Tag Archives: FEAP 3G

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.

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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.

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 2 – Land and Water

Science – Land and Water – Week 2 Content Coaching

We began a new unit in science during the second week of content coaching. This unit is called “Land and Water” and students will be learning about the land, water, and living organisms of Earth. This week focused on the land of Earth—how people use the land and Earth’s natural resources. This week was a shortened week because we had Monday off to celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr’s birthday. Then Tuesday was a non-student day so I came in to help prepare the classroom and take care of organizing student work for upcoming conferences since Conference Night is on Thursday of this upcoming week.

In order to help introduce this unit, I used videos from Nat Geo as well as Brainpopjr. I really love the Brainpopjr resource because the students enjoy watching the characters and the videos ask and answer many key questions. The videos that I used were Rocks and Minerals, Soil and Natural Resources. Theses videos were not in my original lesson plan, but I decided to add them into the lesson during the week in order to meet the needs of my students. I want to make sure that my students are engaged and interested. I remember feeling bored when I learned about rocks in elementary and middle school and I did not want my students to feel the same way. Adding these videos to my lesson helps me meet FEAP 3A, “Deliver engaging and challenging lessons,” by teaching the content through a video with occasional humor but lots of good information. The videos were also a good way for me to meet FEAP 1B, “Sequences lessons and concepts to ensure coherence and required prior knowledge,” because I used the videos to help introduce and review the various topics that we learned about. For example, we watched the Soil and Rocks and Minerals videos after we introduced and discussed how people use Earth’s land. I was also able to meet FEAP 2G, “Integrates current information and communication technologies,” and FEAP 3G, “Apply varied instructional strategies and resources, including appropriate technology, to provide comprehensible instruction, and to teach for student understanding,” by incorporating this technological resource into my lessons.

This week introduced Earth’s land so next week my students will be participating in some exploration lessons while continuing to build upon their knowledge of how we use Earth’s land. I believe it is important to emphasize the importance of Earth’s land because the students need to know how to protect and preserve the land since it is so important. By teaching my lesson in this way, I help the students understand the importance of not only learning the content, but appreciating the world around us. This helps me meet FEAP 3E, “Relate and integrate the subject matter with other disciplines and experiences” because the students can relate their experiences with the land in what they have done and seen with what we discuss. For example, we had a discussion about how people use Earth’s land and a popular answer was that we walk on it. This may seem strange, but it is a way that my students interact with the earth on a daily basis.

Something that I have not done much before but I was able to do during the past week was meet FEAP 3I, “Support, encourage, and provide immediate and specific feedback to students to promote student achievement” and FEAP 4E, “Shares the importance and outcomes of student assessment data with the student and the students’ parent/caregiver(s).” I have graded many assignments and tests in all of my levels of internship, however, on Friday, the students and I worked together to grade two assessments that they had completed. The importance of grading this assessment together was that, for the first time in my class, the students did the entire assessment by themselves—they read and answered all questions by themselves with minimal support from me. My collaborating teacher and I wanted the students to receive immediate feedback on these assessments so the students could see their progress and performance when they are in complete control of the test.

This was an interesting experience because many of my students did well. One student; however, lied during the grading process and changed man of her answers. I was a bit concerned when I saw that she was the only student to receive a perfect score on both tests, especially when multiple questions had their answered erased and changed. I pulled the student aside and talked to her privately about the matter. She admitted that she changed her answers and she got very upset. I explained to her that, as her teacher, I want to see what she knows and what she needs help on because that is how I know what to give her extra support with. I confided in her that I too make mistakes on tests and on my homework, even in my college classes, but that it is okay because that is how we learn and grow. I wanted my student to know that it is okay to make mistakes and that she is not a “bad” student for doing so. Everyone makes mistakes but it is important to be honest so we can learn and grow as learners. I hope that my discussion with her and my personal connection to the experience helps her understand this idea because I want her to do well, but I want that to happen because she earned it, not because she wanted to make me happy.

I am excited for the following week because not only will I continue to take the lead on planning and teaching both Social Studies and Science but I will be taking my certification exams on Wednesday. I am a bit nervous but I have been studying and working hard for a long time and I feel like I am ready to prove myself by taking these exams. Wish me luck!

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This is one of the anchor charts that we made as a class to explain how people use Earth’s land. The responses on this chart were all from my students and some of these responses can be traced back to earlier discussions and videos. For example, the response “we can build roads” using rocks and “to make bricks so we can build houses” was in relation to the Nat Geo text and the introduction lesson, which explained that we can use rocks to build roads and houses. The natural resources responses were mostly in relation to the Brainpopjr video about the natural resources of the Earth.Below are screenshots of the Natural Resource video from Brainpopjr, which obviously served as an inspiration for the responses of my students.

