Tag Archives: FEAP 3D

Week 12 – Mathematics – 2D Shapes

Lesson Plan for Observation on 4.9.15

I have continued to take the lead on teaching all subject areas in my classroom, which has been such a wonderful experience. I can clearly tell that I am making growth with my teaching. My collaborating teacher commented that my flow has definitely improved. I am just so excited to be able to practice. In the previous week, I had used a timer to help me stay on track and once I got a feel for the time, I was able to stop using it because I was more familiar with the timing of my lessons.

I planned a special mathematics lesson about decomposing 2D shapes in which I designed all but one of the worksheets. I was really proud of this lesson because it was a real observation to evaluate my teaching and I believe I did a good job. I introduced the lesson by engaging the students with a mathematics game. Then I did some explicit modeling for the students.

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Once I collected enough anecdotal data through a quick check and observations, I made groups based on ability levels and gave the students worksheets that I created. I pulled a small group to provide extra support. Then I called the students back together to complete an exit ticket and for the closure of the lesson I had the students answer the essential question. I really liked the lesson because I gave the students the opportunity to explore the 2D shapes with lots of hands on experiences and movement. One aspect of the lesson that I would have liked to work on would be to give the students a bit more time for the exit ticket but I wanted to make sure that there was enough time for the closure.

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One thing that I really like about creating my own worksheets is that I can make them to meet the needs of my students. For example, on the worksheets there are four small shapes: a triangle, a rhombus, a trapezoid, and a hexagon. The original worksheets that I found (see the first worksheet) had the students simply draw lines to show how they decomposed the shapes but after watching my students during other lessons, I noticed that my students had a lot of trouble with this. I think this may be related to difficulties with fine and gross motor skills but also because it is difficult to record the information even though students can explain it verbally. So I provided my students with the opportunity to circle the shapes they used in order to show me what they did so I could gain a better understanding of whether or not my students grasped the concept. On the actual worksheets, I colored in each of these shapes so the students can choose what shapes they used because they resemble the pattern blocks that they used just in case the students could not tell what the shapes were since I hand drew them. All in all, I really liked my lesson and I am glad that I was able to teach all of the previous lessons so I had enough anecdotal data and observations to make these key decisions to help my students be successful.

Another aspect of my classroom that I am extremely excited about is the amount of exploration elements in the room related to our science content. We have multiple plants growing inside and outside of the classroom. For our Long Term Investigation (LTI) the students are analyzing the changes and growth of catnip grass plants inside and outside, then we are also trying to grow lima beans and two potatoes. We are also raising meal worm beetles and we just received a shipment of pill bugs that we will be introducing shortly. The final, most exciting, element in my classroom right now is monarch butterfly caterpillars.

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The students are extremely excited about the caterpillars. They check them every day in the morning to see their growth and to see how much of the plant has been eaten. I was very happy to see one student doing research on caterpillars when she was in the classroom library so we put the book (as seen in the above picture) next to the caterpillars so they students can learn about the caterpillars as well. One of the best parts about this is that the students are so engaged that they want to share the butterfly garden with everyone that enters the room, including the principal.

I have had so many wonderful experiences in my classroom which I am extremely thankful for. I am so happy that my collaborating teacher has provided me with a lot of support so I can do things such as providing students with all of these exciting parts of the classroom to explore.

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Reading Content Coaching Week 3 – Observation and Reflection

This past week, I was observed for a shared reading lesson of the text The Garden which is a Frog and Toad story. The lesson involved analyzing the text in order to compare and contrast the experiences of the two characters using key details from the text. When I performed this lesson, it was the second day of a three day mini-unit and it was based on the Journeys teacher’s edition. My collaborating teacher and I; however, modified the lesson to fit the needs of our students. For example, I chose to replace some questions from the teacher’s edition with my own because I believe they matched the objective and would guide the students during the lesson.

The essential question for my lesson was “How are the experiences of Frog and Toad similar and different in the text The Garden?” I stated the essential question early in the lesson and made a connection between my question and the note-taking guide that we used. The students and I completed this shared chart as we read by documenting the experiences of each of the characters. I defined experience as “what the characters know and what they do,” which the reading content coach really liked. I tried to make a connection between this definition and my students by talking about how they already know kindergarten math, so they have experience with it, but that they do not have experience with college math because they do not know it and have not done it yet; this connection helped me meet FEAP 3E: “Relate and integrate the subject matter with other disciplines and life experiences.” By making this connection for the students, I met FEAP 3D (“Modify instruction to respond to preconceptions or misconceptions) because I anticipated that my students would not understand the word and so I gave them the definition in the very beginning to guide the lesson. The reading coach suggested that I spend a bit more time in this area of the lesson to make sure that my students really understood my definition so they could complete the objective and answer the essential question at the end as a formative assessment. This helped me to meet FEAP 1D: “Selects appropriate formative assessments to monitor learning.”

Then I read the text, pausing to ask key questions on most of the pages. I decided to read the text in this way because we already read it on the previous day so this re-read was used to refresh the memories of my students and help them analyze the text with a new lens (experiences of the characters). This aligns with FEAP 1B: “Sequences lessons and concepts to ensure coherence and required prior knowledge.” One aspect of the lesson that both myself and the reading content coach agreed that would have helped my lesson and my students was for me to explicitly model by performing a think aloud. In the very first line, the reader learns that Frog has a garden, which reveals that he has experience with garden. I think that using a think aloud to analyze this line would have helped my students be more successful during the lesson. In the future, I will work on using more think alouds. I believe that I stray away from think alouds because I do not want to think for the students too much; however, I simply need to find a balance between my voice as a teacher and the ideas and thoughts of my students. This will simply come with practice which is why I have begun to take more of the lead when co-teaching the literacy block with my collaborating teacher.

One compliment that I received from the reading content coach is that the areas that I should focus on to improve my teaching are very similar to those of a veteran teacher. He praised me for stating my objective early, using the note-taking chart throughout the lesson (mostly with responses directly from the students) and having a coherent plan for my lesson. He would like me to work on using various types of intonation and voice changes as I read the text and teach in order to engage the students. The reading coach and I agree that my collaborating teacher does a fantastic job with this. At one point Toad kneels on the ground and shouts at his seeds to grow; I leaned next to a student and slightly raised my voice during this part but my collaborating teacher actually got down on the ground and shouted at the floor. My students were laughing and then they were able to go back to the text and focus on the lesson. I have been working on this aspect of my teaching for a long time because, in the past, I was extremely nervous to be in the front of any class and sometimes I actually shook when I spoke to a crowd. Now, speaking in front of my students occurs so much each day that I am never nervous and instead very comfortable. The reading coach assured me that this aspect of my teaching will continue to grow and improve as I continue teaching, which is yet another reason why I am trying to get as much practice with taking the lead as possible.

I have scheduled a second observation for the week after spring break. This week is the USF Spring Break so technically speaking I do not have to come to my internship, but I went today (Monday) and will be subbing on Thursday and Friday. The following week is the district spring break so I will not teach my next lesson until March 17th. The week after that is the standardized testing for my grade level and my responsibilities during that time have not been announced. I am excited to continue helping out in my classroom even though I am technically on vacation and I cannot wait to return after the breaks!

Mathematics Lesson Plan – Basic Facts to Twenty Reflection

Math – Week 1 – Lesson Plan – Adding And Subtracting Within Twenty

Nicole L Pre Observation Coaching Lesson Document (PPQT) 11.17.14

Math – Week 1 – Lesson Plan Draft 2 – Adding And Subtracting Within Twenty

Math – Week 1 – Pose Purposeful Questions Reflection Tool

The mathematics content coaching cycle was a bit different than the previous content coaching cycles. For this cycle, the mathematics coach will focus on three or four residents each week. I designed and implemented my lesson plan for mathematics in the first week. The mathematics coach wants to make sure that she gives everyone ample time to perform a pre-conference, observation, and post-conference so it was decided that each resident would receive specific coaching for one week. I will continue to work with my collaborating teacher to co-plan and co-teach mathematics during the semester but at this point in time, I will not participate in the content coaching observation cycle for the remainder of the semester.

