This week I am going to teach Math. This is definitely the most challenging preparation for the lesson plan I have had so far. It has been a very long time since I have done any sort of formal math. For my lesson I need to create a class on long form multiplication and division. The hardest part for this lesson is certainly thinking of a way to make it engaging. This week we are looking in particular at our sets. Creating an interesting math set is certainly a bit of a challenge for me. After some digging I remember a kind of random song from my childhood. It is the Animaniacs multiplication song. It is a good intro and should grab the students’ attention. As I prepared the lesson I certainly needed to review the steps and my examples. What I needed to do was to make sure that all my examples worked and that I could talk my way through the steps confidently. The other struggle was that the lesson I was teaching was not directly from the Math Makes Sense text. That means that I had to create both my lesson and my work sheet. I know that I can teach this lesson but it is definitely out of my comfort zone. I also tried to create a math brain brake that works with this lesson and can work as a bit of an assessment.
While I was teaching this week I was more aware of the need for a good lesson plan then when you are teaching in an area where you are confident in your content. Although I write lesson plans for every lesson when I am confident in both what I am teaching and how I plan to present the material I definitely tend to look less often at my plan. This week I found that I was often referencing my plan to make sure that I was on track. I think that the students were mildly engaged with the songs I used. The brain break has some potential but needs a little tweaking. I think that if we were to use it again it might need some refining.
I feel like this lesson was fairly successful. The students were engaged for the most part. Many of the students participated well and I think it was engaging as far as Math lessons go. It was an interesting experience to teach outside of my comfort zone. I learned that I will be fine with teaching in a subject where I feel less confident in the content. I was more aware today of how hard it can be to watch all the students, answer all the questions and keep your mind on what you were just teaching when you are trying to remember content you are not as confident in.
For Next Week:
Anne and I are going to team teach two subjects next week. We decided to teach a lesson that would combine Social Studies and Arts Education to create one total lesson that is centered on Remembrance Day. This will be interesting as we have a close to two-hour block to keep students on task and engaged.
What went Well- I think that the lesson went well for the most part. I feel like despite some trepidation in the beginning that I feel pretty confident now in teaching math, Grade Seven math- at least. I think that the key to the lesson being successful was that I was well prepared and had a chance to think through how I want to teach my lesson.
What didn’t work- my math brain break had some minor issues. I think that it could be used again with a few tweaks. I also think that if this was something we could do a few times with the same class the more they would enjoy it. The students needed some time to sort out how the challenge worked- now that they now the rules I think that it would be more competitive and fun if we did it again. Also I would probably start to introduce more fun prizes.