Thursday, April 11, 2013

Lesson Revision

Yesterday I presented a well-crafted lesson only to find that there were many unexpected holes in the flow and organization.

Earlier I rushed through a supporting concept assuming most had grasped what seemed like a simple concept: coloring clock/circle models to show benchmark fraction amounts. Then I moved on to an activity where students compare fractions with models and numbers.  Many were stuck and frustrated.

Usually that's when I get frustrated too, but I had to realize that it was a lesson undone--a strategy that jumped too fast for the majority of the class.  So as soon as the assistant arrived to take the students out to recess, I revised the activity on the computer adding the missing pieces and structuring the flow more explicitly while the lesson's challenges were clear.

Today, I'll present the lesson again.  I'll explain to students that I had not anticipated the problems they faced yesterday and hopefully today the learning strategies and goals will be easier to grasp and learn.

Teaching is a "give and take," responsive, organic process that begins with a learning goal, proceeds with strategy choice, revision and personalization, and ends with successful learning. Today's lesson will still be quite challenging, but hopefully I've organized the presentation, practice and coaching in a way that will give students access and learning success.  We'll see. This is the aspect of teaching that both delights and challenges me.