My goal in this lesson is to encourage students to assess their own learning about the last unit (which is the focus of the homework problems that will be collected today). The timing of the lesson (progress checks and homework reviews are held on Fridays) is inconvenient, since we just began a new unit. The lesson opener asks students to compare their notes from the previous lesson’s activity, in which students used an online simulation to make and test conjectures about the conditions needed to show two triangles congruent.
As students are entering the classroom, I display the agenda and learning targets (the slide in the presentation) on the white board using the overhead projector. When the bell rings, I display the lesson opener and note the time. Students have 5 minutes to complete the opener.
This is a classroom routine, so students know what to do. A reminder is provided in the presentation. One member of the team writes the question the team agrees upon on the white board at the front of the room.
While students are working on the lesson opener, I complete administrative tasks. (These include taking attendance and noting which students have not completed their homework or brought required items to class. For more information on my classroom routines, check out the Strategy Folder under my Geometry curriculum on the Better Lesson web site.)
When all teams have finished writing their answers to the lesson opener, I award points by writing a score next to each team’s answer and circling it. I award one point for teamwork, one for accuracy. (Accuracy in this case means that, between all team members, the team is able to identify at least 4 triangle congruence conjectures. Also, the team should not give Angle-Angle-Angle as a condition for proving triangles congruent, since every student should have had an opportunity to see that A-A-A only shows that triangles are similar.) Writing the points on the board helps to get students to read the other teams’ questions.
Following the lesson opener, I display the learning goals and agenda for the lesson using the overhead projector and review them briefly with the class.
To reinforce the expectation that students should learn from their homework, I have them complete a homework quiz at the end of a week’s worth of homework assignments. The quiz consists of a single problem, chosen at random from among the homework problems assigned from the textbook. To discourage copying, students in alternate rows complete different problems. I use a computer program to select two problems at random (SelectorTools by Kagan Publishing and Professional Development, available online at http://www.kaganonline.com ). The application is designed to select students. I enter problem numbers into the roster in place of student names. I allow students to use their homework on the quiz. If they have done a good job checking their work and noting their mistakes, the homework quiz should be easy.
When students complete the homework quiz, they staple it at the front of the homework that is due and turn it in to the box for their section at the resource center. Then, they attend to administrative/ housekeeping tasks, which I display on the front board using the lesson slideshow.
Administrative tasks may include: returning graded work, updating the homework schedule, etc. I have included a slide in the presentation which may be modified. If there are no administrative tasks to be completed (rare), I ask students to begin on their homework.
I display the lesson close question on the front board using the slideshow. I have the students brainstorm in pairs, then in teams, before writing their answers in their learning journals. The purpose of the learning journal is to encourage students to reflect on what they have learned (as well as to provide individual accountability). Time permitting, I also ask one student from each team to write a team answer on the white board. This gives me immediate feedback on what students learned from the lesson.
Before class is dismissed, I remind students of their homework assignment, textbook problems 5-57, 5-67, 5-68, as are listed on the unit syllabus.