Reflection: Connection to Prior Knowledge Measurement and Symmetry - Section 1: Warm Up


We are not teaching in a vacuum. Our students come to us with an array of prior knowledge. Some of that knowledge students are very aware of and use regularly. Other knowledge is there but may need to be retrieved or called upon. 

The term symmetry is one that was presented in first grade but has probably not been used since then. Students need to be reminded of this prior learning. I could just say, "you learned about symmetry last year and we are going to work more with it today," but instead I give examples and see if students can make the connections themselves. My job is to build the bridge and see if students can cross that bridge on their own. If they make the connection, it will be more lasting for them than if I just tell them of the connection and they hear it and forget it.

I realize that the term symmetry is not in the second grade Common Core standards, but it is a term that is often used in math curriculums and standardized tests and so I have introduced it here. The lesson could just stress the measurement aspect and still have the students design something that is the same on 2 sides of a center line using the idea of a mirror image, but because the term does come in standardized tests, I believe that introducing it here is appropriate.

  Drawing on Past Knowledge
  Connection to Prior Knowledge: Drawing on Past Knowledge
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Measurement and Symmetry

Unit 14: Length
Lesson 2 of 9

Objective: SWBAT use measurement and symmetry to create a design.

Big Idea: Students should be able to use a variety of measurement tools to measure both small and larger distances. Common Core Standards expect students to measure and compare those distances.

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