurring shapes
Overlap and join shapes
Experiment with producing 3 dimensional
shapes
Colour shapes in watercolour paint or
pencil with a 5 colour, colour scheme.

freedom to decide on which
shapes to use mandate students
incorporate circles, squares,
triangles and rectangles into their
artwork
.

Symmetry
instruct students to intergrate
symmerty into their artwork by
dividing their 4 reoccuring 2D
shapes with a ruler creating a
center point on each.

image 3 (improvements to the numeracy

curriculum outcomes)

ETL421
Reflecting on the Curriculum

Barriers to numeracy

Lauren Wilson S187171

Westwood, (2008) chapter six on barriers to numeracy claims the effectiveness of the
instructions student receives is one of the major influence on their progress towards
numeracy. Westwood goes into great detail to explain that there are other factors or
barriers that contribute to poor-quality teaching. Image 4 below addresses some of these
barriers and suggests ways in which they could be overcome with particular reference to
my classroom activity.
Potential Barriers to numeracy
p. 60 Lack of continuity

revision

p. 60 Curriculum content
covered too quickly
p. 62 teachers failing to
difference
p. 60 teachers less then
perfect communication skills

p. 63 the detrimental effect of

failure

Westwood, 2008 suggest teaching mathematic concepts
in a hierarchical sequence therefore conducting this arts
activity around the same time as shapes is being taught
within normal maths class will yield better results and
understanding from students.
Again completing this activity around or prior to shapes
being taught during maths will provide students the
opportunity to cement and even extend their
knowledge.
Break down the activity in to clearer steps. Make every
effort to reference mathematics and numeracy while the
students are completing the activity.
Know the students and how they learn. Make time to
individually provide assistance and teaching/learning so
that all students learning needs are meet.
Provide different, alternative ways to teach the
mathematics and numeracy concepts. Silver and Hagin,
(2002) as state in Westwood, 2008 suggest using
language that is easily understandable by students.
Extend the time frame to complete the task to relive the
pressure some students may feel to rush and finish. Also
encourage confidence into students and their
mathematical and artistic abilities to overcome the fear
of failure.

(image 4 barriers to numeracy, Westwood, 2008 )

Westwood, (2008) also discusses some uncontrollable barriers to numeracy and learning
such as Absences from school and moving to a new school. Absences from school and
new students joining the school are barriers to students learning that is a common
occurrence for students at Nightcliff Middle; it is also a barrier that is outside of my control.
The only way to address these barriers is to be mindful of the students that have missed
lessons or come in late and individually check in with them to assess their progress and

ETL421
Reflecting on the Curriculum
Lauren Wilson S187171

Another very important element for teaching within the arts field is competing the activity
prior to teaching it to your students. My mentor insists on completing a sample to not only
show students what they will be creating but it also give you, The teacher the best
can or cannot do so scaffolding can be implemented if and or when needed.
Evaluation
Recreating my classroom activity
Frank Stella protractor series activity
Year seven
Activity:

Students are to plan and create an A3 size artwork based on the artist
Frank Stella and his Protractor series.
Learning Intention: Students will be able to develop their
planning and art making techniques and processes by creating
an artwork based on the Frank Stella Protractor Series.

Action:

Lesson 1:

Lesson 2:

Students are to
Using a pencil, protractor, ruler and or compass begin
designing an A3 sized creation inspired by the images of
frank Stellas protractor series.
Apply at least 4 reoccurring shapes
Overlap and join shapes
Colour shapes in watercolour paint or pencil using a
colour scheme of either:
- Complementary
- Analogous
Students are to use their prior knowledge of shapes and or classroom
discussions to create well-balanced artwork using protractors,
compasses and rulers to draw and overlap 4 reoccurring shapes.
Teacher note: Provide students with a visual sample so student can
visualise what they will produce through this activity ((See image 6))
Students are to continue drawing 4 reoccurring and overlapping
shapes onto their A3 size artwork.
Again Using their prior knowledge of the different colour schemes and
or classroom discussions to choose either a complementary,
Teacher note: refresh those students that may have forgotten what
the colour schemes are.

ETL421
Reflecting on the Curriculum
Lauren Wilson S187171

Lesson 3: Students are to finish painting and or colouring all overlapped sections
of their artwork using their chosen colour scheme.

Resources

Curriculum
outcomes
Art:

A3 paper
Pencils
Rulers
Protractors
Compass
Eraser
Watercolour paints
Watercolour pencils

Develop planning and skills for art making by exploring

techniques and processes used by different artist.
(ACAVAM120)
Practice techniques and process to enhance representations of
ideas in their art making. (ACAVAM121)

Numeracy:

year 7 Maths ACARA, 2015

While addressing these curriculum areas student will also
develop understanding of measurement and geometry under
the proficiency strands of:
Understanding
Fluency
Problem solving
Reasoning
Students will do this through
Measuring
Shapes
Symmetry

