All entries for Wednesday 28 July 2010
July 28, 2010
As several topics were covered over the last 6 weeks, measuring progress in the three focus students is difficult. I found that, although I had classes students B and C in their respective categories, they occasionally switched depending on the topic being covered.
This task only goes to show that it has made me reflect on my teaching beyond the lesson evaluations have, as we have had to put our thoughts into words and really identify the reason why something turned out the way it did. There are many factors that affect a lesson, and each lesson highlights another factor for me. I have also learned that, despite the fact that I focused on the progress of students in each lesson, it is hard to know exactly where every student is at.
Week 6 Entry
Lesson 1 - FDP - Addition and Subtraction of fractions.
Lesson 2 - Teacher took lesson.
Lesson 3 - Ordering decimals.
As the class is low ability, Lesson one's main focus was to ensure understanding of the 'rules' of adding and subtracting fractions. Starter was a mental style test where the answers were put on mini white boards, 'brain warming activity'. Using questions of a visual nature students came up to the board to explain the answers, trying to explain their method in their way of communicating but encourage to use 'math speak' to enforce their answers also. This turned out to be very successful, all students felt confident to try the differentiated worksheet. Student A tried some of the two star questions then asked to move on to the extension three star questions which of course he was allowed to, student B started well but got into a little rut confusing the denominator for the numerator, student C was absent.
Lesson 2 same as lesson one but trying different denominators.
Lesson 3: Starter where th e pupils using mini white boards playing a higher/lower game involving simple decimal numbers. The last student standing receives a prize. The students were loving the game, as one could imagine they were excited!! Incidentally student A won! The starter set up the objective for the main, which was straight forward for all the students until the size of the decimals were varied, e.g. 0.5 and 0.49, the majority of the student thought that 0.49 was the larger of the two decimals, this included student B and C. After explaining the place value and showing them ways of making the problem of deciding which decimal was larger/smallereasier to evaluate, the students were in a position to answer the differentiated question sheet prepared for them. The higher ability students went straight to the two star questions and then after they felt they did not need to do any more they jumped to the extension tree star questions. For the plenary played a strategy game involving decimals.
Week 5 Entry
Lesson 1 - Fractions, decimals and percentages (FDP) - Express the percentages 50%, 25% and 75% as a number of a given amount.
Lesson 2 - FDP - Express the percentages 10%, 20%, 5% and 2.5% as a number of a given amount.
Lesson 3 - Teacher took this lesson.
The students enjoyed these lessons as they discovered for themselves a system to find these percentages, student C along with others were able to discuss that using certain percentages other percentages can be derived.
Student C took ownership and displayed great confidence, student B still quiet as always worked through the work materials for the lessons, Student A found more difficult percentages and as an extension completed nearly all the three star questions which were aimed for level 6 students.
The Homework from last week had been marked and handed back all but 5 pupils did not do the homework and as a result missed their breaks over the week.
Student A completed the homework to his level, Student B completed and showed an understanding at level 5a! Student C completed homework and achieved level 4c.
Homework collected in this week set last week
Week 4 Entry
Lesson 1 - Algebra - Solving simple Sequences
Lesson 2 - Algebra - Sequences - Square numbers (intro to triangle numbers)
Lesson 3 - Fractions
Lessons 1 and 2 were as far as we could go on sequences with this group, at this point student C was having difficulties with sequences student A found it okay but the extension work did stretch his ability (desired result). A lot of time was spent with student C with the help of the TAs the task s were manageable. The square number sequences hit the common misconception where in particular the low ability students multiplying the number by the square. Triangular numbers were introduced, even if the students did not get to those questions they were aware of their existence, however Student A did have a go at the triangular number questions. AFL followed, student B commented on her neighbour's work for the first time.
Lesson 3, Fractions a new topic, starter was designed to gauge which direction i was going to take the lesson. The starter was to identify the shaded area and write the fraction in different ways, this was to see if they were firstly confident in writing fractions and equivalent fractions. Students A, B and C could identify the shaded parts as did all but one pupil in the class, and approximately 80% could reproduce an equivalent fraction (the 80% included Students A, B and C). The main part of the lesson identify mixed and improper fractions and to be able to convert them to one or the other. A differentiated worksheet was handed out for the pupils to do, 60 questions in all but they select 10 from each section, the answers were put up via Power Point for each section in time intervals. All students gave it a good go, were all the students managed to get on the final section of the worksheet, result!
