Learning Plans

Throughout my mathematics methods course, I had the opportunity to create two different learning plans. We were encouraged to find topics that we could either teach now or teach in the spring by collaborating with our cooperating teachers. My cooperating teacher gave me one topic for the fall and gave me one topic for the spring. I based my lesson plan on problem solving strategies and on Polya's ideas of problem solving. I focused on specific Standards of Learning when creating my learning plans.I tried to incorporate multiple strategies to solve problems while still staying in line with the Standards of Learning.

My first lesson plan focus on multistep problems. The same day that I taught this lesson, my cooperating teacher was reviewing the benchmark test. I learned that the students had difficulty with multistep problems on the test. This made my lesson even more relevant for the students. During the lesson, I tried to model ways to approach a multistep problem by focusing on understanding what the problem is asking, by understanding the information that the problem gives, and by understanding that there are multiple ways to solve problems. While I did not tell the students to use specific algorithms, I noticed that they were stuck on using the correct algorithm. I asked students what the first step was when looking at multistep problems. I was hoping that they would tell me that they were supposed to read the problem. However, when I asked them what the first step was, they tried to tell me that the first step was to use the algorithm. From teaching this lesson plan, I learned that my fourth grade students are comfortable with using algorithms. A copy of the lesson plan and the critique are listed below. Examples of student work are embedded into the critique along with an overall description of how well students did on the exit card and worksheet during the lesson.

My second learning plan focuses on a topic that fourth grade students will learn about in the spring. This lesson focuses on decimals and begins by accessing students' prior knowledge about decimals. Students should also have prior knowledge of fractions. I used this prior knowledge of fractions to create a link between decimals and fractions by focusing on money. Hopefully, by make connections to what students already know, they will have a better understanding of decimals in a context that they are familiar with. Throughout this lesson, I constantly make connections to what students already know so that they are learning about a concept within a specific context. This will help make the concept of decimals more relevant and meaningful to students' lives.

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