Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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The Missing Link

Workshop 1
Workshop 2
Workshop 3
Workshop 4
Workshop 5
Workshop 6
Workshop 7
Workshop 8

Workshop Sessions 3 & 4

Patterns & Functions

As with Proportionality & Similar Figures, Patterns & Functions teaches students to see relationships among different data points and how those relationships can be used to solve problems. Students move from the topic introduction — a series of hands-on activities that encourage them to analyze patterns in data — to real-life problems that help students build a conceptual understanding of algebraic concepts. By presenting their data as tables, graphs and equations, students learn different ways to solve problems and share information. And they can see which of the three representations most effectively communicates the solution to any given problem.

Why this topic matters

... use real-life problems and experiments to gather and display experimental data in graphs and tables. They then analyze the resulting patterns to make predictions and develop algebraic equations. They gain the knowledge and confidence to teach middle schoolers concepts that often are not introduced until high school, such as linear functions, independent and dependent variables, y-intercept, and slope. Teachers also see how linear models are useful to solve real-world problems that involve constant rates of change, whether it's figuring which company has the best buy for t-shirts or selecting the best pledge plan for a charity walkathon.

In Workshop 4: In Practice, Learner Teachers ...

... discuss the experience of teaching the Patterns & Functions lessons in their classrooms. They create task-specific scoring guides to evaluate student work, using a scale of 1 to 4. Then, they work in small groups to develop high-quality, engaging performance tasks that will deepen students' understanding of the big ideas of Patterns & Functions.

 On the following pages, we offer agendas for two different levels of professional development:

  • a two-hour workshop, where teachers have an opportunity to watch the program, do one lesson and briefly discuss it
  • a four-hour workshop, where teachers can watch the program, pause the tape after each lesson, do the lesson on their own and have extended discussions with their colleagues

If at all possible, we recommend that you make time for the longer workshop. Even if you don't have time to do all the lessons with your colleagues during the workshop, it's essential that you do them on your own between the Discovery and In Practice workshops.

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