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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Lesson Plan for Long Evaluation, Part 2

My new credo is S-P-E-L-L  I-T  O-U-T. I don't want any question about whether or not I've met a criterion on my teacher evaluation. I decided to get started on my coordinate plane lesson plan by writing the objective and connections to prior learning.

Objective: Students will be able to identify and plot ordered pairs on a coordinate plane.

This could be more specific. It just depends on what the evaluator wants. For example, I could say, "Students will plot ordered pairs in Quadrant I of the coordinate plane with 90% accuracy."

Connection to Prior Learning:
My students have arrived at an important mathematical intersection. This is the place where algebra meets geometry. They are traveling away from elementary mathematics and entering new territory. Number sentences and shapes will soon be replaced with algebraic equations and their graphic representations.

These students did not arrive at this intersection by mistake. No, this journey was carefully planned.

Geometric Preparation
  • August 15 - On the first day of school, students participated in an ice-breaker activity involving birthdays and graphing. First, they were presented with the challenge of creating a human graph against an outside wall of the school without talking. Once back in the classroom, they created a pictograph on the classroom wall with one candle representing each birthday. After introduction to the x- and y-axes and discussion of purposes of various graphs, they independently converted the data to a bar graph.
  • September 10-12 - Students learned about latitude and longitude, building more conceptual knowledge of coordinates.
  • December 10-20 - Points, lines, rays, line segments, and planes were introduced during the study of one- and two-dimensional objects.
  • January 7-25 - Each student created a graph to illustrate his/her data for the science fair.
  • February 26-March 15 - Students explored relationships between data and graphs. They learned to read and create frequency tables, bar and picture graphs, line graphs, stem and leaf plots, histograms, and circle graphs.
Algebraic Preparation
  • August 16-December 7 - Students worked toward mastery of adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing whole numbers, as well as adding and subtracting fractions and decimals.
  • February 7-22 - Students learned how to write and evaluate algebraic expressions.
  • February 14 - Our class began weekly exploration of "legal moves" when dealing with algebraic equations using Hands-on Equations.
  • March 18-April 5 - The study of algebraic equations heated up with daily Hands-on Equations and formal lessons in algebraic equations.
My students now find themselves at the intersection of geometry and algebra. That intersection is called the coordinate plane. Where will it take them next?

Future Learning Experiences
  • April 23 - Students will formalize their knowledge of positive and negative integers.
  • April 24 - All students will plot ordered pairs on all four quadrants of the coordinate plane.
  • April 25 - Using values for x and y, students will determine distances between two points on the coordinate plane.
  • April 26 - Students will finally see where all of this has been heading. They will graph equations on the coordinate plane.

You may be thinking that I'm crazy to include such comprehensive background for the lesson that I'm teaching, but I think it's worth it. The entire process didn't take long. I just looked in my plan book and made some notes about connections. Then I typed it up. This lengthy summary of past and future connections will (I hope) show without a doubt that I understand where this lesson fits in the scope of my students' mathematical education.