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Kimberly

Greco
November 2016

Math Lesson Plan- 4th Grade


University of Pennsylvania

Math Lesson Plan


Planning to teach lesson: November 14, 2016

What:
Concepts, Skills, Strategies:
In this lesson, students will learn practice developing their understanding of story
problems and the operation that applies to it. Based on what I know about the students
chosen for this lesson, it is apparent that they have a strong understanding of place
value up to the millions place. However, they need help deconstructing and making
sense of story problems. Also, it is clear that they need assistance in trying to determine
what operation the story problem is asking them to use.
Currently in our class, the students have learned and practiced procedures of
multiplication, such as partial product and FOIL (as taught to them as the distributive
property, according to the Envisions curriculum). In order to develop the students
understanding of story problems, I want them to be able to comprehend what the story
problem is asking of them and determine how to use the appropriate operation, mainly
focusing in multiplication. According to Chapin and Johnson, there are a few strategies we can
analyze students multiplicative thinking on. These strategies may include the lattice method, an
array or traditional algorithm. (Chapin, Johnson, 2006). In order to understand what skills and
strategies each student brings to the table, I will ask them to deconstruct their own strategies and
dig deeper into their meaning.
Being able to see how students deconstruct story problems, understand what the question
is asking them and construct mathematic reasoning, will give me a deeper understanding of what
the students do understand in story problems, what pieces they may be missing and the strategies
they practice.
Challenges:
When it comes to practicing word problems, I often see this group of students either
confused by the question, unconfident in their abilities or are completely unsure what do with the
information presented to them in story problems. I do not think it is a lack of comprehension skill
or mathematical skills, but rather a lack of practice independently and the challenge will be
practicing the unfamiliar without the teacher guiding them every step of the way.

How:
Teaching Methods and Strategies:
For the lesson, I want students to be engaged and excited with their work. Keeping in
mind that math can be an uncomfortable or intimidating subject, setting up pair-share
discussion with create a positive and thought provoking space. In order to encourage
inquiry based learning, I will act as a facilitator, rather than a hands-on guide to the
finish line, and will encourage the students to question and learn from each other. In
order to facilitate their thinking, I will give them some guiding questions (see below), and
ask that each voice is heard. In our class, teamwork and responsibility are main
components to the learning environment. Allowing pair-sharing will encourage them

Kimberly Greco
November 2016

Math Lesson Plan- 4th Grade


University of Pennsylvania

practicing teamwork and cooperation. The pair-sharing will be an open, judgement free
discussion of how each student came to their solution and why.
Activities and Tasks:
To start off the lesson, I want to give them a math warm-up (FIGURE ME OUT). This
warm-up will give students time to practice multiplication and division problems and give
me a chance to evaluate their strategies. Typically, after lunch, students do a math
warm-up in their Daily Common Core workbooks. Some strategies I anticipate seeing
are: direct modeling, the use of standard algorithms and skip counting, as I will have a
range of students in the group: two high, two middle level and two lower level skilled
students. I want students to explain their strategy for the group. Being able to hear
another students strategy allows the students to see that there is more than one way to
solve a problem, and give the student validation in their thought process. This group
discussion will allow others to hear and see a strategy that they may not know about or
feel comfortable with, as well as give me a way to assess their math. In order to assess
how each student reads story problems, I want to introduce them to a story that has no
question. For example: Mary has 4 cookie jars that holds 12 cookies each.
Five Dimensions:
TASK: 1) Warm-up Figure Me Out chart igniting their multiplicative thinking and give them
time to get back to working in the classroom at lunch. 2)Deconstruct story problems and
understand the operation that is being asked of them. The students have a strong understanding
of place value, which will help guide their thinking in these problems. However, it is often
apparent that the students struggle picking apart the information in story problems and
understanding what operation it is asking them to use. By practicing these problems, I hope to be
able to assess how the students are reading the information and where they are applying their
thinking. With that said, I have created one story problem that is more challenging than others, as
I hope to use this as a way to understand how they make meaning behind multiplicative
reasoning and guide their thinking. As a final assessment, I will ask the students to create their
own multiplication story problem, as well as solve it using diagrams and their own way they
would solve it. Not only will this assessment be a good way to see where each student is in their
thinking by the end of the lesson, but shows that I have valued the work they put in during the
lesson and want to support them in any way possible.
TOOLS: Besides the material that will be given to the students to complete the lesson, the
biggest tool they will need is using each other to learn and understand the material. Often in our
math class and other Penn courses, we have learned about the emphasis of student based learning
in the classroom. In particular, math is a subject that emphasizes student work and learning from
their classmates strategies. A way of doing so is through number talks. In number talks we ask
students to do mental math computations and to share how they derived at their answer with the
class. Although we will not be doing a number talk, I will encourage students to share their
strategies in solutions from the story problems with their group mates and then in whole group.
DISCOURSE: Students will be able to work in groups in order to help each other reach a
solution, be exposed to different strategies and develop communication and teamwork skills. As
a facilitator in this process, I will able to assess where students are in their understanding of word
problems, and give me the opportunity to jump and guide their thinking when needed. As part of
my overall question for Term 3, I want to be able provide opportunities for student centered