Before my mathematics lesson, I met with the mathematics content coach to discuss my five page lesson plan and how I would pose purposeful questions. We talked through some of the elements of the five page lesson plan such as the goals, possible misconceptions, and prior knowledge but the main focus was on question types. It is important for me to not only use and create higher order thinking (HOT) questions but to pose questions of various types to elicit student thinking. There are four types of questions that we analyzed: gathering information, probing thinking, making mathematics visible, and encouraging reflection and justification. I believe that it is important to focus on these questions so that I do not only ask questions on the lower levels of Bloom’s taxonomy. By working with the mathematics coach on my questioning, I met FEAP 3F – “Employ higher-order questioning techniques.” We worked together to create questions for each framework and I determined how I would use them in my lesson.

After our discussion, I revised my lesson plan to change some of the questions, add new questions, and charge the order of some questions in my lesson. The majority of my lesson plan was the same. I aligned my lesson with the standards MAFS.1.OA.1.1
“Use addition and subtraction within 20 to solve word problems involving situations of adding to, taking from, putting together, taking apart, and comparing, with unknowns in all positions, e.g., by using objects, drawings, and equations with a symbol for the unknown number to represent the problem” and MAFS.1.OA.3.6 – “Add and subtract within 20, demonstrating fluency for addition and subtraction within 10. Use strategies such as counting on; making ten,; decomposing a number leading to a ten; using the relationship between addition and subtraction; and creating equivalent but easier or known sums by creating the known equation.” This allowed me to meet FEAP 1A –  “Aligns instruction with state-adopted standards at the appropriate level of rigor.”

For this lesson, I designed my own groups based on previous data that I collected through anecdotal notes and observations. This allowed me to meet FEAP 3H – “Differentiate instruction based on an assessment of student learning needs and recognition of individual differences in students.” There were a few students that I believed would need additional support for the lesson. I collected data through observations and used this to inform my instruction by pulling a small group as the other students worked in pairs. I designed the assessments based on the abilities of my students to match their learning needs. This allowed me to meet FEAP 4B – Designs and aligns formative and summative assessments that match learning objectives and lead to mastery as well as FEAP 4D – “Modifies assessments and testing conditions to accommodate learning styles and varying levels of knowledge.”

When I implemented the lesson, I modified it in order to meet the needs of my students and address their misconceptions, which allowed me to meet FEAP 3D – “Modify instruction to respond to preconceptions or misconceptions.” I asked the students to show me two ways to make ten. We listed these methods on the board and I asked them if there were other ways to make ten. After we had about five methods (all addition) on the board, I asked how many ways we can make ten. Not surprisingly, my students counted the methods on the board. I decided to take the time to show my students there are many ways to make ten using addition of two and three addends as well as subtraction. I tried to grant the students the opportunity to list ways to make ten without explicitly mentioning using three addends or subtraction. After some gentle pushes, the students grasped the concept and realized that there are a lot of ways to make ten.

I wanted to highlight this point because I want my students to become familiar with the various basic facts within twenty. My students have been working on balancing equations on each sides of the number line and finding equations that are equal. This lesson connected to these previous lessons by showing students there are multiple number sentences that equal ten or any other number. By doing this, I met FEAP 1B – “Sequences lessons and concepts to ensure coherence and required prior knowledge.”

After my lesson, I watched the recording and took notes about my questioning strategies and the types of questions that I asked. One important aspect of my teaching that I noticed is that the majority of my questions were unplanned. This is important to know so I can focus on planning more questions ahead of time. This could also show how I respond to my students. I noticed that I repeated some questions a lot such as “are there more ways to make ten?” I did this because I wanted to probe my students’ thinking without explicitly telling them to use subtraction or three addends to find a number. In the end, they needed some guidance to understand this concept but I assumed this would occur. My students typically have more success with addition as compared to subtraction. I assumed that my students would easily see the addition facts and need some help finding subtraction facts, which is what occurred. This shows me that my collaborating teacher and I should provide extra support in the area of subtraction and provide our students with many opportunities to practice subtraction. This allows me to meet FEAP 4A – “Analyzes and applies data from multiple assessments and measures to diagnose students’ learning needs, informs instruction based on those needs, and drives the learning process.”