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“Food” — “fruits” and “vegetables” were two responses.

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“Trees” — “paper,” “cardboard” and “wood” were all inspired by the video. 9

“Metal” was inspired by the silverware in this video as well as the metal in another Brainpopjr video.

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“Water” was another response inspired by the video.

I am very excited that my students responded so well to the video and were obviously engaged while they watched the video. I really love incorporating technology into my lessons but it is important that it is used to its fullest potential and that the students are engaged enough to absorb and apply the information that they learned.

Weekly Reflection 9/15/14 – 9/19/14

This past week contained lots of excitement because I was trained to be a substitute. I will be able to substitute in my collaborating teacher’s classroom if she is ever out but I cannot substitute for any other teacher while I am an intern. I am really excited for this opportunity provided by Kelly Services.

Over this past week I also designed and implemented all of the lessons for Social Studies in my classroom. (I was unable to teach Social Studies on Wednesday because I was being trained as a substitute at that time). I was very happy this week to see my lessons go from plans to practice. The standard that I taught this week was “SS.1.C.3.2 Recognize symbols and individuals that represent American constitutional democracy.” By designing this lesson plan, I meet the Florida Educator Accomplished Practice (FEAP) 1A: “Aligns instruction with state-adopted standards at the appropriate level of rigor.”

I had previously taught the students about symbols and what the definition of symbols is but I wanted to continue to discuss symbols because I want my students to understand the American culture that surrounds them everyday. In my school, we say the Pledge of Allegiance and we listen to the Star-Spangled Banner everyday. By teaching the students about symbols, I can help them recognize these symbols and gain a deeper understanding of their meaning. This allows me to meet FEAP 3E: “Relate and integrate the subject matter with other disciplines and life experiences”  because I had the students make explicit connections between their experiences and the symbols we learned about.

Teaching symbols is important in the future because it connects to the standard that I am teaching next week: “SS.1.A.2.4 Identify people from the past who have shown character ideals and principles including honesty, courage, and responsibility.” This standard connects to other standards about being responsible (SS.1.C.2.2 and SS.1.C.2.1), showing kindness (SS.1.C.2.4), and helping the community (SS.1.C.2.3). This shows that I will meet FEAP 1B: “Sequences lessons and concepts to ensure coherence and required prior knowledge.” These standards allow the students to gain a better understanding of what it means to be a good citizen in their communities.

When I taught the lesson on symbols, I wanted to give students an in depth look at symbols that they interact with everyday and a glance at other symbols that they may be familiar with. I spent a day teaching students about the Pledge of Allegiance, the flag of the United States of America, and the national anthem. I referenced some books on Myon in order to help foster understanding. By doing this, I met FEAP 2G: “Integrates current information and communication technologies.”

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Our National Anthem by Norman Pearl, Illustrated by Matthew Skeens

 

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The Pledge of Allegiance by Norman Pearl, Illustrated by Matthew Skeens

 

Since these books were slightly above their reading comprehension levels, I decided to only use key pages that taught the students the information that I thought was necessary for them to understand the symbols. For example, in The Pledge of Allegiance, I let the students listen to the part that explained each line so they could gain a deeper understanding of the Pledge as they recite it each morning.

By integrating Myon with the student’s current Social Studies textbook, I met FEAP 3G: “Apply varied instructional strategies and resources, including appropriate technology, to provide comprehensible instruction, and to teach for student understanding.”

 

When I finished the lesson about these symbols, I had the students fill out an exit ticket by writing about one symbol that they had learned. This allowed me to meet FEAP 1D: “Selects appropriate formative assessments to monitor learning.” I allowed the students to write down the name of the symbol and/or draw a picture of the symbol. I wanted to make sure that I differentiated the lesson like this so the students would not be limited by language. To my surprise, every single student was able to show me a symbol that they had learned about. Many wrote about the flag, but there were also many answers of the Pledge of Allegiance and a few wrote about the Star-Spangled Banner. One student wrote that the “stars” on the flag are symbol, which I allowed because I did mentioned that each of the stars represents a state in the U.S.A, which of course is still a symbol of the country.

 

I was not able to teach much this week because I was not in the classroom Tuesday morning due to a meeting with my Reading Content Coach of the Residency Program, on Wednesday I was trained as a substitute, and on Thursday I had my usual college courses. I am so excited to get back into the classroom next week. I am glad that I have had an opportunity to plan out and implement an entire week of lessons in a subject area. I hope that next week’s lessons will connect well to this past week. I also cannot wait to start taking the lead in other areas of the classroom so I can gain more teaching experience!