This year I've been part of a team that has been studying, co-planning, and implementing the three-part math lesson in our classrooms. In fact, one of the SMART goals for my division this year was to implement a three part lesson at least once a week. With so much on my plate already, I was relieved to realize that the three part math lesson was really no different than what we were already doing in class. Essentially, the three part lesson follows a problem-solving approach. The three parts are a short 10 - 15 minute hook (Getting Started), a longer problem-solving section (Working On It) during which the students work in pairs or small groups, and a summary (Consolidation and Practice) in which the students share their learning, then practice the learned skills independently. To read a little bit more about this, click here.
Today we did a three part lesson on perimeter and area of rectangles. This should be a concept they already know, but I thought we'd start slow before I throw triangles and parallelograms into the mix.
For the hook we quickly reviewed the definition of perimeter (we had just worked on perimeter yesterday, and through our discussion then, I found out many actually remembered the formula for area, too). I then gave the students baggies with 20 multi-link cubes in each and asked them to create a rectangle with a perimeter of 20 units. (The catch was, they would only be using 16 cubes to build a rectangle with perimeter of 20). I circulated around the room, seeing who caught on to this, then I had students share examples under the ELMO. I had quite a few students who used all 20 cubes, yet were confident their perimeter was 20, until I asked them to count it out - and then it was like the lightbulb went on (LOVE that moment).
bansho method of sharing. In a bansho, solutions are posted by grouping together examples that used similar strategies to solve the problem. For this lesson I had three groups. The group on the left had used formulas to solve for perimeter and area. The two in the middle used a formula for perimeter, but counted the squares for area. The three on the right used a guess and check strategy to make the rectangles, then counted to check the the perimeter or area.
This shows the green circle for the "traffic light comprehension", as well as one of the sticky notes I had posted on the chart.
All in all, a fun and successful lesson. Can't ask for more than that.
By the way, if you read my post on learning goals yesterday, I said I was going to try a sticky note "exit slip" on our daily learning goals. Well, we did it today, and I'm really pleased with it. I will definitely be doing more of this. It was quick, easy, and most importantly, reinforced all our concepts at the end of the day.
Wow - this was a long post!!! Sorry about that. Well, if you made it all the way to the end, Happy Tuesday!!! I've got to make some cupcakes for my daughter to bring to school for her 6th birthday tomorrow, and then I HAVE GOT TO get working on my report cards ... <sigh>