Teaching – First Full Week

So the past week (Feb. 10 – 14) I was officially in charge of leading the lesson for first period. On Monday I taught how to use area models, not particularly difficult but they had struggled with them on Friday. I taught allowing them to collaborate in pairs and then having a randomly selected student discuss what they had found or even come up to the front board and draw their area model. At the end of the lesson I felt pretty confident that the students knew how area models worked and could construct them on their own.
Tuesday’s lesson, however, proved me wrong. The lesson was going to use an area model and calculate the expected value for the situation. Expected value is the long term average and I didn’t think it was a big leap for the class. Unfortunately, the students had forgotten much about the area model and did not know certain concepts that I assumed they knew such as what percents are. This meant I was scaffolding their thinking on a foundation of knowledge that did not exist. Obviously, Tuesdays lesson was not good.
Tuesday night I prepared a lesson that did not use area models or percentages but rather only taught about expected value which was the main goal of the lesson. So Wednesday I was quite excited to see how it worked. As soon as I got into school that day, I heard they were having an assembly that day during first hour. So I was out of luck, I’d have to wait until another day and by then the students would’ve forgotten even more of what I had managed to teach. Unfortunately, on Thursdays the main teacher takes over since I don’t go in, and then on Friday he planned to have a quiz. So I really never got to implement my lesson plan that would address the expected value.
Looking at the quizzes on Friday, it seems the students have not successfully learned and internalized what expected value is or how to calculate it. This week, I have failed. Next week we continue working with probability but with binomial situations. I’ll let you know how it goes. Hopefully I have good news to report.


2 thoughts on “Teaching – First Full Week

  1. I hear your frustration, especially when the assembly prevented the opportunity to try out your refocused lesson. I wonder if: what are some reasons why they did not internalize it? What are some of the things you would do differently next time?

  2. Those are great questions to consider before reteaching any lessons that don’t go according to planned. If I had to guess I would say they did not internalize it because they were not asked to apply what they had learned which would allow them to truly understand how things work. Also, my summary for the class was clearly not enough to really get the students to think about the main focus of the lesson.

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