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Newsletter

Newsletter

Length: 1500 words (maximum), plus graphics. The contents of the newsletter (minus the reference list) contribute to the word count.
Your submission must contain (in one file only):
1.    Newsletter,
2.    Completed summary, and
3.    Criteria sheet

Orientation
This assessment task provides you an opportunity to demonstrate your understanding of a topic of early years mathematics (in an area of Number), in accordance with literature, research, policy and curricula. Work on this task will assist the synthesis of your conceptual and pedagogical early years mathematics knowledge. This assessment is ‘educative’ in nature. The newsletter gives you the opportunity to foster positive relationships through effective communication and contribute to a vibrant profession.

Before you begin your task, you must choose:
1.    The specific topic (one topic only), for example:
a.    forward number sequence and backward number word sequence,
b.    repeating patterns
c.    number facts strategies – addition
d.    mental computation
e.    growing patterns
2.    The children with whom your targeted audience engages; for instance, the age ranges (foundation to year1) of the children. This will influence the content of your communication and the curricula and policy that you reference.

Your task
You are required to write a newsletter to parents/care givers of the children with whom you work.
As a teacher who has embraced early years mathematics and numeracy education, you have been asked to communicate your understanding with others.

The aim of the task is to INFORM parents/caregivers about a topic of early childhood mathematics (within Number or Algebra), using an engaging mode of communication.
You are required to describe early childhood mathematics and the role it plays in young children’s education. To fully explain the essential inclusion of mathematics in early childhood settings the following information must be articulated:
•    Why early mathematics is an essential component of foundational development
•    The national contemporary agenda and policy
•    The research base that describes children’s mathematical competencies
•    The mathematical learning in which young children engage, including detail about prescribed curricula that underpin planning and practice
•    The pedagogical practices (ways of working) and resources that best support early learning and development. You are required to justify the approach to teaching mathematics that is best adopted in the context.

It is important that you consider the style of your presentation. It must be inviting and engaging. Consider:
•    Colour
•    Graphics
•    Layout
•    Fonts and headings
•    Images, photographs, etc

Recency of article For most purposes you are required to source recent articles (within the last 5 years). However, some older research is seminal and “ground breaking” and should not be dismissed. An example of this is the research on children’s development of mental computation strategies and appropriate models/representations to support this development, reported in the 1990s and in the early 2000s in the Dutch, German and English literature. More recent writing in this area is based on this earlier literature, and might not contribute anything new to the field. In contrast, there is a great deal of more current literature relating to young children’s algebraic reasoning. So, the short answer is: you will have to decide whether the literature you use may be more than 5 years old, or more current literature is required.

Summary template
To assist you in creating an effective, rigorous and engaging newsletter, complete the summary template. NOTE: Before completing and submitting this planning template, please ensure that you have read the marking criteria and have a clear understanding of expectations.
No more than 1000 words are required.
1.    Topic
Briefly outline your assignment focus. For example, ‘number facts strategies for prep students.’

2.    Summary
List all of your references (this might include research and academic literature, curricula, etc) in alphabetical order using the APA referencing style. For each reference, briefly summaries what the source was about. Some sentence starters have been provided for you below. They are intended as a guide only. Up to ten quality references (excluding curriculum documents) should suffice.

1.    Bofferding, L. (2014). Negative integer understanding: Characterizing first graders’ mental models. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 45, 194-245. doi: 10.5951/jresematheduc.45.2.0194

•    This study found that…
•    The researchers argued that…
•    In a study of (who and what? Eg. Grade one children’s integer understanding)…
•    This resource is useful for…
•    According to this study, children in grade x, should intuitively use (what strategies?).

2.    Hunter, J. (2014). Developing learning environments which support early algebraic reasoning: a case from a New Zealand primary classroom. Mathematics Education Research Journal, 26, 659-682. doi: 10.1007/s13394-013-0093-4

•    The focus of this study was…
•    There were x key findings in this study. First,… Second,…Third,…
•    The researchers explored (what?) by (how?).
•    The (what grade?) curriculum states that…
•    The researchers recommend teaching (what?) by (how?)…

3.    Relevant resources and/or materials to support teaching and learning in your chosen topic

4.    Any other relevant information

Name:                                                   Student number:
Criteria    Excellent    Good    Satisfactory    Unsatisfactory
Demonstrate sound fundamental knowledge of the nature and value of mathematics education in early years (research, policy, curricula).
10 marks    The nature and value of mathematics and its contribution to EC are expertly stated
The nature and value of mathematics and its contribution to EC development are very clearly stated.     The nature and value of mathematics and its contribution to EC are clearly stated.    The nature and value of mathematics and its contribution to EC development are not clear.
Demonstrate understandings of teaching and learning strategies and resources that build on and support early mathematical learning (pedagogical practices). Demonstrate understanding of chosen topic and how to teach it.
15 marks    Educational approaches, strategies & resources are highly appropriate. The main ideas are expertly stated and the reasoning is excellent.
Educational approaches, strategies, resources all appropriate. Main ideas are very explicit and the supporting reasoning is good.    Educational approaches, strategies & resources are appropriate and clearly stated; the supporting reasoning is satisfactory.    Educational approaches, strategies & resources not explicit or not appropriate. There is a need for better quality supporting information.
High quality communication of learning goals about contemporary early childhood mathematics
10 marks    Excellent presentation and link between mathematics content and audience. Professionally created, engaging communication mode.    Appropriate presentation and linking of communication content and audience. Resource is attractive and aim explicit.    Some links have been made between the communication mode and the mathematics content. Is attractive and appropriate for audience.    Communication mode does not reflect the content and purpose. Inappropriately designed and not engaging.
Use of supporting reference material
5 marks    Relevant, quality details give information beyond the obvious or predictable from a variety of sources.    Supporting details and information are relevant, of high quality and from a variety of sources.    Supporting details and information are relevant, and an appropriate number of sources used.    Supporting details and information are often unclear or not related to the topic. Too few sources.
Completion of summary
5 marks    Template contains relevant, quality details that scaffold the creation of an engaging robust communication.
Template contains supporting details and information that reflect the planning of the communication task.
Planning template is submitted but does not adequately reflect the content of the newsletter.
Planning template is not submitted with assessment.

APA referencing
Written expression.
5 marks
Consistent, with no errors in referencing within text and in reference list. No errors in grammar, punctuation, spelling.    Very few errors in referencing within text and in reference list. Very few errors in grammar, punctuation, spelling    Occasional errors in referencing within text and in reference list. Occasional errors in grammar, punctuation, spelling.    Frequent errors in referencing, grammar, spelling, and punctuation.
Grade:

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