Tag Archives: FEAP 1C

Week 13 – Mathematics – Finishing 2D Shapes

The end of the year is fast approaching and I am just so thankful for all of the opportunities that I have had in the Residency (UTRPP) Program. I am so glad that my collaborating teacher has provided me with the opportunity to continue to take the lead on teaching and planning in all subject areas so I can continue to gain more experience in front of the classroom.

I have many chances to experience guiding students through multiple units and on Monday we finished our 2D Shapes unit. The students took the assessment and based on what I observed, many of the students understood the content. There are still many students (about 6) who were unable to take the test because they were absent but I am eager to see their scores because I think they will show a good understanding of the content. One of the great things about teaching and planning math for the entire unit was that I am able to see the growth of my students and help address misconceptions and alter lesson plans to meet their needs.

For example, when teaching about equal parts, my students were confusing about whether or not certain squares were split into fourths. The students were able to recognize that four small squares or four rectangles that all looked the same are fourths but they were unable to make the connection when looking at a square split in half where the two halves are split in different ways.

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In the top squares, each piece is the same size. (I apologize that the rectangular pieces are not perfect on the second square but I wanted to show a pictorial representation of a misconception that my students had.) The third square, however, looks as if the four parts are no equal. But each side of the square (shown below using colors) is half of the square. Since these two pieces are cut in half each of the four parts are equal.

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This was a difficult concept for my students to grasp so I used actual paper that I cut up in front of the students along with drawings on the white board to help them understand. By providing this realia, I was able to bridge the gap in my students’ knowledge and allow many of them to grasp the idea. I felt like this was an important part to teach to help build their conceptual knowledge of splitting shapes into equal and unequal parts because my students made the assumption (which is a misconception) that when a 2D shape is split into parts of different shapes, that the parts are unequal.

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For example the fourth shape is split into rectangles and squares as taken from the other shapes on top. The parts are all equal even though they are different shapes because they are all half of half of the original shape. Although this terminology seems confusing, this conceptual knowledge can be helpful in the future, especially when students have to discuss fractions using ½ and ¼ and multiplying fractions to find half of a half or ½ x ½ = ¼.

I am approaching the final days of my internship, which is exciting because of the new opportunities that await me in the future but also a bit sad because I will really miss my classroom and my students. I have made so much growth and progress over the course of this year and I just cannot believe everything that has happened to me throughout my experience in the Residency Program. I can definitely say I would not trade this for anything.

Week 11 – Mathematics Content Coaching – Observation 2D Shapes

Lesson Plan: Mathematics – Week 1 – 2D Shapes 

I taught a mathematics lesson about the defining attributes of 2D shapes on Wednesday of the previous week. For this lesson, I met FEAP 1A by aligning my lesson with the standard: “MAFS.1.G.1.1 – Distinguish between defining attributes (e.g., triangles are closed and three-sides) versus non-defining attributes (e.g., color, orientation, overall size); build and draw shapes to possess defining attributes.” By the end of the lesson, my students had to be able to answer thee essential question: “What attributes can you use to define 2D shapes?”

When I was younger, I built 2D and 3D shapes using toothpicks and marshmallows and I wanted to incorporate that fun and engaging activity into my lesson to keep the students interested. I made sure to discuss the importance of using the items as math manipulatives. My collaborating teacher and the math content coach both agreed that the students were able to use the tools well and there were few, if any, distractions or students who misused (or ate) the tools. I first asked the students to make a rectangle and then I had a few students build rectangles under the document camera. My content coach offered a great suggestion to decrease the amount of time spent waiting for students to build these shapes; she said I should have the students build the shapes on dry erase boards and then have them lift the board and bring it to the front to share.

I had the students build a few other 2D shapes and then I challenged them to build a circle using the toothpicks and marshmallows. Immediately the students were very vocal, telling me that they could not make a circle. I challenged them and told them to try, which unfortunately actually brought one student to tears when we became frustrated. I wanted my students to fully understand that a circle is made up of curved lines, no straight lines, which is why it has no flat sides or vertices and cannot be considered a polygon. I then gave the students a pipe cleaner, which they were able to easily form into a circle. I was a bit shocked that a student actually started to cry from frustrated but I definitely wanted to challenge my students and have them think critically about the shape. One student actually made a circle with marshmallows, which was great thinking but technically not aligned with the question. But I had her share what she did because I think it is so important for students to think outside of the box.

The students then completed differentiated worksheets independently and then they completed an exit ticket, which they helped design the rubric for. They had to answer the essential question, “What attributes can you use to define a 2D shape?”

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I really love this rubric system and have used it many times in the classroom. Purple is the “highest” score one can receive, next green, then orange, and yellow is the bottom color. The students aim to get a purple score, but a green is still a good score. The students led the creation of this rubric.

In mathematics, we have our students explain their thinking using a “5 Star Sentence.” Which is a sentence with a capital letter at the beginning, correct punctuation, correctly spelled sight words, and if a student does not know how to spell a word, he or she underlines the word. The students also needed to make a drawing/model of a 2D shape and label the shape with the attributes. The students decided not to put a specific number for the amount of labels for purple, which I liked because it gave them the opportunity to talk about all different kinds of defining attributes, instead of just sides and vertices.

One interesting part that the students wanted to add was the phrase “Don’t try” to the yellow part of the rubric. I have noticed that sometimes the students want to add this to the rubric. I think that on almost all occasions, students want to try and be successful in the classroom; however, my collaborating teacher and I have made it very clear to the students that they can receive assistance if necessary and that it is better to ask for help instead of not trying. I feel like this word choice was very interesting and it shows that they really want to show what they know and believe it is important to always try their best.

