Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Observation #3-Math AND Conclusion of Summer Learning Place

Lesson Topic: Introducing Fractions-Math Lesson
I taught a lesson introducing fractions: what they look like, how to write a fraction, and parts of a fraction.  First, I introduced fractions by pre-assessing what my students thought the different parts of fraction were.  I wrote fractions on the board and either pointed to the numerator or the denominator.  For each example, my students were to do the follow: they would sit on top of the desk if they thought I pointed to the numerator, and they would sit underneath their desk if they thought I had pointed to the denominator.  For the mini-lesson, I modeled what fractions look like given a specific fraction.  I also modeled how to write a fraction only given the visual representation.  Additionally, I gave each student a slip of paper with a fraction on it.  With the slip of paper, each student was to go to the board and draw/shade what they thought the fraction looked like.  We then went over each example as a class.  For the lesson closure, students completed an ice cream sundae fraction activity.  For the activity, students had to have ten scoops of ice cream with an array of flavors.  After creating their ice cream sundae, the students had to represent each flavor with a fraction of how many scoops each flavor had.                                                                                                                                                                                   
Date Taught: Tuesday, July 28, 2015

What went well: I think that students really understood the parts of a fraction, and they were able to show their understanding of fractions both in numbers and with pictures.  Most students also participated quite well during the lesson, especially when it came to writing answers on the white board.  Additionally, our student who usually requires the most attention was able to complete his work with minimal assistance.

What did not go as planned: Some of our older students did not really want to participate during the lesson opening.  They were reluctant to sit on top or sit underneath their desks to demonstrate where numerators and denominators are located within a fraction.  I was disappointed with their reaction since I tried very hard to incorporate something kinesthetic for them to be more engaged.  

How to change for subsequent lessons: I do not foresee ever teaching math again, so I don’t think I’d make changes to this particular lesson.  However, I will try to incorporate more engaging activities for the lessons I teach in my geography and world history classes for the upcoming school year.

How my expectations changed over the last four weeks: The last four weeks have been an interesting experience.  It has solidified why I teach a content-specific class in high school.  This experience has also opened up my eyes in regards to my future endeavors in education.  Yes, I am more prepared to teach students in the general education setting; however, I do not feel prepared enough to teach a resource or self-contained class upon graduation.  I have enjoyed working with our students and seeing them grow, but it is disheartening to know that some of our students will struggle with content this upcoming school year.  Lastly, I think that I would have been more effective if the class was not spread out with grade levels.  I feel like some of my teaching was ineffective since it was difficult to find a middle-ground for our students (ranging from fifth to tenth grades).  


  1. This was a fun lesson and even though the older ones acted like they didn't want to do the activity, it looked like they had fun. It is natural at their age to act like they dislike anything that might look like fun. I hope you have learned to differentiate learning enough for your content area students to help them be more successful in your classes. Even though some students may not be labeled as needing special education services, you may find many fall in the cracks and may still need this in content area classes.

  2. I enjoyed your lesson today! I really liked your lesson opener and how the students were engaged. Even though some of the older ones were not interested, the younger ones really enjoyed it. I also liked how you used a variety of visual representations during your lesson.

  3. I enjoyed your lesson today! I really liked your lesson opener and how the students were engaged. Even though some of the older ones were not interested, the younger ones really enjoyed it. I also liked how you used a variety of visual representations during your lesson.

  4. Elizabeth,
    I love how you incorporated movement into your pre-assessment. I try to use movement as often as possible to help keep my students engaged. My older students often act like they don't want to move and complain during kinesthetic lessons, but most of the time, those same students ask later when are we going to do that again. So do not be discouraged... I know they took a lot away from that lesson.

  5. Elizabeth,
    Jen took the words straight out of my mouth. When reading through your lesson reflection, I was very impressed by the way you incorporated movement into your lesson, especially as a pre-assessment and activating strategy. I also liked the questions you set out for the students to take away at the end of the lesson. I definitely will use your lesson ideas across your three lessons as students of all ages can come away learning content in the manner you plan your lessons.
    - Jamie
    P.S. Coolest tumbler ever. I want one myself. I think you walked away the benefactor as opposed to your husband. :-)