Homework was due, about half the class handed in the homework, including students A and B, but not C
Homework (Differentiated) )was also handed out for next week
Week 3 Entry
Lesson 1 - Bank Holiday
Lesson 2 - Algebra - One step and two step equations using function machines
Lesson 3 - Algebra - Solving equations using the balancing method
Lesson 1: Starter 'I'm thinking of a number' activity sheet, on the sheet a few questions differentiated, to get the students in the in the right frame of mind for the lesson. Student C was one of the first few to complete the activity!! Student A found it tricky, and student B also completed it. The starter helped the students to get a grasp of the objective for the lesson. Initially Student B, although not saying anything did not seem to understand. Student A could not contain his enthusiasm and unfortunately had to be sanctioned, Student C (along with B) required further help along with two other pupils, once the others started on the differentiated worksheets. At the end of the lesson, we did our AFL, giving two positive and one constructive comments after peer marking. In general the lesson went well and all aspects covered.
Lesson 2: This lesson involved solving equations using the balance method, after going through the method I found that the majority of the students preferred this over the function machine. Student A and B found it a little tough going initially, student C struggled but still preferred this method. At the end of the lesson a homework was handed out to be completed for next week.
Week 2 Entry
Lesson 1 and 2 - Problem Solving - Reading time tables
- working out times
- Calculating times taken to travel
The first two aspects of the lessons were fairly straight forward the lower ability students grasped the concept, but occasionally had difficulty in how to read the time table. Student A was utilised to help the lower ability and even explained the calculation of the travel times in his own words to the students, suffice to say the lesson did not go to plan but altering it to this way paid off and all students hit the objectives.
Lesson 3 - Algebra - solving one step equations
This Lesson most students found difficult, so as not to cause concern the word algebra was not mentioned for a little while. A simple starter to begin with involved an activity in groups where using an amount of money and the cost of products the student had to discuss various methods of finding the change rather than providing the answer. This o lot of provoking and suggestions particularly to the lower ability students. The results of which were mixed Student A was impressing upon me to give me his various methods, Student B sat there with a vacant expression and Student C had no idea of what to do, this activity took longer than it should have. Eventually a couple of student gave plausible explainations as soon as they did this the 'penny dropped'. The rest of the lesson was basically catchup introducing the concept of function machines. This concept for the students was a difficult for them to comprehend, so the the next lesson would have to be re-jigged to encompass this one. Students B and C found it tough going, where as student A began to grasp the concept.
Week 1 Entry
Lesson 1 - Averages
Lesson 2 - Investigation
The lessons this week are focussed on averages, lesson 1 was looking at median and mean (which was lesson 4 of 5 on averages which I had picked up from their original teacher) and lesson 2 a 'who dunnit' investigation to consolidate their learning on mean median mode and range.
The lessons I had taught went well, with the first one running a little behind schedule as I had underestimated the time for the students to complete the work I had set (a differentiated worksheet) the work sheet catered for the whole class as the abilities range from Level 3 to Level 5.
Student C struggled with the questions, however this was because 'C' jumped to the end of the two star questions, I ask the TA to help and make sure student C stayed on the one star questions until they were satisfied. Students A and B had started on the 2star questions, (the worksheet is split into three sections one to three star) and then once they had completed the minimum requirement student A jumped to the three star question (being quite vocal about it!) Student B continued a little longer on two star before undertaking the three star questions.
Lesson 2 investigation called 'who dunnit', here the students consolidate all their learning within this activity. This investigation was under taken in groups of two/three. Student grouped with two lower ability pupils, student B paired up with a mid to higher ability pupil (similar) and student C paired up with a mid ability pupil who i would say is a little stronger but can be vocal and get distracted. The investigation is split into parts and there is a probability section as an extension activity. The investigation was completed by Student A's group, however student A's impatience got the better and started to lead the activity pretty much taking over. Student B and co also completed the activity giving the probability part a go. However Student C and co kept getting distract every so often, getting involved in discussion that were not there own which eventually transpired to consequences, this did however did help them to spur them on. The majority of the pupils completed the task within the alloted time.