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Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Coordinate System: Which Way Will I Teach This Lesson?

We'll use this template for our 5th grade coordinate system study today. 
I started the year with coordinate plane standards for many reasons. First the standards are typically easily learned by all. In opposition to much of the number work we do, work that students meet with a range of interest and skill, coordinate grids is a new learning point that they are generally excited about. Therefore to it makes a good standard to start the year with since it helps me to build an invested learning community of students and teachers. Further, coordinate plane standards provide some nice opportunity for "floor to ceiling" exploration and learning this provides students with a tool they can use all year as they learn multiple concepts in math.

Last week we reviewed all the standards in this area as students learned about the reasons for the coordinate system, made coordinate grid pictures, wrote and plotted math stories, and created algebraic equations to demonstrate the relationship graphed on the coordinate plane.

There are many ways that I could choose to approach today's lesson, and I've decided to do the following. We'll review the coordinate system language as we review a Ping Pong story that we'll graph together. We'll also work together to graph the relationship when X = Y times 3. I'll use the story related to the fact that one pound of apples cost three dollars. While I don't like to teach from the front of the room too often, i think the students need this kind of review before tomorrow's coordinate system assessment. Then next week, for homework, I'll ask students to do what I had originally planned for today which is to write their own math story, chart the numbers, graph the points, and describe the algebraic relationship using variables and/or words.

There are many ways to teach each lesson, and it's up to the teacher to lead the path, a path that will result in best learning and engagement. Onward.