Reflection: Lesson Planning Volcanoes and Math: California - Section 3: Active Engagement


I have repeatedly observed that students from a wide range of backgrounds and skill levels internalize concepts and skills at a deeper (and more permanent) level when those concepts/skills are connected to high-interest, real-world, interdisciplinary content.  In math, the trick is to find the balance between embedding the skill/content in a rich context without letting that content submerse the math objective.  I have found that the way for me to walk this sometimes fine line is to use rubrics and checklists to measure student progress in activities these activities and also to have a very specific mathematical goal in mind.  When that milestone (or wayside marker) is reached, the student is then free to pursue the content are further, and often I teach language arts/science lessons in that are also tied to the topic.  Additionally, I make sure that the links to all the materials I use in a content area embedded (awkward/wrong words) lesson are available to the students on the class (wikki? Mooc?  I’ll find out what exactly it is…) and/or through Google Drive.  I time these lessons so that students are not practicing a brand-new skill in a contextual setting before they’ve had either appropriate scaffolding or isolated mini-lessons/instruction.

  Making Sure That the Engaging Content Doesn't Subsume the Math!
  Lesson Planning: Making Sure That the Engaging Content Doesn't Subsume the Math!
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Volcanoes and Math: California

Unit 17: Volcanoes (Data Collection, Graphs, Addition & Subtraction)
Lesson 2 of 6

Objective: SWBAT use information from a database and addition and subtraction strategies to determine the elapsed time since the last volcanic activity for a given volcanic location.

Big Idea: The advent of the internet has given us phenomenal access to real-world data that we can use to make practicing basic operations more relevant and interesting for students.

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4 teachers like this lesson
Math, Numbers and Operations, California, first week of school 4th grade, first week of school 5th grade
  53 minutes
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