Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Well Choreographed: Factor/Multiple Study

Have you taught a lesson or facilitated a learning experience recently that was well choreographed? What do you consider to be the attributes of a well choreographed lesson? As I think about it, I consider a well choreographed lesson to have the following attributes:
  • Embeds standards
  • Engages Students
  • "Less of us (teachers), More of them (students)"
  • Time to coach, mentor, and teach.
  • Lots of learning.
  • Multimodal
Today I had a lesson that really went well.  The lesson started with an early morning practice session using a system-wide chosen math program, Symphony Math.  That warmed everyone up for the math to come.

Next I reintroduced our factor game tournament. We started using this tool weeks ago with an introductory lesson. Students got right to work playing the game against their partners. I coached student groups.

Students played for an hour moving from contest to contest.  After the hour, we met and charted optimal strategies, then we sang the divisibility song.  Later we completed a teacher led review of area and perimeter, then partner problem solving.

Two-and-a-half hours later it was time for lunch. We had a well choreographed learning experience that included multimodal instruction, lots of student practice, problem solving, math talk, little "sage on the stage" teacher-led activity, more student activity, a standards-based lesson, and lots of student engagement.

As educators, it's our goal to choreograph our lessons well each and every day, yet we know learning experiences don't always go as planned.  I offer this learning experience to you as one that worked well.  What lesson have you taught recently that was a keeper?  Let me know.

Note: Good site for making brackets