Collaborating Makes Everything Easier.

October 17, 2010 at 7:07 pm 2 comments

This weekend my school network hosted a math conference in my city! It was incredibly exciting. My students got to show off for visitors; I met math teachers with tons of great ideas, and I got to share a unit that I’m really proud of. The collaboration reminded me that I’m supposed to be blogging, and one of the blogs I’ve been meaning to post is about collaboration.

This post was written by another 5th grade math teacher in my network, Keina. Keina describes the epic collaboration we did over the summer (hours of moving little pieces of paper around and eating Popeye’s). If you haven’t done something like this yet, it’s not too late. Just make sure you do it with a friend.

This summer Lisa and I sat down to create a deliberate long term plan for our incoming class of fifth graders. We started by looking at the standards that our school and district use to assess our students. 

For each standard we identified objectives that would help lead our students to mastery throughout different points in the year. 

An example of one of one standards is below:

5.M.1: Apply the concepts of perimeter and area to the solution of problems involving triangles and rectangles. Apply formulas where appropriate.

– I will find the perimeter of polygons.

– I will find the perimeter of quadrilaterals.

– I will find the area of triangles.

– I will find the area of squares and rectangles.

– I will find the area of parallelograms.

The points above are examples of potential objectives that would help lead our students to mastering 5.M.1.  We also thought critically about prior knowledge that students would need in order to master the standard.  For this particular standard students would need to add, multiply and identify different types of polygons.

After we dissected each standard, we created the units. Each unit incorporated an application of skills.  For example, within our addition and subtraction unit we incorporated perimeter and solving for a missing angle on a line, triangle, and quadrilateral to reinforce and apply basic computational skills. 

For some standards identifying potential objectives can be difficult but I would recommend looking to your state test or a state test that is even more rigorous than your own and finding several questions that you think assess the given standard.  Ask yourself, what would your students need to know to solve that question?  From there you can began to breakdown the standard and develop criteria for mastery. 

Developing a long term plan by starting with your standards can push you to look at what your students should know and how your students can be challenged based on standards. Planning in this way also ensures that you are setting your students up for success as you focus on what they need to know for the year


Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

I try not to get involved in education politics. There is one clear winner here, people.

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. james h. edmonds  |  October 18, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    …as usual, you make education fun!

  • 2. The Bang for your Buck Philosophy « Math Rules  |  November 5, 2010 at 2:21 am

    […] long term plan is purposely designed to group concepts that are mutually reinforcing. I wrote it in collaboration with another teacher, and I am so happy to share […]


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