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As I began my lesson, I have noticed that several of my students had great amount of knowledge with both addition and subtraction. Moreover, they had prior knowledge to determine what is greater; what is fewer; as well as what is equal. When I did my M&M activity, I believe there prior knowledge with adding or subtracting did not hinder their opportunity to learn something meaningful from the exercise. Rather, my students turned out to be very excited to eat, touch, and play around with the M&Ms that they did not even notice that I was teaching them a math lesson. Overall, I believe that their prior knowledge did not affect my ability to present the lesson plan to the students.
There were very few to limited amount of misconceptions that I have discovered from the students. The only one that I could recall is during the beginning of my lesson, when I introduced to the class that we are going to have an M&M activity. At first, a few of my students had a big misconception that this exercise would give them the opportunity to play and eat the M&Ms without doing any math or reading. But I later told them that the M&Ms are used to help them answer the math problems that they needed to answer on a worksheet before they can eat the M&M candies. Another misconception was when my students thought I was giving away a free M&M stuffed animal to the students. At the beginning of my lesson, I had introduced my M&M stuffed animal to the student as a way to captivate and motivate their attention. Many students had a misconception that I was giving away the stuffed animal in the end. But in reality, I told them that the stuffed animal was used to help motivate the students to answer the math problems.
Overall, I believe that I did an excellent job engaging the students prior knowledge with both addition and subtraction into this activity. Many students were excited to do this activity, and that they had asked many good questions throughout the exercise. One, for instance, was question number nine on the worksheet, where students were asked to group the M&M colors on the coloring chart and utilize the chart to answer the math problem. For example, if the question asks Blue + Red = ____, the students had to go back to their coloring chart to determine how many blue colors and how many red colors are there to determine the exact number between the two. During this question, many students asked a lot of questions, which showed strong evidence that the students felt engaged throughout the activity. They had used their prior knowledge in adding to answer the questions.
Explore:
I believe that I have allowed my students sufficient time for exploration throughout my M&M activity. One, for instance, is question number four on the worksheet, where the students had to group the M&M colors into the coloring chart and then determine on their own how many colors total are in each row. I gave my students about ten minutes for them to group all the colors into the M&M coloring chart, where they had the opportunity to explore counting and adding up the total amount for each colored M&M.
I cannot recall a moment where I had a classroom management challenge during my activity. I had utilized the entire forty five minutes of class for this lesson, and finished exactly on time before recess. I believe that I had effectively managed the class time with ease throughout the lesson plan.
I strongly believe that my students were very engaged during the lesson. In fact, there excitement began before I even entered the classroom. During their recess time, I walked to the classroom to setup my math lesson early when all the sudden half of the students came up rushing to me asking what was in my bag and whether or not I can give them M&Ms before recess ended. They continued to beg for some M&M candies, indicating how excited the students were for my math lesson. When I taught my lesson, I strongly believe that my students were engaged throughout the lesson because my math activity involved candies as well as a coloring activity. I believe that they were easily engaged throughout the lesson because they had: 1) M&M candy, 2) the math lesson was taught after lunch period, 3) the lesson was being taught by younger instructor, 4) coloring activity, and 5) prize giveaways. Through these five approaches, my students were totally engaged from the beginning to the end of my math lesson.
Explain:
The students were able to explain in words which colored M&M candy had the most; which had the fewest; and which had an equal amount. In other words, the students had the opportunity to explain to the entire class by comparing each colored group to determine which color had more or less than the other color. They had the opportunity to write down that answer on question number ten, where students were asked to write down what they had learned from their M&M chart using the words greater than or fewer than. I believe that this question allowed the students to explain as well as apply what they had learned from the M&M exercise by utilizing their prior knowledge of addition and subtracting into the question.
After carefully assessing each student, I believe that about 85% of the students were able to explain to the class which M&M colors had the most and which M&M colors had the fewest. Moreover, majority of my students were able to explain how they did questions number eleven to thirteen, which consisted of math word problems. Many students knew how to determine whether the question is an addition problem or a subtraction problem. In other words, I believe that most of my students were able to explain how they obtained each answer through the visual aid of the M&M coloring chart.
The students explanations had told me how much they are ready for third grade math as they were almost proficient in handling basic addition and subtraction problems. They were all ready to explain how they achieved each answer, ultimately suggesting that Mrs. Secor have done an excellent job throughout the academic year teaching these students basic add and subtraction problems. Moreover, the students confidence to explain how they acquired each answer is really shown by there energetic answer the students provided me during the lesson. Additionally, there ability to answer each math question quickly displays how much they have improved in their math abilities overtime.
Evaluate:
Through this lesson, I believe that the students have learned the basic meaning of addition (putting together, increasing) and subtraction (taking away, comparing, finding the difference). I believe that they have recognized the importance of grouping and comparing one thing to another. Moreover, I believe that the students have learned how math can be used and found anywhere besides in a math work book. Many of these students learn math using a textbook. By using various objects, such as M&Ms, the students had the opportunity to experience how math can also be found outside of the textbook. Through the use of M&M candies, I believe that my students are beginning to appreciate math in a larger level. I have noticed this when the class and I went over the math problems, in which the students were all very excited to determine the exact answer for the question. The opportunity to see their bright smile light up when they figured out the answer to the question really shows how much they learned and enjoyed this activity.
