How can a Castorccino help teachers to cast oracy into their classroom?
Get the questions right and you are now communicating!Mr. Castor
“Congratulations Mr Castor, on your first teaching post. I’m sure you will enjoy working with our children. Here is the syllabus for the year. Good luck!”
Talk about being thrown into the deep end. I was twenty and had just left full time education to enter, well, full time education. So many outcomes… So many expectations… And, so many new concepts and vocabulary to teach. Where was I to begin?
With a connection! First with the hearts and then with the minds in front of me. I soon came to realise that it was notoriously the language associated with new learning intentions that was often lacking in my earliest lessons. Once I had more subject knowledge, my confidence grew. And, once this grew I was able to experiment and develop my own teaching and learning pedagogy.
Inspired by the popular board game ‘Guess Who?’, I set about the mission to devise an activity that could be applied to all new concepts taught. Something that would resonate with all my students and bring them closer together. Something that would help them to develop their oracy skills. My thinking was: If my confidence as a teacher was growing due to improved subject knowledge, then it was inevitable that exposing my students to the language associated with ambitious learning outcomes would also see them shining while at work.
With a plan to hand, I set about carefully devising questions that would set learning journeys on the right path. Once these had been written, I was now ready to create a simple, yet effective resource that would enable my students to connect to those questions. The birth of Castorccino! Or as I had presented it all those years ago, ‘Talk Time’.
I would display a number of statements and potential solutions. Only one solution could satisfy all statements given. Curriculum expectations drove the content, and the result… Discussion! Engagement! Enthusiasm! Desire!
Cast-oracy into the start of newly taught concepts and you too will:
- develop mathematical fluency and reasoning skills;
- link challenging concepts;
- foster even more critical thinking;
- promote and nurture team collaboration;
- encourage students to communicate – EFFECTIVELY!
If students solve a Castorccino, while others are still at work, I simply ask them to select another answer cup and set them the challenge to devise their own clue cards to satisfy their selection. I am also not concerned if students do not solve a Castorccino in the allocated time. Finding the solution to each activity is not the priority. The time spent using and talking about the language of new mathematical concepts is. And, it is these oracy skills that set learning journeys on the right paths!
- A wonderful opportunity for PRE & POST ASSESSMENT of student’s knowledge, skills and understanding.
- Supportive questions that provoke past and current learning journeys!
- Differentiated statements that ensure a range of abilities can access and engage with all tasks!
- Challenging extension activities to maximize learning time!