On October 23 and 24, I had the wonderful opportunity to listen to and learn from Steve Leinwand at the Saskatchewan Understands Math conference in Saskatoon, SK. From Steve’s opening keynote speech to his last breakout session, he had me nodding in agreement on multiple occasions even when he was insulting us as teachers with the honest truth.
Steve provided some questions for us to think about when designing +/- 8 Slide lessons.
- What are you trying to accomplish in this lesson?
- What would students be able to do to convince us the lesson worked?
- What tasks, examples, problems, and activities will students be engaged in to maximize the chance they will successfully meet lesson goals and complete the exit ticket?
- What pre-requisite understandings are likely to be essential for the tasks, examples, etc. to work?
I chose to try out the lesson with seven other educators across my school division observing my classroom (no better way to receive feedback on a lesson than with fellow educators in the classroom).
Reflection of Lesson:
I thoroughly enjoyed this lesson and was amazed how such a simple lesson had such a powerful impact on student learning. What I found was:
- Students were engaged from beginning to end;
- Discussions were rich in language as a whole class, small group, and peer to peer;
- Students could articulate the learning goal for the day;
- Misconceptions were addressed and overturned;
- Students reflected on their learning and filled in learning gaps to meet the lesson goal;
- Students integrated previous experiences and understandings while they notice and wonder throughout the lesson; and
- Students had a difficult time coming up with possible questions to situations (I know with exposure to these types of questions they will improve).
After such success in my first lesson using this lesson guide I was quick to make a second one and try it out three days later. Wow! I was blown away. I am blessed and honored to be able to spend my time with wonderful young mathematicians on a daily basis.
Mr. Williams “The Skeptic”