With the knowledge that I have gained from the students, I would use this lesson once again and apply it when I teach English in China. I hope to use the M&M exercise as a way for students to explore the meaning of color, and inform them how each color can symbolize many things in American context. I believe that this exercise was a great opportunity for the students to evaluate what they have learned over the last year in math. I cannot recall an incident in which the student had mis-learned anything during my activity.
Extend:
I believe that the extension part of my lesson was something that they really wanted to do. My extension involved the students coloring in the M&M chart as a way for them to understand how to read charts and to explain how they obtain an answer to a math problem. In addition, I believe that my students had really enjoyed coloring in the M&M character that I had printed out for them for the lesson. My students are very addicted to coloring various cartoon figures, and during this exercise, they happened to be very excited when coloring the different M&M characters on the coloring worksheet. Overall, I believe that my students were eagerly waiting to do my extension activity for my lesson.
General Questions:
After a careful review of my lesson, I believe that the most successful part of my lesson was bringing in the M&M candies for them to eat as well as a stuffed animal for them to play during the activity. In addition, I believe that the coloring worksheet as well as the pictures that I placed onto the math worksheet activity motivated the students to complete the activity with excitement. I believe that this activity was the most successful part of my lesson because they were being awarded for doing a math problem. In other words, the M&M activity was seen more of an incentive for them because they were getting something for doing an assignment in class.
I believe that the least successful part of my lesson was really the first three questions on my math worksheet, where students were asked to predict how many M&Ms were in the bag; how many M&Ms when they open the bag; and what was the difference between the two. When the students began to open the M&M candies, several of my students began to eat some of the M&M candies after I told them numerous times not to eat the M&M candies. I was least successful at this event because I told them with a calamity voice that they cannot eat the M&M candies until they complete their worksheet.
The next time I do this lesson plan, I would do an ice breaker activity where students would break off into their groups and complete the assignment. By working in groups, students will have the opportunity to interact more with their peers as well as their classmates. I did not do an ice breaker activity for this lesson because I wanted to ensure that I have enough time to complete the math activity within forty five minutes. By not doing an ice breaker, I made the students focus more on their math questions as an individual rather than having them work in groups to interact with other classmates.
The students had the opportunity to read, write and speak when we went over the math problems for question eleven, twelve, and thirteen. Moreover, I made students read out aloud to the class what we went over on the entire worksheet. The students also had the opportunity to write their thoughts for question ten, where they had the chance to verbally express and share what they have learned from the lesson to complete sentences on the paper.
During the activity, the student had numerous opportunities to collaborate with one another. One, for instance, was when the students placed the M&M candies into the M&M chart. They collaborated with other students in the class to figure out how to read the chart as well as where to place the M&M candies. Another is when we went over M&M math problems, where the students collaborated with other students to see whether or not they obtained the correct answer. Overall, I believe that I had given them a significant amount of opportunities for them to collaborate during the exercise.
The students had M&M candies as a visual aid to help them answer the math problems on the worksheet. They found the M&M candies to be very helpful in assisting them to determine what the actual answer is for each question. I believe that this visual aid stimulated thinking amongst the students as well as encourage them to do the assignment. I always believe that utilizing visual aids is the key fundamental approach to enhance the quality of learning for the students.
Throughout my lesson, I was aiming for concept and relational knowledge. I knew that I did not want to do an activity that focuses on memorization or procedure. I believe that this can be at times very boring and too much for the students to handle. I feel that focusing on the concept and allowing the students to apply that concept into a math problem is the best strategy to help them master a particular math subject or field. I believe that my students did participate at the concept or relational knowledge field because they asked numerous questions on how to obtain or do a particular math problem indicating that they are interested in the subject material.
I believe that the students were very engaged throughout the lesson. They were very excited to learn math utilizing M&M candies as well as eat the candies at the end. Moreover, they were very excited to color in various colors on the M&M coloring sheet. I believe that I have made them very engaged through the visuals and manipulative that I have used throughout the lesson plan. I believe that this was caused because of the M&M candies.
There were a few tools and strategies that I used to stimulate interest and thinking during my lesson. One of them in particular was utilizing the M&M stuffed animals where I had introduced the toy to the students to captivate the students. This strategy was very important because the students had lunch prior to entering this class. Many students were hyper, crazy, yet very loud. I believe that in order to bring the students back focused into math, using the M&M stuffed animal as an object to bring control within the students in the classroom was a very effective strategy that I will definitely use the next time I run this lesson plan.
I did not identify any lowest students in my class. There were some students who struggled with the math problems, but they were very motivated to do the exercise. I believe that the boy who had struggled in the lesson learned how to group each M&M into the M&M chart as well as apply visually the M&M chart into the math problem. Although he had difficulty handling question number nine, he was very excited to do the math problem and I believe the visual aspect of the M&M chart helped to explain why Blue + Red = _____.
There were many students in my class who achieved and handled the math problem with great ease. I thought that many students in my class were very high achievers because they were able to answer each question very quickly, especially for question number nine. Many students did not have much problem grouping the colored candies into the M&M chart as well as determining what the total amount of candy between the two colors. The ability to see my students tackle and handle the math worksheet with no problems I think is a good indication that there were many high achieving students in my class.
Roy Chan
Student ID: 94105908
June 9, 2009
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