Observing a Math Lesson

Topics: Mathematics, Problem solving, Constructivist teaching methods Pages: 7 (1603 words) Published: April 22, 2014
Running head: Observing Math Instruction

Observing Math Instruction

Grand Canyon University: EED-364

Essay
A standard in mathematics provides, at the very least, is a baseline or outline to loosely adhere to during the school year. They are at the most though, designed to curricular goals and guidance for the math curriculum (Ferrini-Mundy, 2000). The direction of the future of math standards is equally important. The NCTM is focusing on having every state adhere to the same standards. Traditional teaching and learning is now taking a backseat to an updated common-core driven era because the old ways are dated for the dynamic of today’s classroom. The big difference between a baseline and goal is the minimum requirement and the maximum success rate you are aiming for as a teacher. Just having standards in a classroom and pushing through each lesson to achieve the notion that you made it through each standard produce a sub-par learning experience. There should be goals, not just for getting through standards, but an actual standard of learning each standard. A certain percentage of students should be able to demonstrate a mediocre to high capability of quality work for each standard. Formative and summative assessments could be used to analyze when it is time to move to the next standard. The separation of standards by state requirements show a difference in in the challenge the standards uphold from state-to-state (GreatSchools). After the NCLB Act of 2002, states were held accountable for the test scores, and even more than scores, the progress of their students. States submit their standards and questions for approval. There was a gap however in the quality of questions from each state. The NCTM is trying to find a happy medium for this. Forty-nine states now have adapted or at least begin implementing the new subject matter standards in mathematics (Ferrini-Mundy, 2000). Classrooms are no longer made of just high and low learners. Classrooms incorporate such a vast and diverse dynamic that not only includes a plethora of students that require differentiated lessons, but also consist of students who learn in all seven styles (Burton, 2010). Being able to transcend information above just delivering it to each student can prove to be challenging. The goal would be to not just deliver, but have students receive, comprehend and apply. Constructivist style teaching and learning offers a gateway to the success of this. Students understand even subconsciously how they learn. Taking an active role in their own learning and mathematical discovery is key to their lifetime learning journey. Peer problem solving, dynamic small group teaching and think pair share offer an engaging premise for this learner’s accountability (Burton, 2010). This however does not mean every aspect of teaching from previous generations is lost. If it is not broke, don’t fix it applies to anything that was successful from all previous teaching methods throughout time. Traditional teaching methods are ideal for basic levels of learning. This is evident when basic information needs to be construed to the students. How to do addition and subtraction type concepts do not require constructivist style learning. Both styles of teaching provide huge upside but also are handcuffed by cons if used exclusively in the class. Constructivist math programs leave low-achieving students behind. Traditional programs may be tedious to high-achieving students (McDonell, 2008). A combination of both should be used for the greatest success. Lesson

The objectives of the lesson I observed was to establish two different ways to find the area of triangles. This lesson was used as a base for eventually teaching composite figures and finding not only the area of them, but also the volume. The lessons incorporated problem solving and word problems, heightening the effectiveness of the lesson. The teacher placed the students in group...
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