As always, I am excited to continue taking the lead on planning and teaching various subjects in the classroom. I hope to continue co-teaching mathematics with my collaborating teacher and taking the lead on lessons to increase my comfort level with mathematics and gain more experience. I am excited to continue focusing on mathematics in the upcoming weeks even if I do not participate in formal observations and conferences.

Reading Lesson Plan – Shared Reading – Visualization and Inferences

Reading Content Coaching – Week 3 – Shared Reading – Visualization and Inferences

 

The past week was the final week of English Language Arts (ELA) content coaching. I am glad for the experience with performing shared reading because I have never attempted to teach this type of lesson by myself before. I hope to continue working with my collaborating teacher in ELA. Next week, I will begin the mathematics content coaching cycle. My first lesson will be about fluently adding numbers within 20. I cannot believe how quickly this semester has gone by! The following week, November 24-28th, is Thanksgiving Break and I will not be working in my internship at all due to the holiday and closing of schools.

 

For the shared reading lesson, I met the standard LAFS.1.FI.3.7: Use the illustrations and details in a text to describe its key ideas, which allowed me to meet FEAP 1A: “Aligns instruction with state-adopted standards at the appropriate level of rigor.” This lesson connected to my previous shared reading lesson in which the students used their senses to help them visualize the content of poems. I sequenced my lessons in this way in order to have my students continue to build upon the skill of visualization as well as fostering comprehension. This allowed me to meet FEAP 1B: “Sequences lessons and concepts to ensure coherence and required prior knowledge.” For this lesson, I used The Primary Comprehension Toolkit Book 4 – Infer and Visualize to help me design and plan my lesson. I really appreciated having this reference material, which was provided by Hillsborough county as part of the Journeys curriculum. The book that I used during this lesson was Antarctica by Helen Cowcher.

In the beginning of the lesson, I engaged the students by having them visualize being in Antarctica through a verbal description of the location: ““We’re going to take a long trip today! Close your eyes for a minute and imagine a very, very cold place. The wind is whistling and almost knocking you over. The snow is swirling around you, hitting your face, stinging it, and it’s difficult to see. You are standing on crunchy sow, and in the distance you can see giant icebergs floating in the ocean. Think about what it would be like to live in such a place!” Then I asked the students to describe what they visualized, and felt when they thought about standing on the ice and snow. I made sure to make explicit connections between the cold weather and the cold that they visualized in the story. I was surprised that some students immediately made a connection to Antarctica. I showed the students Antarctica on the globe to give them some perspective and help them understand a little bit about the continent. This engage activity allowed me to meet FEAP 3E “Relate and integrate the subject matter with other disciplines and life experiences.”

Before I read the book, I introduced making inferences to the students. My students have already learning about making inferences in science so I simply had to re-familiarize them with the concept. I used an “equation” to help them remember how to make an inference and I referred back to it throughout the lesson. This inference equation is based on one found in The Primary Comprehension Toolkit Book 4 – Infer and Visualize.

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As I read the book, the students and I made inferences on just about each page of the book. I wrote these inferences on an anchor chart that I made. This chart had two columns: “I Learned …” and “I Inferred.” I used this t-chart because I was able to explicitly show the students the text clues that I used to help me make an inference. I was very surprised during my lesson that the students were able to come up with many inferences, including when they worked independently. One weakness; however, that I noted was that many students did not refer back to the text to talk about what they learned. This was; however, the first day of the lesson so it is understandable that the students need more help. My formative assessment of having students write inferences about one page describing what they learned and inferred informed me that I needed to reteach picking out what I learned from the text that helped me make an inference. I believe that this formative assessment allowed me to meet FEAP 1D: “Selects appropriate formative assessments to monitor learning” as well as FEAP 3C: “Identify gaps in students’ subject matter knowledge” and FEAP 4B: “Designs and aligns formative and summative assessments that match learning objectives and lead to mastery.” I was unable to teach the second day because I was in my college courses but I would have focused on this skill if I had the opportunity to do so. By reflecting on the lesson, I meet FEAP 3D and FEAP 3J by understanding how I would “modify instruction to respond to misconceptions” by “utilizing student feedback to monitor instructional needs and to adjust instruction.”

All in all, I am very grateful for the opportunity to teach multiple shared reading lessons. I hope to continue taking the lead in ELA so I can learn and grow as a future educator. Next week will begin the next three week content coaching cycle, which is for mathematics.