Kimberly Greco
November 2016

Math Lesson Plan- 4th Grade


University of Pennsylvania

work and when students are working in groups and give them the space to construct their own
learning.
NORMS: In our class, we always encourage pair-share work during math class. During the pair.
However, Ms. Williams and I ask that there be one voice at a time, unless they are invited by the
person talking to share a thought. I also like to remind the students to keep their minds on task,
especially when some of the problems that will be presented will trigger their personal interests.
Another norm I want to remind them of is to be respectful to ourselves and peers, as well as be
active learners. Every day, Ms. Williams talks about responsibility. This responsibility means
treating ourselves, our friends and our environment the way we would want to be treated. When
we are all responsible and respectful, we can all have fun together. When we come back to the
group discussion, both for warm-up and the word problems, I will use the same norms as a
number talk, asking the students to silently put a thumb up if they are confident in their answer
and strategy, as well as confident they can explain their partners strategy, not just their own.
DIVERSITY, EQUITY, ACCESS: Although the students in the group all have a strong
understanding of place value and are proficient in multiplicative reasoning skills, I will take into
account that each student learns and works differently. In order to try and meet the needs of each
student, I will provide them with the any tools they need to answer the questions, such as
counting cubes, and most importantly their peers and myself. I also want to make sure that the
story problems are exciting for the students to read and solve, so I will create story problems that
are relevant to their lives. For instance, the students in the class like to play a card game at lunch
time. I want to be able to tie this into a story problem and show them that I have value who they
are as students at Stanton. By sharing strategies with one another, it will help give them a safe
space to communicate and learn together.
WHY:
Standards and Curriculum:
CC.2.1.4.B.1
Apply place value concepts to show an understanding of multi- digit whole numbers.
CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.4.NBT.B.5
Multiply a whole number of up to four digits by a one-digit whole number, and multiply two twodigit numbers, using strategies based on place value and the properties of operations. Illustrate
and explain the calculation by using equations, rectangular arrays, and/or area models.

I had a bit of difficulty coming up with a lesson for my students. Currently in my


placement, I am still trying to find the right kid language to explain how to do certain
math problems we are working on in the math unit and outside of the unit. The first idea
I came up with was practicing addition, as this is something I am most comfortable with,
but was not in line with where the class is in their curriculum. My class is using the
Envision Math 2.0 book, which gives a lot of great lessons, problems and practice for
both the students and teachers and currently practicing multiplication with four digit
numbers. One thing I noticed is that they do not get a lot of practice working on word
problems on their own. The word problems we do in class are limited to one or two
problems, that are supposed to be modeled by the teacher. This made me wonder if
students are benefitting from the lack of independent practice with word problems, as I
know they will be a major part of the PSSA testing at the end of the year. I further

Kimberly Greco
November 2016

Math Lesson Plan- 4th Grade


University of Pennsylvania

consulted with my cooperating teacher and we worked together to come up with some
ideas to flow into practicing word problems using the distributive and partial product
properties. After jotting down many ideas, the lesson below is one that I am excited,
confident and a little nervous to teach (in a good way!). As a future educator, I think it is
important to create those relationships with students and show them that, even through
math, that you notice and appreciate them. I chose a particular group of students
because I think they will all work well together as a team, as each has something unique
to bring to the table that everyone can learn from. I am excited to work with these
students, as they can also give me some kid language and confidence in my future
work in my own classroom.