(Image 6 sample of artwork - Cater,

C. (2012)
https://creativecolor.wordpress.com/t
ag/color-mixing/)

ETL421
Reflecting on the Curriculum
Lauren Wilson S187171

Evaluating of improved activity
Breaking the activity up into 3 lessons reduces the pressure some students may feel to rush
to complete the task. It also addresses the barrier of fear of failure as students are able to
spend more time and care on their work.
Taking into account my students specific needs and scaffolding the activity to meet these
needs can improve the effectiveness of my classroom activity. By providing more student
directed learning opportunities, by encouraging students to reflect on their prior knowledge
in shapes and colour schemes. This will enable the more independent, capable individuals
to rise to the challenge and be accountable for their learning. Meaning the students with
learning difficulties that my struggle to fully understand the maths concepts within the
activity will benefit from more one on one time and assistance from the teacher. An
example of this is the teacher notes at the bottom of each lesson.
In assignment one with Davis and Renert (2014) classroom scenario explanations I
neglected to fully explain the effect the different teaching styles and approaches to
learning could have on my classroom activity. I have therefore through evaluation of my
activity taken into account the position of the second classroom scenario in Davis and
Renert (2014) where thinking outside the box, classroom discussion and student directed
learning is encouraged. I have tried to incorporate this though using classroom discussions
and utilising students prior knowledge.
My original classroom activity pedagogy was fairly recognisable throughout Mason &
Johnston-Wilders (2006) work as it discusses learning is generated through the activities set
in the classroom. I can improve the pedagogical approach to better meet the needs of
my students by better understanding what my students can and cannot do, simply
knowing my students. Knowing my students and how they learn is something I neglected to
take into account within assignment one. Making assumptions about students abilities and
categorising all student-learning needs together is something that also hindered the
effectiveness of my original activity design and teaching pedagogy.
By analysing what was lacking from my first assignment in regards to my pedagogy for
teaching this activity I can more confidently state my activity now meets the individual
needs of all my students. I now know my students and how they learn, and through this I
can harness their prior knowledge and provide continuity of the teaching of mathematical
concept, and also provide scaffolded teaching to ensure all students learning needs are
meet.

ETL421
Reflecting on the Curriculum

Lauren Wilson S187171

Narrative
Teacher- student interactions
Student 1 : ahhh I hate using a protractor they are so hard to work out!
Student 2: yeah I know? Why do we have to use protractors? This is art not maths!
Student 3: Yeah miss do we have to use protractors?
Teacher: yes, year seven we do have to use protractors, even though this is art
we need to learn and practice using protractors, compasses and use rulers
correctly.
Student 3: How come?
Teacher: Well we use maths and maths concepts in different subject areas and in
real life all the time!
Student 1: yeah like I m going to need to use a protractor or ruler in real life miss!
Student 4: well actually miss is right, well probably have to use rulers or tape
measure to measure heaps of different stuff outside of school.
Student 2: yeah like measuring the width or height of a wall or room or something,
Right miss?
Teacher: yeah thats right, we dont realise it but maths is usefully in so many
different areas its vital we know the basics, especially how to measure something
correctly.
Teacher: All right year seven lets all just give it a go, you never know you might
end up liking it.

ETL421
Reflecting on the Curriculum

Lauren Wilson S187171

Narrative
Discussion with mentor teacher
Prac teacher: so I have this maths/ numeracy assignment where I have to come
up with a classroom activity that incorporates maths and numeracy concepts in
my chosen teaching area.
Mentor: ooo that sounds challenging what have you got in mind?
Prac teacher: well I never been too great at maths so Im struggling a little bit, I
want the activity to still have a real art focus and just incorporate some maths
and numeracy elements/concepts.
Prac teacher: Im thinking of using rulers and protractors to create different
shapes that overlap and create symmetry, something based on Frank Stellas
work?
Mentor: oh yeah, that sounds good. Ive done similar exercise before.
Prac teacher: really? How do they students respond to the maths
elements/concepts?
Mentor: some get freaked out about using a protractor; they struggle to get their
heads around protractors/ruler/compasses etc. being used in areas other then
maths.
Prac teacher: oh great! This activity will be perfect to teach students how maths
and numeracy concepts relate to different subject area and in real life. Ill
defiantly reinforce this with them to try and remove the stigma numeracy is just for
maths.

ETL421
Reflecting on the Curriculum
Lauren Wilson S187171

Redirection
Reflecting on assignment One is essentially how I have prepared for and been able to
complete this assignment. Learnline modules and the numeracy literature have also
impacted heavily on how I redirected my initial classroom activity and therefore
assignment two.
By completing this unit along side my final placement I have continually been involved
with self reflection and reflection on events, processes and learnings. I believe Ive
improved my reflective practices simply by reflecting at the end of the week all the
events, mishaps and skills I have learnt or encountered. Reflecting daily would be more
ideal but with my school, work and university commitments reflecting at least weekly was
the best practice for my mental and emotional health and wellbeing.

ETL421
Reflecting on the Curriculum

Annotated references

Lauren Wilson S187171

ACARA. (2015). Australian curriculum: Visual arts: Years 7 and 8. Retrieved from
http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/the-arts/visual-arts/Curriculum/F-10?y=78&layout=1
The Australian curriculum website has provided my the correct curriculum
framework and outcomes for both the numeracy and arts within the
classroom activity I designed.
Davis, B. and Renert, M. (2014). The math teachers know: Profound understanding of
https://online.cdu.edu.au/bbcswebdav/pid-143324-dt-announcement-rid3701303_2/courses/ETL421_Sem2_2014/DR14Ch1.pdf
Reviewing Davis and Renert work really helped me to see how I could better
address, my classroom activity through my original explanation of their classroom
scenarios in assignment one. My feedback from assignment one also guided me

Mason, J., & Johnston-Wilder, S. (2006). Designing and using mathematical tasks. St.
Albans, U.K: Tarquin.
Mason & Johnston-Wilders ideas on pedagogy helped me to improve my
pedagogical approach to my classroom activity. I could develop and
improve how I can teach my students in a way they will respond to best.
Westwood, P. (2008) What Teachers Need to Know about Numeracy. retrieved
from
<http://search.informit.com.au.ezproxy.cdu.edu.au/documentSummary;dn=4415
76506871113;res=IELHSS>
Westwoods chapter six, assisted me in addressing the barriers to numeracy
question and enabled me to understand ways in which I can overcome these
barriers in relation to my classroom activity as well as overcoming numeracy
barriers in different subject areas such as the arts.
Images
Cater, C. (2012) artwork sample strangers in a strange land