Sunday, July 15, 2012

Making an ImPACT III

Here is the final lesson in my measurement unit for PACT. It focuses on building the measuring skills acquired from the center activity and comparing lengths. You can access the worksheet with the grids for the strips here. (I forgot to mention I'm a Word Neanderthal and still use 2003 because I'm so used to it haha). Also, I recommend printing the worksheet double-sided to save trees! :)

Materials for this lesson on comparing lengths.
Food for Taught:

1. Make sure to be explicit about comparing strips of the same color and measuring the strips using the linker cubes. I thought I had been, but during my observations during independent practice, I noticed many of my students were using the grid squares on the worksheet instead of the linker cubes to measure the strips. I had to clarify that the squares on the worksheet were for recording their measurements.

2. During prep, I recommend making all of the strips different lengths in case some students don't follow the directions about comparing strips of the same color. (I had a handful of students do this). Thankfully, since all of the strips were different lengths there were no issues with comparing in regard to which was longer and shorter.

3. To give students additional practice writing their numbers, I had them record the lengths next to each strip on the worksheet. Originally in my lesson plan I was going to have students orally compare the strips and tell me which strips were longer/shorter in each pair. However, at some point during my modeling I completely abandoned ship (I'm still not quite sure why) and had students circle the longer length and put an 'X' on the shorter one as a means of checking for understanding. This was useful for students who were less verbal but I wish I would've had some basic sentence stems ready like "This strip is (longer/shorter) ." so that students could have gotten some more practice using the language.

Here is a student sample that followed all of the directions.

Looking back on my PACT lesson sequence now (4 months later), I can think of a lot of things that I would change and add to make this unit stronger if I were to recycle it. One area in particular that I would've liked to improve was my differentiation. I intentionally paired my more proficient math students with less proficient ones to account for this but I often wonder in what other ways I could have differentiated my unit. It just goes to show that teaching is an ongoing process as there is always room for improvement. Don't forget to take the time to reflect on your lessons so that they can be the best that they can be!

As always, feedback and modifications are welcome. I hope you enjoyed my PACT series and happy teaching!

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