Goals I Objectives
SWBAT interpret situations in story problems in order to apply the appropriate operation to solve
them.
Standards (and Assessment Anchors, if applicable)
CC.2.1.4.B.1
Apply place value concepts to show an understanding of multi- digit whole numbers.
CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.4.NBT.B.5
Multiply a whole number of up to four digits by a one-digit whole number, and multiply two twodigit numbers, using strategies based on place value and the properties of operations. Illustrate
and explain the calculation by using equations, rectangular arrays, and/or area models.
Materials and preparation
Chart paper- about 5 pages, including Figure Me Out Chart
Post it notes
Markers
Lined paper and pencils

Classroom arrangement and management issues


I will be doing this lesson in the library. I chose the library because it is a quiet space, with a
lot of table room for students to work, and is also right next to our classroom. If there is an
emergency or a student is behaving inappropriately, it gives me the space to be close to my
CM if I need her. I also have found that students like to work in the library because it is a
change of pace for them and they are free from distractions. In the library, I will have two
tables perpendicular to each other, and close by so it will be easy for me to facilitate, but
gives each group of students to work harmoniously together, without being distracted by the
other group. By being out of the classroom, I will eliminate any tendencies to be distracted or
get distracted by others, and prevent jealously from other students.
Plan
1)The Hook":
Math Warmup FIGURE ME OUT Chart.

Kimberly Greco
November 2016

Math Lesson Plan- 4th Grade


University of Pennsylvania

-Students will work independently on this warm-up and we will come back together as a
group and discuss the strategies they used to get their answer.
-Procedure for this warm-up. I will give students a post it note with a mathematical
expression on it. For example: 138/6. On the post it note, students have to show their
strategy on how they solve the equation and their answer. After they completed their
equation, they have to go up the chart paper and figure out which category it goes under. So
for 138/6, it would go under My birthdate (day of month). If a student is having difficulty
deciding whether they have put the right answer under the right question, I will give them the
opportunity to collaborate with their peers to make an educated guess and also use process
of elimination. If necessary, I will provide them a mathematical clue to help guide their
thoughts. For example, a clue for my birth month may be I was born in the 3rd quarter of the
year.
-Questions for FIGURE ME OUT Warm-up: MY AGE: 9x3, Shoe Size: 30/4, BIRTH
MONTH: 64/8, Birthdate (Day of month): 138/6, # OF COUNTRIES IVE TRAVELED TO:
10x2, #OF BOOKS I OWN: 23x4,
-I want the students to be able to have a fun warm-up, that builds upon their multiplication
and division fluency, as well as use a fun way to build a relationship with the students. This
warm-up will also be a segway to move into the main part of the lesson on multiplication. (10
minutes)
2) Main Body of Lesson:
A)-In our class, the students are learning to multiply 3 and 4 digit numbers by 1 digit numbers,
using a variety of strategies, focusing mostly on the traditional algorithm. The selected students
have a strong understanding of place value and how to use the distributive, however I feel like
some could use the extra practice applying this procedure and operation to word problems.
In order to assess how students can pick apart a word problem, I will present them with a story
that has no question and ask them to draw a picture to show how they make mathematical
meaning behind the story and create a question for the story and write a number sentence that
would describe the situation.
-Mary has 4 cookie jars that holds 12 cookies each.
They will record all their work on the lined paper provided, for me to collect as part of my
assessment. After they construct their picture and question, I will assign students to work in
groups and to discuss what they came up with and then come back as a whole group. I will then
ask some students to tell me in their own words what their picture and question shows or what
their partner did to derive at the answer. (3 minutes to do individual work, 4 minutes to discuss
with partner) Some questions I may ask to understand the connections they make to the story
problem are: What made you choose X as the end result? Do you think there are other ways
we can write this sentence to get at the same end result? How did you know how to represent
each part of the story problem? Is there more than one way to solve story problems? Or does
it depend on the type of question being asked of us? And how so? (6 minutes)
B) -Students will then be presented with the following word problems. They will work in their
assigned groups to solve and discuss their strategies. I will focus my guiding questions to
understand if they are understanding the action of the problem and what each piece of
information plays in the process to solve the problem. In order to keep the work even amongst
the pairs, I would ask, like we would typically do in Ms. Williams class, that each group has a
chance to talk and share. (12 minutes for solve and share, 10 minutes to review as group- 22
minutes total)
1) Ms. Greco ordered 172 pencils for the class. She orders the same amount of pencils
every week for 4 weeks. How many pencils does she have in all?