Science Lesson Plan – STEM Lesson – Sheep in a Jeep – Reflection

Science – Week 3 – Lesson Plan – Sheep in a Jeep

This past week was the third and final week of the science content coaching cycles in which I wrote and designed a science lesson plan that I taught to my students. For this past week, I taught a STEM lesson that I designed based on “Sheep in a Jeep.”  I modified the lesson heavily to meet the needs of my students and to make the lesson fit the STEM requirements for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. When I modified the lesson, I designed it to meet the following standards.

  • MAFS.1.MD.3.4 – Organize, represent, and interpret data with up to three categories, ask and answer questions about the total number of data points, how many in each category, and how many more of less are in one category than in another.
  • SC.1.P.13.1 – Demonstrate that the way to change the motion of an object is by applying a push or a pull.
  • SC.1.E.5.2 – Explore the Law of Gravity by demonstrating that Earth’s gravity pulls any object on or near Earth even though nothing is touching the object.
  • SC.1.P.12.1 – Demonstrate and describe the various ways that objects can move, such as in a straight line, zigzag, back and forth, round and round, fast, and slow.
  • SC.1.N.1.2 – Using the five senses as tools, make careful observations, describe objects in terms of number, shape, texture, size, weight, color, and motion, and compare their observations with others.
  • SC.1.N.1.3 – Keep records as appropriate – such as pictorial and written records – of investigations.

 

This allowed me to meet the Florida Educator Accomplished Practice (FEAP) 1A: “Aligns instruction with state-adopted standards at the appropriate level of rigor.” I designed this lesson by myself and implemented it by myself in the classroom. (I was unable to; however, implement the lesson one day of the week because I was not in the classroom since I was taking my college courses so my collaborating teacher took my place for me).

By designing the lesson myself, I was able to structure the days in order to make sure that the students received the content knowledge necessary to understand the lesson. This allowed me to meet FEAPs 1B: “Sequences lessons and concepts to ensure coherence and required prior knowledge.” I sequenced the lessons based on the following schedule, which can be studied in depth in the lesson plan link in the beginning of this blog post:

  • Day 1 – Introduce the Sheep in a Jeep challenge through a read-aloud and engaging videos
  • Day 2 – Students design, build, and test ramps in groups
  • Day 3 – Students learn about gravity
  • Day 4 – Students redesign, build, and test their ramps in groups. Students determine if the changes helped and why the jeep moved the way it did.

By doing this, I was able to meet FEAPs 2A: “Organizes, allocates, and manages the resources of time, space, and attention.” For further details of my step-by-step plan, please see the lesson plan at the beginning of the page.

On the first day, I had the students listen to a read-aloud of the book “Sheep in a Jeep” by Nancy Shaw.  Since I did not have access to the physical copy of the book, I found a read aloud online and played it for my students. I had the students hold a thumbs-up if they saw or heard a force or a motion. It was at this time that I noticed a misconception that my students had. My students believed that unless they heard the words “push,” “pull,” or “forces” that none of these actions could occur even if the picture clearly showed the characters pushing or pulling the jeep. When I noticed this, I would stop on each page and asked the students what they saw and read. By taking the book page by page, my students were able to better understand and notice the motion and forces in the book.

After this I introduced the contest for designing ramps. Based on my experiences with the students, I have noticed that they really enjoy challenges and contests because they feel special when they can accomplish them so I decided to make the Sheep in a Jeep lesson a challenge for the students: “The sheep broke their jeep because they accidentally crashed into a tree. Now it’s time for us to try moving a jeep down a ramp. This week, we will participate in a special challenge. We have been learning about forces for a long time and I want you to show what you know about forces and motion. You will work in groups to design a ramp so a jeep can travel as far as possible.” By doing this, I made the students feel engaged and excited about the lesson to come.

I also inspired the students by showing them videos of water slides. I was going to show the students videos of ramps; however, man ramps do not simply go down but have an upward curve at the end.

