Reflection: Student Grouping Algebra: Expressions and Multi-Step Equations - Section 2: Class Notes


There are times when we will need to prioritize skills because we will run out of time to review it all. This is when data can be very useful. A standards tracker such as the one attached in the image samples, can be used to review for this lesson. This tracker reports the “trend” in certain standards across different assessments. An upward pointing arrow indicates an improvement in mastery, downwards indicates a drop in mastery. I isolated standards in the Expressions and Equations strand to pin-point pockets of students who are not making growth and targeting them through mini lessons or strategic student groups.

Each of the assessments students take for my class throughout the year includes questions tagged to a specific standard. This is how I am able to track progress from assessment to assessment, within individual standards. A student who has shown an upward trend in growth may be a good partner for a student showing no growth. Something made sense to the former student that the latter might learn from. Students whom are consistently scoring passing marks on particular standards should be given extension activities that will push them into deeper levels of understanding so that they can help all students when understanding breaks down for half of the class. When half of my class proves mastery in assessments and the other half does not, it’s easy to feel helpless as an educator, especially this late in the school year and close to state exams. We must realize that our students are our best tools and helpers! Students are sometimes able to explain topics to their peers in better ways than we can. The main components of an effective grouped activity include:

  • Planning groups ahead of time – use students’ strengths in academics to help others
  • Preview the activity with students leaders – highlight the common misconceptions they should look out for and show them how they should be re-taught
  • Clear expectations – all students should know what the classroom should look like and sound like to reflect engaged learners

  Student Grouping: Data and Grouping
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Algebra: Expressions and Multi-Step Equations

Unit 8: Test Prep
Lesson 2 of 8

Objective: SWBAT review writing and simplifying expressions by preparing for a trashketball game. SWBAT review writing and solving multi-step equations by playing trashketball

Big Idea: Students work on algebraic topics, expressions and equations, across two days, collecting opportunities to “shoot for points” on the second day in a game of trashketball

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day 134 135 algebra
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