CLICK HERE.) and I promised you a follow-up post!
With "big" concepts, I tend to have a sequence of teaching that doesn't really follow a formula but does have a certain sequence. First of all, I want the students to explore and build their understanding. That's what that first post was all about--immersing students in meaningful activities to develop their foundations.
Once that happens, we do need some guided practice and formative assessment to see where students are with their depth of understanding. Sometimes this means I use some of the lessons that area a part of our math series, sometimes it involves other practice activities. After I taught a few mini-lessons from our math series, I wanted to give students the opportunity to practice finding area and perimeter--and time for me to observe and look for any misconceptions and problems.
Here's what I did. I used a set of task cards that were differentiated by level and put them in a giant circle around the room (I couldn't 'get a good picture that showed this! Just picture 20 cards scattered around the perimeter!). I explained to the students that the cards asked them to find area and perimeter--and were arranged in order from most simple--rectangles and shapes with the grid built in--to more complex shapes. I partnered students up with partners of similar math abilities and asked them to start at a location that they thought matched their confidence level.
I asked them to take a wipe off marker, their math spiral, and something to erase with (most of my students have a sock or washcloth in their desk). Their job was to solve a card as a team, make sure they used math talk to "prove" that their solutions were correct. I encouraged them to write directly on the cards to help with that "proof". As they solved a card, they then moved to another one.
Interested in checking out these task cards?
How about some area and perimeter formative assessments?
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