The Olympics, race walking & tips on redesigning a lesson. Part 2 of 2.
This is part 2 of 2 of a post about an amazing teacher, Mr. Smith, who has significantly impacted my own teaching. Mr. Smith is EQUITY in ACTION. You can read in part 1 – what I learned from Mr. Smith. (Read it if you have not – he is amazing & I outlined 6 specific things I learned from him that I try and apply to my own practice). In this post I will show you how I have redesigned a lesson based on what I learned from him.
First though, I love, love the Olympics (this is related to this post, I promise) & they start this week (August 5-21st in Rio). My favorite part are all the sappy stories they put to music to tell the athlete’s comeback from something tragic. Here is an example from the winter Olympics of J.R. Celski:
- U4 Blank 5 forms of function square
- 5 forms of function
- U4 Blank 5 forms of function square
- Note: I created the first 2 documents using Microsoft Publisher (PC’s only). Wordpress does not let me upload this type of document. I am happy to share the original with you if you message me @saravdwerf or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
The 7th grade arc of lessons I redesigned using what I learned from Mr. Smith are shown above. It is taken from a great curriculum, Connected Mathematics Program (CMP) from a unit titled ‘Moving Straight Ahead’ – Lesson 1.2 to Lesson 2.1. I have used the CMP text for many years with good success. The math in these lessons is rich. My goal was to have ALL students engage in the mathematics so I redesigned how I presented it.
Questions I ask myself when I plan a lesson or arc of lessons – adapted from Kara Jackson, Paul Cobb & my friend Mr. Smith
- What do I know about my students?
- ‘study my students’ learning needs
- ‘study my students’ communities & backgrounds
- How can I plan a lesson/launch that will give a student or students greater status in the classroom?
- How can the context I plan engage more students?
- What are the math goals for this lesson?
- what came before this lesson?
- What is the task that will allow every student to enter and grow?
- high ceiling/low floor
- What are the key contextual features of this task?
- Is there a visual I can use?
- Should I change the context?
- What are the key mathematical ideas of this task?
- which ideas may be unfamiliar to students
- How can I develop a common language?
- How will I maintain the cognitive demand of the task?
If I were to teach this lesson this fall, I would use Mexico’s Maria Guadalupe Gonzalez as my launch. She set a national record of 1:28:48 in the 20K race in the last few years and has won several international awards. Mexico considers her one of their medal hopefuls in this year’s Rio Olympics. I have a large number of students who are from Mexico. I love finding ways to bring their home country into my classroom – not to mention honoring a female athlete. Even if I had only one student from Mexico – and even more if it were only one – I would still use her this fall. Here are is a quick video of her winning a race and a profile in Spanish.
If you want to catch a sport you’ve probably never watched before – check out the race walking events. The Race Walk dates in Rio – Friday’s August 12 (Men’s 20K) & 19th (Men’s 50K & Women’s 20K). I’ll be watching. The Olympic people claim Rio will be their most beautiful setting yet for Race Walking. The USA has 2 Rio hopefuls Maria Michta (#27 in world) and Miranda Melville in the women’s 20K race walking event. The 2016 favorite in Rio is China’s Liu Hong. She is ranked #1 and was the 2015 World Champion.
I will be watching and googling during this year’s Olympics looking for inspiration for my classroom math lessons (Advanced Algebra level) in 2016-17. I will be asking myself, …Who are the athletes from Mexico, Somalia, eastern Africa….and all the other places my students come from? What is a sport or story I can connect to Advanced Algebra content?
If you’ve used the Olympics in some authentic way in your classroom I’d love to hear from you. Comment below. Tweet me @saravdwerf. Email me at email@example.com
(WOW, this is another long post. I am making a start of the school year resolution to upload at least one short post for every long post. Something for me to work on….)
Here are the winners of the 2016 Olympics Women’s 20K Race Walking event.
You can watch the entire race at this LINK (the end of the race is around 1 hour 33 or 34 minutes).
In my post I wrote mostly about the silver medalist Maria Guadalupe Gonzalez from Mexico. YEA! Go Maria. Congratulations to Mexico.