Sunday, March 6, 2011

Three Part Lesson: Coordinates

This is a summary of the lesson we observed in Mike's Grade 7 class.

Prior Learning:
This was the first lesson in this unit.  Mike wanted to find out what students remembered or knew about coordinates.  

Contextualizing the Problem:
In creating this problem, Mike was intentional in choosing a context that his students could understand and relate to.  It also provided a vision of how coordinates is used in a real-life context.

Part 1: Getting Started
Mike introduced the term 'coordinates' and discussed what students will be learning about it in Grade 7.

Part 2: Working on It
Mike introduced the problem to the class.  He reviewed appropriate group work behaviour and management of materials.

While circulating, Mike noticed that any groups demonstrated the same misconception:
Misconceptions about the placement of the negative coordinates and the centre point was evident in almost all student work.
Part 3: Reflecting and Connecting (Consolidation)
Prior to asking the following groups to share, Mike reiterated to the whole class that the sharing was not about passing judgement.  His prompt to the group that shared was:

"Tell us what you were thinking as you solved the problem."  

This focussed students on the mathematical thinking in the room, rather than the correct solution.

The groups that shared their solutions was intentionally selected to address the different thinking in the room.  It wasn't about showcasing the 'perfect' solutions.
This solution clarified a misconception about the placement of the numbers on the coordinate system and the centre point.
This group was selected to showcase the correct solution as well as the clear communication process.
Part 3: Explicit Teaching
Mike clarified the misconceptions and partial conceptions about the coordinate system during this portion of the lesson.  He referred back to the student work that was shared earlier.

Clarifying misconceptions about how to construct a coordinate grid, the location of the centre point, and plotting coordinates was the goal of the explicit teaching part of the lesson. 

Part 4: Independent Practice
After explicitly clarifying student misconceptions, Mike wanted to give students a chance to apply what they learned individually.  He intentionally selected two questions from textbook.

As students worked on the Checking questions, Mike was able to check in with individual students to ensure they understood the key concepts on the lesson.  This is key since some students may get lost in group work.

While Mike did not formally record assessment information, he demonstrated for us what the term 'assessment drives instruction' means.  He tailored his explicit instruction to clarify the misconceptions and partial conceptions his students demonstrated during group work.  He purposefully selected textbook questions that would let him know if his students 'got it or not".  The divide between assessment and instruction was seamless.

No comments:

Post a Comment