Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Deep Teaching Day Two

Today our professional learning inservice focuses on informational
writing. I'll use the question above as my focus related to this study.
Continuing the week's focus with deep teaching meant that I set up eight team spaces with a little more definition. Simply put, I labeled each station, placed a team list of positive actions on each table, and filled a basket of supplies that matched the day's project. Essentially I polished up the environment a bit to support good teamwork.

Then as students worked together to complete the metric number line task, I moved from group to group to support their work. This project doesn't have the same pull as other projects, and that's something I'll have to think about with future learning design. Yet, what I do like about this project is that it's not easy, and they have to struggle quite a bit to convert the measurements correctly and then to line them up with relative proportion. I was surprised at how difficult the proportional thinking was for most students. I was also surprised at how the mechanics of cutting, pasting, and creating the number line were difficult too.

One group really began to understand the task. They created a long number line and were very excited as they placed the pictures on the line with the correct relative distances between each picture. For other groups, I modified the number of measurements to display since the project task was a bit too long. Today we'll wrap up the project. I'll display the students' work so they can see how each team tackled the project.

I'll continue to observe carefully with regard to what's needed to build better learning teams with respect to academic growth.

The next activity will be simpler in nature, and I'm hoping that this will foster greater interaction amongst all members of the team. The challenging task seemed to weigh more heavily on the more experienced math student. In the next task, teams will work with the numbers of days it takes each planet to make a complete revolution of the sun. The teams will be named by their planet and have to write and say the number in a variety of ways. We'll make one giant display of the data and the solar system. As science study of the solar system continues, we'll continue to discuss proportion as we compare planets' sizes and other features.

After that we'll return to our discussion about the behavior of place value using another SCRATCH model as the catalyst. We'll make simple decimal number lines, practice with online activities, study rounding, write about the learning, and ready for a final place value assessment.