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When researching videos of ramps I realized that I had a misconception about actual ramps. I did not realize that the small ramp at the end would be used in so many real life ramps. I decided not to use those videos because they would create misconceptions in the eyes of my students because the toy jeep would be unable to climb the ramp at the end. So instead, I decided to inspire students with videos of waterslides. I used these videos because they had the downward ramp that I wanted my students to mimic in their designs.

One of the videos that I had the students watch was about the tallest water slide.These videos allowed me to make connections between the experiences and interests of my students and the content of the lesson. This allowed me to meet FEAPs 3E: “Relate and integrate the subject matter with other disciplines.” But instead of having students simply watch the videos, I had them take quick notes to use for another activity. By doing this, I believe I was able to keep my students focused and engaged. The students were to write about what forces and motion they saw in the videos, which connects back to the first activity. I chose this formative assessment because it would allow me to quickly see how many students were able to see forces that were not explicitly stated in the videos.

After the students took their notes, we performed an activity called “Commit and Toss.” The students balled up their papers and threw them into the middle of our circle and then each student grabbed a different sheet of paper. I was pleasantly surprised at how calm my students remained during the activity but the excitement was definitely palpable. This helped me to meet FEAPs 3A: “Deliver engaging and challenging lessons.” The only issue that we ran into; however, was that when it came time for the students to share out their peer’s responses, many students could not read the papers so I had to walk around the room and decipher the writing for them. I really enjoyed this activity and would love to use it in the future but I think I will reserve it for mathematics lessons.

Another pleasant surprise with this activity was that every single student was able to name a force and/or a motion that they saw in the video. One detraction from the lesson; however, was that I was unable to see if the students truly understood the forces/motion that they saw or if they just wrote down an answer. This formative assessment; however, was simply used to monitor their learning and inform me if there were any misconceptions that I needed to address. By doing this activity, I was able to meet FEAPs 1D: “Selects appropriate formative assessments to monitor learning.”

After this activity, the students glued charts into their notebooks to record the data that they would collect later on in the week. I handed out this chart and explicitly explained how to fill it out. On the chart, I put purple boxes around the “observed” columns so the students would understand where to record their data. I did this because in previous lessons, my students had some difficulty filling out the information in the charts that I gave them.

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I also designed a class chart on chart paper that matched the charts that I gave to the students. The chart looked similar to this design:

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I made the same purple boxes around the “Observed” columns and I put blue boxes around the “prediction” columns so students could see the difference between the two. I also changed the color marker that I used to fill out each column so the students could definitely tell the difference between what they predicted and what they actually observed. Below is a picture of the actual class chart that I used.

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After I handed out the individual charts; however, I realized that they were incorrect. I put three trials on the chart but since last week was a shortened week, there was no time for the students to complete a third trial. I avoided this mistake on the actual class chart though. I was surprised that none of my students asked my about the third trial but this mistake reminds me that I need to always double check my copies and paperwork before every lesson to make sure they are correct.

The last part of the lesson was to explicitly model how to move the jeep and what data we would collect. I decided to use a nonstandard unit: the tiles on the floor of the classroom. I had learned in my mathematics class that when students measure, it is important that they understand the concept through non-standard units before using standard units to make sure they understand how to measure and what measuring means. If a student tries to measure with standard units first, he or she may make a mistake and it will be unclear if the mistake came from incorrectly using the standard unit (for example, not starting at the zero on the ruler) or not understanding the concept of measuring.

I made sure to demonstrate how to count the tiles many times for the students. It was very interesting for me to see just how explicitly they followed my model during the rest of the lesson. I used my foot to count out the tiles instead of bending down and every single group used their feet to count out the tiles by taping their foot on each tile as they counted. It amazed me just how much the students paid attention to my model, which reminds me to always explicitly explain what I want the students to do and to make sure to avoid creating misconceptions in my students by doing something incorrectly.

At the end of the first day, I had the students decide whether they wanted to write about what they had learned today or make a drawing of their idea for a ramp design. The majority of the students drew a ramp design but I gave them this option so they could get their ideas onto paper to remember for tomorrow.

 

For day 2, the students worked in groups to design the ramp. I made sure to explicitly tell the students that each group could only have one design. After the students created their designs, each group predicted how many tiles they believed the jeep would travel. I could immediately tell that the students were greatly overestimating how many tiles they thought the jeep would move because two groups predicted 20 tiles and the remaining groups predicted 10 tiles.

