Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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ConnectionsSession 06 Overviewtab atab btab ctab dTab eReference
Part E

Evaluating Connections
  Make a Lesson Plan | Summing Up the Session | Final Journal


An effective lesson that focuses on connections should include several stages:

  • Stage 1: Identify the concept you plan to address (for example, geometric shapes)
  • Stage 2: Think of connections to other mathematical concepts (number of sides, number of angles, congruence, symmetry, etc.)
  • Stage 3: Think of connections to other subject areas (social studies, art, etc.)
  • Stage 4: Identify the task you want students to complete
  • Stage 5: Identify ways to extend the task in order to connect to other mathematical concepts and to other topics

For example, you might introduce the tangram activity by using the book The Warlord's Puzzle. Once the students see the tangram puzzle, they can identify the shapes and classify them -- perhaps according to number of sides (all triangles, all quadrilaterals) or according to congruence (which shapes are the same shape and size). While working with the shapes, students can also begin to identify which pieces have line symmetry. (If the pieces are cut from construction paper, students can test their conjectures by folding the pieces.) Following this work (which will last several days), students can solve various puzzles by fitting the pieces onto tangram "pictures," including the original square. For an art project, students can make their own pictures from the tangram pieces.

Use the information you learned in this session to plan a lesson for one of your classes. Choose a task that builds on a concept with which students have had previous experience, or develop a task around a topic of student interest. You may want to check the library for a connection to children's literature. A way for students to represent their thinking should also be part of the task. Depending on your students' experience with representation, you may want to let them determine their own way to represent their ideas, or you may want to model a specific way to record their ideas. As you plan your lesson, think of connections to other mathematical ideas, to other subjects, or to real-world applications. You should also think of questions you might ask to help students move their thinking forward.

Use a problem you teach in your subject area, or select one of the samples form the Learning Math courses.

After you have created your lesson plan, use the Classroom Checklist (an Adobe PDF document) to evaluate it.

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