After the students turned in their exit tickets, the math content coach had them discussed what they learned in relation to the essential question. She recorded their responses on the board to see if my class had a good understanding of the content and were able to answer the essential question.

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After the recorded their answers she asked them to tell her what the attributes are of a 2D shape, which she labeled with a box (which one student pointed out is the shape of a rectangle). I was very, very pleased with their answers and I really felt like this discussion showed that my students clearly understood the content from my lesson.

I was really excited that my math lesson turned out well. I will continue to be a part of mathematics content coaching, although I may not receive another full observation cycle but the content coach may come in to observe me. I am excited for the end of the year but I still have a lot to do during these last few weeks. I have been granted the wonderful opportunity to take the lead on teaching all content areas for over two weeks (excluding testing week), which I hope will continue so I can gain more and more experience to help me improve my teaching.

Weekly Reflection – Content Coaching – Science Week 3 – Land and Water

Science – Land and Water – Week 3 Content Coaching

Lesson Transcription from 1.30

This past week was a very exciting week for me. I took my teaching certification exam on Wednesday and I passed all sections! I am so happy to accomplish this because it has been a very important long term goal for me. In Science this week, my students took their Midterm Science Exam and I am eager to see how they did. I continued to teach about the land of Earth. Next week, I will continue this theme and we will begin to discuss the water of Earth as well and that all living organisms need water. By planning out my lessons in advance, I am able to sequence my lessons so that they are cohesive and continue to follow the same ideas and theme to match the needs of my students. This allows me to meet FEAP 1B, “Sequences lessons and concepts to ensure coherence and required prior knowledge.” I will be continuing to meet the science standard, “SC.1.E.6.1: Recognize that water, rocks, soil, and living organisms are found on Earth’s surface.” This helps me meet FEAP 1A, “Aligns instruction with state-adopted standards at the appropriate level of rigor.”

This week seemed as if it was a shorter week (especially in the area of science) due to the science midterm and my absence on Wednesday to take my certification exam. I still; however, wanted to make sure to have strong and engaging science plans so I explicitly outlined my plans for the day that I would be absent so my collaborating teacher had an outline to follow so my students continued to stay on track in science.

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One lesson that I was really proud of this week was my exploration, guided inquiry lesson that I taught on Friday. For this lesson, I provided each group of students with three plates—one plate of sand, one plate of rocks and sand, and another plate with dirt from outside. The students were given the opportunity to not only look but to touch the samples. I did not give a name to any of the samples and simply told the students to draw and write down their observations and what they think each sample was called and possibly where it came from. I was amazed at their responses. The students were completely engaged because they could freely touch and explore the materials and I was glad that my explicit instructions helped me make sure that there were no messes or spills.

I incorporated my science goal into this lesson by asking prompting questions to my students. This allows me to meet the professional FEAP 1A: “Designs purposeful professional goals to strengthen the effectiveness of instruction based on students’ needs” and FEAP 1D: “Engages in targeted professional growth opportunities and reflective practices both independently and in collaboration with colleagues.” I was completely astounded at their responses, which can be found in the attachment above labeled transcription. One of my favorite interactions with the students occurred when one group was examining the rocks and, completely on their own, realized that the sand is “little rocks” that come when “you bang [the rocks] a little bit.” I was so excited to see that there were many great responses, which I believe occurred because my students were so excited and engaged by the activity. At the end of the lesson, I had my students write down what they observed and learned in addition to their notes. Below are some student responses.

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I will continue to work on my science goal for the rest of science content coaching. I am so glad to see this progress in my students and in my own teaching methods. I hope to continue to grow as an educator by giving myself professional goals to meet that help me increase student engagement and elicit their understanding.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, my students won the STEM Fair for their grade level at my school. We will be competing with other students in the school district next week. We worked on creating a poster board and we did our best to make sure that student work was at the front and center of the post. In the end, the only aspect that was not student made was the heading made from pre-cut letters. [In the pictures below, there are typed up headings but my collaborating teacher and I decided it would be best to have the students write the headings so we replaced that with student work.] My students and I are very excited about this project and are glad to have the opportunity to compete and display their work.

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            Another important event that occurred this week was Conference Night. Since the second 9 weeks are over, teachers have been meeting with parents and guardians to discuss the progress of students. My collaborating teacher and I met with many parents on conference night, which helped me meet FEAP 4E: “Shares the importance and outcomes of student assessment data with the students and the students’ parent/caregiver(s)” and professional improvement FEAP 1C: “Collaborates with the home, school and larger communities to foster communication and to support student learning and continuous improvement.” I was so happy to attend and to be able to talk to parents directly about their students in the areas that I take the lead on teaching and planning.

Next week is the final week of science content coaching and then I will begin reading content coaching in the following week. I will be volunteering as a judge in the district STEM Fair competition as well. I am excited for this opportunity to participate in my community. I posted a link to download my lesson plans for this week and as you may notice, it contains my lesson plans from the previous week and this week. The old plans from last week are in black and the new plans for this week are in blue. Most of the content remained in black because it was relevant to both last week and this week, for example, standards, misconceptions, and background knowledge are all areas that remained the same so I decided to keep the color the same. For the next week, I will be adding in my new lesson plans to this template in a different color to work on planning and creating a cohesive unit.