Wednesday, July 23, 2014
I taught Mr. Mahnyka's 5th grade math classes today. It was great!!! On yesterday, afternoon, I met with Mr. Mahnyka to discuss upcoming concepts and skills. We agreed that I should teach adding fractions with different denominators. For my materials I used a Mathematics Design Collaborative (MDC) Formative Assessment Lesson entitled Pizza with Friends. This lesson was about using equivalent fractions as a strategy for adding and subtracting fractions. The lesson had a lot of visuals such fraction circles and fraction bars. The following mathematical practices were address: 1. Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.; 3. Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others. ; 4. Model with mathematics. ; 7. Look for and make use of structure.
As I walked around while students were taking the pre-assessment to the lesson, papers were blank. I was very concerned because I had planned a great lesson for the students. I discussed my concerns with Mr. Mahnyka and he said that it is a language barrier. In grades R – 3 all schoolwork and assessments are in their native language. In grades 4 and higher, everything is in English. Therefore, many times it is not the concepts and skills that students do not know, it is the language. Anyway, I coached students through the pre-assessment task. I felt they were not ready for the collaborative activity so I created math problems similar to the ones in the collaborative activity for them to work in groups. It was very obvious that students rarely, if ever, worked in groups. Students did not know how to collaborate and share ideas. I walked around to each group and discussed roles and responsibilities of each member in the group. This turned out to be a great lesson for students and teacher. Mr. Mahnyka said that he had never seen so many mathematical concepts interconnected/related in one lesson. So we discussed the importance of students having a conceptual understanding of concepts not just memorization of facts.
Mr. Mahnyka and Mrs. Register
My group attended a Emafini Primary School faculty meeting. At the meeting the principal opened with a reading from a book authored by Joyce Myers and discussed the significance of the reading, then Mrs. Thamo said a prayer. Everyone introduced themselves and shared ideas of teaching and learning.
We also visited Alfonso Arries School and Love Life Center. The Alfonso Arries School has some classes with 120 students.
Alfonso Arries School Principal's Office
Students playing in the center of the school
Group from UNCW and principal of Alfonso Arries in the middle (fifth person from the left)