Friday, October 25, 2013

Grade 6 Geometry Unit Feedback

Geometry Unit Feedback

I received some very helpful feedback last night  from my classmates regarding my Geometry Unit for Grade 6.   I  also had a few question that I posed as well and now believe I have a clear direction of the student objectives and how the students are going to achieve them.   The first thing I am going to modify or revise is the readiness test that I created in order to see if the students have mastered the Geometry Common Core Standards from Grade 5. If mastered then we will be able to continue into the geometry unit with little review. My feedback was to shorten the length of the test and focus more on the concepts of geometry versus the technical vocabulary or names of the shapes such as identifying particular triangles - isosceles, scalene or right.  Because I was not quite comfortable with the thought of putting less emphasis  on vocabulary, it was proposed that I include a word bank for those who need it. So I am going to proceed with this modification . If the goal is to have students use geometric concepts and skills to solve real-world problems then it may just be enough to initially include the word bank.
Another aspect of the unit that was discussed was, “ who are the students I should pull to work on the unit?”.  Seeing that I  am a math coach and do not have a classroom I will be pulling a small  group of 6th grade students to teach the unit. I decided I would pull the students who perform the highest on the readiness test versus a range of levels to teach. I feel that way, I will be able to dive into the unit with little review/reteach. This will allow me to give better feedback regarding the lessons and students performance due to the fact that it is based on Common Core Standards versus the CMT standards that the students are accustomed to.
Lastly, at least for now, I feel that the materials/resources that I chose for the unit were appropriate and were received with approval from my team of classmates during our feedback session. The materials include, but are not limited to: Geometer's Sketchpad, Shooloo, Lessons from LearnZillion and Illuminations. I also accounted for back-up materials such as protractors, compasses, patterns blocks, geoboards & graph paper, as well as Tangrams; all in preparation for those technological PITA issues that I may encounter.

I plan to start the unit next week and will post the progress and monitoring on my blog.

Monday, October 21, 2013

“Geometry is fun,
technology is cool
and that’s how I,
get my students to love school ! "

Here is just a sneak peak at the Geometry Unit I will be working on for my IT & Digital Media Literacy Program. But aside from being fun and cool there are other reasons why I chose to create a Geometry Unit using technology. The first is that I find math to be one of the most engaging units among students as well as a favorite of mine. Another reason is that I find that Geometry lends itself to not only the left-brain but also right brain thinker so those students those who may not typically excel will show their knowledge and understanding in this branch of mathematics. Its really exciting to see students use what they learn about 2 & 3 dimensional shapes, visual and spatial relationships and make connections between geometry and the real world. And lastly, Geometry is one of the areas of the Common Core that I have not delved into as much as I have with Operations & Algebraic Thinking and Numbers & Operations. So this will help me to better support teachers and students as math coach.
This Geometry unit is geared towards students in Grade 6. The focus of the unit will not only be on teaching the Grade 6 Common Core Standards through technology but will also focus on the 8 Mathematical  Practices and Real Word Problem Solving. Students will first be introduced to the Unit. This will be followed by a readiness test which will assess students prior knowledge of Geometry up to grade 5. Review and or reteach of any previously learned skills and concepts based on the readiness test will be addressed as needed. During this unit of study students will use a variety of materials & resources that will include: Course 1 Glencoe textbook, worksheets, virtual manipulatives, geometry software programs and websites such as Geometer's SketchPad and Shooloo. Students will also use a variety of hands on materials and manipulatives. I would like to assess what the students have learned throughout the unit in various ways such as: open-ended or constructed response items, performance-based items, tasks or event answers, and projects or demonstrations. I am really looking forward to creating this exciting unit and will keep you posted through my blog.