Each group then built their ramp. I gave the students approximately two minutes to build their ramps. I told the students about this time limit but did not hold them to it because I wanted to give them the opportunity to explore. The students were able to use five textbooks and one clipboard in order to create their ramp. Every single group created their ramp in the same way—they all stacked the books flat on top of one another and laid the clipboard down at the end.

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The students really loved performing this part of the investigation. I was a bit nervous that the other students would be bored but they were just the opposite—the students who were watching were so eager to see what was happening that they kept moving and trying to get a better view! I had originally planned to do the lesson in the hallway outside of the classroom but my collaborating teacher and I did not want to disturb the other classes. If I were to re-teach this lesson, I would make that change because it would allow the students to have a better viewpoint because there would be more space.

After everyone recorded their data, we analyzed the chart by looking at which group had the jeep travel the most. As you can see below, group 4’s jeep traveled the farthest. After the investigation, I wondered if I had chosen the correct tool. It seemed that the jeep would only travel about 6 tiles so I think if I were to do this lesson over again, I would choose a different car to get more varied data. But since the students had almost the exact same design, that may have influenced why the jeep traveled an average of 6 tiles.

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Since I was unable to teach on day 3, I will simply skip ahead to day 4. On day 4 I was formally observed by the science content coach and my PRT. On this day, the students redesigned their ramps and make new predictions. Most of the groups made more realistic predictions this time but one group had difficulty agreeing with each other and made a very large prediction (23 tiles).

The students redesigned their ramps and each ramp had a steeper incline than last time. One group designed their ramp and realized as they were building it that they could not do what they had planned. The students wanted to stack the books against each other to make triangles and have the jeep travel up and down each book. I realized that this was the exact misconception that I wanted to avoid in the beginning but I wanted to let them try it out anyways. The students; however, realized that they could not actually make their design when they have difficulty holding up the books (I informed the students that they could hold up the books/clipboard to give them more options for their new design).

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I allowed this group to change their design because they immediately recognized that it would not work and instead of arguing worked to make changes. I explicitly pointed this out to the entire group and then allowed the students to continue working. I was amazed at the end of the second round of testing because I realized that my students and I shared a misconception which was that the higher the incline, the farther the jeep will travel. In the end, the jeeps traveled less distance on the second day than the first.

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I really appreciated these results; however, because my students were able to clearly describe that their changes did not work.

After this discussion, I had my students describe what forces, motion, direction, and gravity they saw during the lesson. I noticed immediately that almost all of my students had misconceptions about gravity. They believed that gravity was a push not a pull. I realized that this occurred because the students saw the jeep move away from them (which is how we defined a push from the Nat Geo science text) so they assumed the gravity acted as a push as well. By noticing this misconception, I met FEAPs 3C: “Identify gaps in students’ subject matter knowledge.” I immediately addressed this misconception by returning to the text and having the students listen as I read it over multiple times. I also used many demonstrations and examples to help the students understand. By taking the time to discuss gravity in this way, I was able to help some students understand the concept better, which allowed me to meet FEAPs 3D: “Modify instruction to respond to preconceptions or misconceptions.” I think some students were able to address their own misconceptions but many did not understand that gravity was a pull so I will have to address this sometime later on.

At the end of my lesson, I had the students write briefly about what they had learned. I was very surprised to see that many students took the gravity content and integrated it into their answers. Some students also discussed how they used a force (a push) to move the jeep because it moved away from them. Other students described the motion/direction of the jeep (forward, away from me, down, etc.). I also had the students self-assess their knowledge of the lesson using the smiley face system. I made sure to explicitly explain to my students to be honest and fair—I told them not to say that they knew everything when they did not but also not to say they knew nothing when they really understood the lesson. I think the students are still a bit intimidated by this system but they may also be unsure of how to self-assess so I think more practice with this system will be beneficial for the students.

 

I am really happy that my final lesson for this first content cycle was a lesson that I planned all by myself. I took some inspiration from the Sheep in a Jeep lesson plan but I made many modifications to meet the needs of my students. Next week, I will begin the literacy content coaching cycle with a new content coach.