Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Creating a Simple Enough Lesson

I've been trying to complete my last TPA. My hardest part was recording a lesson that I was satisfied with. I wanted a lesson that shows the students being productive, interested, and quiet. Also, I needed to do a lesson that was small enough. I needed to teach a lesson that was no less than 18 minutes but no longer than 20 minutes. That turned out to be hard to do.

For the first lesson that I taught, I wanted to give my students a method for learning how to solve math word problems. There were two problems with that lesson: #1 It was complicated. It consisted of multiple components. I drew them a table that consisted of two columns and four rows. From the first column and row down to the last row, these were the names of the rows: "Know," "Question," "Need," and "Use Info." In the second column for the know row, students write down information directly from the word problem which can be used to answer the question of a word problem. In the second column of the question row, students write the question of the word problem exactly as they read it. In the second column of the need row, students leave it blank or write the info that they need to solve the word problem. Finally, in the second column of the use info row, students use the information they have to solve the problem. Now, #2, a lot of students found it boring to practice using a method to solve a word problem.

Originally, when I was practicing the lesson above at home, it took me about 15 minutes to complete. When I actually taught the lesson in class, it took 33 minutes. I probably would've been better off just teaching them about just one row from the table (i.e. Just the know or the question row instead of every row). And then, for each consecutive lesson, I could introduce another row. That way, they could've directed all of their focus at just one part of the table.

The second lesson that I taught was much simpler. In the lesson, they learned about interjections (i.e. a single word followed by an exclamation mark [e.g. Wow!]) When I practiced that lesson at home, it took me 13 minutes. When I actually taught the lesson in class, it only took me 18 minutes. Much less of a time gap.

Something further that you might be wondering is why it took me 18 minutes to teach my students that "Wow!" is an interjection. I think it's worth its own post. I'll address that in my next post.

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