#019 Paul Rowlandson – Bar Modelling, Questioning, Shanghai, Tokyo & Training Teachers

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On this episode of the Mr Barton Maths Podcast, I spoke to Paul Rowlandson.

Paul is currently the Deputy Director of Learning for Trinity Academy Trust. He is an experienced secondary mathematics teacher, one of the leads for White Rose Maths Hub, and he delivers a lot of training workshops for teachers all around the country on the likes of bar modeling and questioning.

Now, whilst Paul might not be a household name like some of my other guests, such Dylan Wiliam, Dan Meyer, or Bruno Reddy, in my opinion, he should be. And that is not just because he is from the North. Well, not entirely, anyway. Paul is an expert in some of the areas that listeners have most requested we cover, including bar modelling, questioning, Shanghai and advice for teachers delivering CPD. He also speaks very open and honestly about lots of aspects of teaching that I hope you can all relate to.

So, in a wide ranging, interview we covered the following things and more:

  • What is the first thing Paul thinks about when he is planning his lessons, and how has this approach developed over his years as a teacher?
  • We delve deep into bar modeling, looking at its strengths and weakness, whether you can just dip into it for certain topics, which type of students the approach works best for, and in a world first for the podcast, we even get interactive as Paul takes us through a couple of bar modelling scenarios, so get a pen and some paper at the ready.
  • We look at what makes a good question, and Paul discusses his research into questioning, including what what common mistakes that teachers, including myself, often make
  • What did Paul learn from his trips to Shanghai and Tokyo, and how has it changed his approach to teaching?
  • What advice does Paul have for teachers running training sessions for other teachers?
  • What has made the White Rose Maths Hub so successful, and what are some of the free resources that it has on offer for maths teachers?

As I say, I think this is a fascinating discussion, with lots of practical tips and food for thought. I really hope you enjoy it.

Just a quick reminder that we have a load of free daily revision Streams available at Diagnostic Questions in the build up to the summer’s maths exams. So, whether your students are preparing for their Key Stage 1 or 2 SATs (with questions written by Paul’s very own White Rose Maths Hub, incidentally), the new GCSE, the Legacy GCSE, IB, or even Welsh Numeracy, then we have a Revision Stream for you. Head over to diagnosticquestions.com/Streams to find out more.

And just the usual plea. If you enjoy these podcasts, then I would really appreciate it if you could spend a minute to give them a quick review on iTunes, and also it would be great if you could share them with your friends and colleagues. They have been known to help making paving the driveway and being stuck in traffic a bit more tolerable, as well as sending crying new born babies to sleep. Not my original intention for them, but I will take what I can get.

Information about the Bar Modelling Conference on the 16th of February that Paul mentioned can be found here
The White Rose Maths Hub free Schemes of Learning can be found here
The White Rose Maths Hub page on Diagnostic Questions can be found here

Links to the research cited by my previous guests, can be found here
The books Paul recommends, along with those recommended by my other guests, can be found here

Paul Rowlandson’s Big 3
1. To get started with bar modelling there’s Char Forster’s “Model Drawing in Mathematics
2. A practical book about questioning would be Trevor Kerry’s “Questioning and Explaining in Classrooms
3. Teaching and learning, in general, I would say Douglas Newton’s “Teaching for Understanding

My usual plugs:

Thanks so much for listening, and I really hope you enjoy the show!
Craig Barton

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