DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

Conceptualizing Essay

My third lesson is going to be a math lesson. This lesson I will video tape. Since my cooperating teacher is following along with Everyday Mathematics, She and I both agreed I should stay on task with the subjects that are really being taught at this school. Besides that, math is a very important part of everyday life. Some of the students in the class are having trouble with recording data so with help from my cooperating teacher; I decided to focus on how to make measurements and keep track of the data that is produced. I will teach my students how to measure length to the nearest centimeter and to the nearest inch. I will also be teaching my students how to measure the length of a standing long jump in centimeters and the length of an arm span inches. It is highly important for my students to understand the basic measurements of centimeters and inches; this will enable them to know how to read inches or centimeters that they may come across in their everyday lives.

Aligning with New York State Learning Standards for Mathematics, this topic speaks directly to item: 2.MD.A.4 - Measure to determine how much longer one object is than another, expressing the length difference in terms of a standard length unit. 2.MD.D.10 - Draw a picture graph and a bar graph (with single-unit scale) to represent a data set with up to four categories. Solve simple put-together, take-apart, and compare problems1 using information presented in a bar graph. This standard was chosen because my students will use their critical thinking skills to answer various questions to find out different measurements and knowing when to use inches and centimeters.  My students will also be asked to construct their own bar graph and label their graphs accordingly. I want this lesson to help my students to become a more successful learner. In her book Educational Psychology: Developing Learners (2000), Jeanne Ellis Ormrod said “Ultimately, learning mathematics is of little use unless students can apply it to real world situations” (p.368).  As a future change agent, one must educate their students to be able to make informed decisions as citizens of a culturally diverse democratic society and interdependent world.

Nonetheless, all students, regardless of their ethnicity, religious beliefs, learning disability, or family financial status, should be given equal and quality education so that they will have the necessary tools needed to make a lifetime of important decisions. No student is labeled due to their disability, all students are individual learners, as a teacher one should know the dynamics of his/her classroom to make sure everyone is receiving the same level of service. Currently in New York State, one of the mandates states that special need students should be taught in the Least Restrictive Settings as possible. In the long run, having less students in self-contained classes, making general educations mixed. Due to the mandate that was put into place, the students in my class have an array of disabilities ranging from other health impairments, to learning disabilities. Through the knowledge I have obtained from my two core education classes, Education 203 and 310 helped me to make the necessary accommodations/modifications needed for my lesson.

            My education courses gave me the content knowledge to be able to use instructional scaffolding to promote learning when concepts and skills are being first introduced to students. Bruner first introduced the theory of scaffolding during the 1950s; it allows the learner to figure out the task at hand on their own. This will provide my students who are diagnosed as special needs the assistance they may need and help them to become stronger learners on their own.

Due to some of students’ disabilities I will use more verbal responses instead of written. Some of the students find it hard to copy a lot notes one time; they are not able to chunk the words as they write. Instead they remember a few letters at a time which make their note-taking time longer. Engaging my students in more verbal responses will build upon their knowledge and how they process information and can relay the response with an educated response.

My lesson plan suits the needs of my students because I will provide my students with the assistance of a para-professional (special education teacher) to help keep them on task. As to my students goals from their IEP’s many of them need to improve on their active listening skills and asking and answering questions. Their IEP’s goals are to encourage them to answer questions and to have class activities that will spark their interest. With the usage of the para my students will learn how to stay focused on one task. Some of the students will continue to develop their fine motor skills by holding the pencil with their pincher grip as they complete in class activities. Based upon the observation notes made by the para-professional will assist me in how I will see who needs the material re-taught to them. One has to bear in mind the annual goals or short term objectives should be “reasonable for teacher and student to accomplish within one academic year” (Rosenberg, 2004, p.g 198). The goals I have put in place for my students are ones that will match their individual learning styles.

In any classroom it is imperative to foster cognitive development. Vygotsky’s believes that one way to foster cognitive development is to approach learning as a social process through peer interaction. Peer interaction is important because “students can often accomplish more difficult task when they work together than alone; in such situations students are essentially providing scaffolding for one another’s efforts.” (Ormond, 2010, p.49). To ensure that my students are improving their cognitive development, I will place my students in groups to work together to help each other measure one another.

One of my teaching reading courses, Education 312 made me aware that a mini lesson is beneficial for your lesson. In Growing Readers, Collins states a mini lesson is a strategy that can be used to get your student’s attention and get them on cue for the lesson. Opening your lesson with a question will help you as the teacher to see what your students may know and may not know. This can also alter your lesson and help you twist a few things so your lesson can flow. It is important for a teacher to give their students an idea on what the lesson will be on before he/she has actual begin the lesson. In my lesson, I will pose a question for my students to respond to, if they ever wondered how long the length of their arm was. I will allow two or three students to answer and based on the student responses I will be able to see if any of my students know what arm span is. I will introduce to my students what arm span means. 

            Throughout this process I will continue to engage students in discussion as they are encouraged to explain how the demonstration or example is effective as a result of the method used. From the tools I have gained from my education class 312, explicit teacher modeling allows the teacher to think as he/she is modeling the lesson. So both the teacher and students are learning together. Once my students are exposed to what the lesson will be about. This will tap into their prior knowledge. I will be able to identify who knows anything about the topic and what do they know. In Beyond Traditional Phonics, Margaret Moustafa explained that students’ prior knowledge (schema) is all they know.  From learning from my previous student teaching site, I will use the Department of Education, Depth of Knowledge (DOK) to ask my students high order questions.

            During accountable talk will allow me to ask my students questions to check their level of understanding. I will ask them do you get a larger number when you measure in inches or in centimeters? And why? As the students communicate with one another I can walk around to hear my students as they communicate effectively with their peers. I can conduct more tailored teacher support for students who did not understand the mini lesson. At this time revisiting the key elements of the lesson will take place as much as needed.  

At the conclusion of my lesson, I will assess my students based upon the rubric I will create for my lesson. In my Education 340 class, I learned how a classroom assessment can help the teacher.  In the text, Classroom Assessment for Student Learning: Doing It Right-Using It Well, the Stiggins defined classroom assessment as

“the planned collection of information about the outcomes of teaching on student learning. The assignment of grades serves to inform stakeholders about the educational progress of students and achievement of curricular goals within the context of student readiness characteristics.

I will use informal assessment to assess my students who have an IEP to determine if they were to decode the information that was presented to them. Also, this can help my students to better their expressive language skills. As a future change agent, one should know an assessment is an important role in the effectiveness of teaching. This is when the teacher can determine whether or not the student has mastered the lesson or should the content be taught again at some point in time.




Collins, Kathy. (2004). Growing readers. Portland, Maine: Stenhouse Publishers  

Moustafa, Margaret. (1997). Beyond traditional phonics. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann

Ormrod, J. E. (2000). Educational psychology: developing learners (3rd ed.). Upper Saddle

            River, N.J.: Merrill.

Ormrod, J. E. (2011). Educational psychology: developing learners (7th ed.). Boston:  Pearson/Allyn &    Bacon.

Rosenberg, M. S. (2004). Educating students with behavior disorders (3rd ed.). Boston:     Pearson/A and B.

Stiggins, R. J., Arter, J. A., Chappuis, J., & Chappuis, S. (2007). Classroom assessment for           student learning: doing it right -- using it well (Special ed.). Upper Saddle River, N.J.:            Pearson Education, Inc..



DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.