Professional learning session for the School Support Officers (SSO’s)

 In Blog Entry, Outreach

In Term 2, AMSI conducted a professional learning session for the School Support Officers (SSO’s) at Augusta Park Primary School, Port Augusta as part of the CHOOSEMATHS Project.

School Support Officers are an integral part of the learning program at August Park and have a vital role in working with students with identified learning needs.  The SSO Professional Learning opportunity was developed to improve SSO’s personal understanding of mathematical ideas as well as to build their confidence in speaking and coaching mathematics concepts.

A number of issues were raised and investigated:

  1. SSOs are role models and mentors to the students they work with so the language around maths that they use is important. How they speak about their experiences with maths impacts on the attitudes students develop about their ability to engage and learn maths.
  1. Their role is to help, not do for students. Developing questioning skills to encourage students’ thinking and reasoning, understanding the concepts and skills being taught and the success criteria students need to demonstrate are part of their role.  Praising effort, helping students accept mistakes as building blocks and using growth mindset phrasing were also discussed.
  1. The big ideas in number in particular ‘trusting the count” and place value were key to our work. This point of interest focused on developing the SSO participants’ understanding of these mathematical big ideas.

The 2-hour session was very well received, with positive feedback given to Ms Tania Bailey, coordinator of the event and Deputy Principal of Augusta Park Primary School,

 “I would just like to thank you for your work at Augusta Park last Friday.  The feedback from the SSOs was fantastic and they are all looking forward to continuing their learning with you.”

With such wonderful feedback, and the impact it has had on the SSO’s confidence around mathematics, it is definitely a session that will be regularly added to the AMSI calendar.

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