Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum
Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum
Observing Student Communication
|Introduction | Hidden Pattern Blocks | Describing a Hexagon | Problem Reflection #1 | Classroom Practice | Problem Reflection #2 | Observe a Classroom | Your Journal|
In the Hidden Pattern Blocks activity, a student reaches into a brown paper bag and selects a pattern block piece. Without removing the piece from the bag, the student describes what he or she feels. The other students then draw the shape, based on this oral description. Students also have a set of pattern blocks available to look at while the description is given.
While the pattern blocks themselves are three-dimensional objects, in this activity the focus is on looking at the specific faces of the pattern blocks that match familiar two-dimensional shapes (triangle, square, hexagon, etc.).
As you observe the students in the following examples, focus on how each student is working to formulate a clear description in his or her own words. Also notice the questions that the teacher, Ms. Wright, asks to help the students refine their ideas.
Daniel: My shape is flat and smooth.
Ms. Wright: What else can you say about the piece you have selected?
Ms. Wright: What about it is sharp?
Ms. Wright: What else can you say about the corners?
Ms. Wright: Okay, you have three sharp corners. Can you tell us anything else about your piece?
Ms. Wright: How many straight sides?
Ms. Wright: Let's look at your classmates' drawings. Do they know enough to draw your shape?
Ms. Wright: Does anyone know the name of this shape?
Ms. Wright: Take the piece out of the bag. What is this piece called?
Ms. Wright: Tell me what you know about a triangle.
Ms. Wright: This triangle is green. What else is true about a triangle?
Ms. Wright: Anything else?
The dialogue may differ, based on the age and developmental level of the students. Some students may not be familiar with the word "triangle". Even if students continue to refer to the piece as the "green piece," the teacher can reinforce the correct vocabulary by referring to the piece as a triangle.
|Teaching Math Home | Grades K-2 | Communication | Site Map | © ||