The goals of this meeting were to look at samples of student work from the research lesson, identify global issues in the lesson that we wanted to address and to come up with some adjustments in preparation for the second research lesson next week in Kateh’s class.
First we returned to the research lesson by sharing one highlight.
- Venecia: Students were engaged. they all participated and helped each other. It was interactive.
- Daphne: What impressed me was that they got right into it. They didn’t balk at doing the work. Not a lot of protest, or confusion. They were engaged. They welcomes the opportunity
- Kateh: There was this moment when C. started working on the statements, but wasn’t in the ballpark. At some point, T. said something and C. said, ‘Oh my god, I didn’t do it right. She thought about it and did it again. Those moments are always golden. Sometimes students give up, but she kept going.
- Brian: The pairings were good. People worked well together. People who are often lost were engaged in this lesson. there is one student who may not be appropriate for class because of language issues. She spoke in class and in her group. It’s rare for her to speak, even in smaller groups, so seeing her participate was a pretty good thing for me.
- Eric: I liked the surprise students expressed with the area of the rectangle increasing by 4 rather than 2. E. said, “Why?” We want curiosity to carry into the next part of the lesson.
- Mark: They expressed that it was hard, but continued working, even when it was hard. For an entire hour. I was also super impressed that every student spoke at least once during class.
Next we returned to our evidence of student thinking and looked at samples of student work
Summary of Major Revisions
- Add how much time to spend on each step (based on how long things took during the initial research lesson lesson and reaching goals of lesson)
- During Launch:
- Students to vote before working with the two statements during the launch.
- Distribute manipulatives – graph paper, tiles, etc. (changed from putting them out and inviting students to take them if they want)
- Draw diagram to help students visualize that doubling the length and width of rectangle results in an area that is 4 times larger.
- During Problem-Posing:
- Use Formula Sheet during the problem-posing (changed from having students describe the characteristics and parts of the 3D shapes)
- Focus on certain vocabulary words and using pre-determined definitions.
- During Problem-Solving:
- Focus on rectangular prisms and circles on the formula sheet and during the problem-posing, with additional shapes only given out if a group’s posters are done and there is time remaining (changed from students receiving all of the T/F cards at once.
- Students to put cards up after they evaluate each one (as opposed to not mentioning it and having them work in their notebooks)
- Add diagrams to each T/F card.
- After 45 minutes, students compare posters with another group
- Time was the biggest issue and goal for our revision process – both in terms of being clear about how much time each activity is supposed to take and in terms of trying to get through the entire lesson.
- We decided to eliminate the problem-posing activity where look at diagrams of shapes. Instead we decided to give out the formula sheet and give students a few minutes to share what they notice and ask any questions. In addition to saving time, we decided that the original activity didn’t really prepare students for their problem-solving, and was perhaps more about incorporating some aspect of constructivism in the face of asking students to use formulas without understanding where they come from.
- We decided to focus students on the first five statements (dealing with rectangular prisms and circles). If students go beyond that in the time we give them (45 min) great, but if not, evaluating those statements should allow us to draw out the points we want to make during the summing up of the lesson.
Larger Teaching Questions
- One question that came up during our revision discussion was about how to address the student mistakes we observed in the lesson we observed. We discussed how some students used the wrong formula and went pretty far before recognizing their mistake. Is that a mistake we should try to prevent through our lesson planning? Or is that an important mistake for students to make and reflect on in class?
- We discussed whether to remove the written reflection activity to save time. How important is that activity for students to reflect on/retain the lesson? How important is it for our gathering of evidence of student learning? How would we have felt about the lesson we observed if Brian had not asked students how they felt working on it? What if we did not hear C. say, “it was really challenging, but good challenging.”? What might other students have said?
Here is the current working draft our the research lesson, incorporating the changes above: