Reflection: Connection to Prior Knowledge Place Value: The Games of Total Recall - Section 4: The Elevator Speech

Connecting to prior knowledge is key to starting any unit. I find it is the perfect springboard into a unit. Just sitting there talking about a topic isn't enough to get minds working, students need to see practical examples. If I ask, "Do you remember..." the students will all say yes, just so they sound like everyone else. But, if ask them to show me, they either can or can't. That shows me where to get started.

It is also quite important to know where your students come from. Just because an earlier grade is supposed to teach something, don't take it at face value that it has been learned. You should be having conversations with the teachers of the grades below you all year: what holes are you seeing, what concepts are students coming in to you with, what they are doing well, what misconceptions you are seeing, etc.

If a teacher is unwilling to have this conversation, well you tried. But I think you'll find it more likely that your peers will want to hear what you've observed, as non judgmental information allows them to make their own practice better. In my school, we have these conversations all of the time, throughout the subjects. Take time to look at the CCSS and look at the vertical alignment. This really helps teachers see what needs to be taught and why!

Prior Knowledge Recall
Connection to Prior Knowledge: Prior Knowledge Recall

Place Value: The Games of Total Recall

Unit 1: Working with Whole Numbers
Lesson 3 of 10

Big Idea: Starting all units by making connections to prior knowledge helps students to recall what they learned in 4th grade so that we can apply this to our learning of numbers up to 10,000,000.

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Standards:
Subject(s):
Math, Place Value, Number Sense and Operations, Integers, whole numbers, Numbers, standard form, word form, expanded form
80 minutes

James Ewing

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