Saturday, February 12, 2011

Three Part Lesson: Area with Conversion of Units

Here is a summary of the 3-part lesson we observed in Laura's Grade 6 classroom.

Prior Learning:
The class had just finished learning about multiplication and division strategies.  This is a diagnostic task for area involving conversion of units.

Part 1: Activating prior knowledge
Laura used a mental math string to activate students prior learning about different multiplication strategies.  Students completed this string individually in their math workbook.

As Laura took up the different strategies to solve these multiplication expressions, she represented them as arrays.  This reinforced what students had been learning about arrays in the previous unit.

This is what the math string looked liked at the end of the sharing.

Part 2: Working on It
Laura introduced the problem to the whole class by setting the context.  She used what her students knew about her and her condo to modify the original EQAO question.
This is a modified version of the Grade 6 EQAO question from the Spring 2006 assessment.
Laura then completed the KWC chart with the whole class to ensure that everyone had the same understanding of the problem.

These are some misconceptions we noticed in the student work.

no conversion of units; ignored measurement of tile
ignored different units

found area of rectangle, then converted to smaller units

Part 3: Reflecting and Connecting
The following groups were asked to share their thinking with the whole class during the MATH CONGRESS.  They were chosen to share because their thinking would clarify some of the misconceptions observed during the group problem solving.

Group #1
Representation of the first group's solution
Group #2
Representation of the second group's solution (done by Laura)
Group #3: complete solution

Part 3: Explicit Teaching
This is the part of the lesson that Laura connected all three solutions.

She also demonstrated a complete solution to the whole class.  This ensures that everyone left the lesson with the same understanding of the correct solution and the problem solving process.

One of the things we noticed during the Math Congress was that after each group shared, the class was confused about their thinking.  So Laura had to represent their thinking visually so the rest of the class can move on to the next solution.  This is a great example of what the teacher's role might look like during the math congress.

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