Kimberly Greco
November 2016

Math Lesson Plan- 4th Grade


University of Pennsylvania

2) Ms. Williams bought 230 flower seeds for the garden on Tuesday. She buys the same
amount of seeds for the next 5 days. How many seeds did Ms. Williams buy in all?
3) Aiden visits the local game store once a month for 4 months. Each month he buys
350 Yu-gi-oh cards to add to his collection. How many cards will Aiden have at the end
of 4 months?
4) The Camden Aquarium has 6 fish tanks that can hold 782 fish. How many fish does
the aquarium have in all? This question will be used as a back-up if students finish early.
When groups are sharing their strategies and answers, I want to make sure its a whole group
discussion. I would encourage students to ask questions when they do not understand other
strategies, and would ask others to either repeat what they saw/heard in their own words or add
on to what was just presented. I think by adding on or asking for others to repeat will ensure
everyones understanding or lack of understanding.
3) Exit ticket- Create your own word problem that asks the reader to use multiplication.
(2minutes) As a way to assess how far their thinking of story problems has come, using this exit
ticket will help me evaluate where they are and where I can help in the future. I like this.

You need to develop the third part of the lessondiscussion and wrap up. What will it look like?
How will you provide them an opportunity to make sense of what their strategies?
Assessment of the goals/objectives listed above
My first form of assessment will be during the warm-up. I will go around to each student to
observe their strategies and work and interject when needed. For instance, if someone is
struggling solving my birth month question (64/8), I will take the opportunity to sit with that
student and work out what questions or issues they may have and evaluate their number sense.
During the whole group discussion, I will assess how students are able to read the problems,
pick apart key information and then use the properties to solve. Similar to a number talk, the
group work of solving and sharing their strategies together will give everyone opportunities to be
heard and learning from one another. For myself, this will be a good chance to hear how the
students use multiplicative reasoning to pick apart and read word problems. As my overall
question for this term, I am trying to incorporate student collaboration, as well as time and
behavior management. Students should be able exercise their understanding of place value
with comfort, as this was the first unit we learned and practiced in the beginning of the year.
Anticipating students' responses and your possible responses
I do not anticipate many behavior issues, as the students I choose are relatively well behaved
and enjoy math. Learning from my number talk, I will not be providing any materials (ie, white
boards and markers) that may distract the students. The only materials I will be using are their
notebooks and chart paper. Some students, such as Aiden and Raphael who are advanced in
math, may get bored or frustrated with the lesson. In order to keep them engaged, I will have
back up questions prepared, as well as ask them to attempt to create a word problem of their
own that they would want to present to the group.
The question that refers to Aiden and his Yu-Gi-Oh cards may also strike up some side
conversations that would take the students off task, as this is something they all play with at
school. In order to keep them on task, I will try to stop the conversations quickly and give them
time later on to discuss their game if time allows.
Based on the strong skill level of the students, I anticipate a lot of the students just writing a
traditional algorithm with barely any of their working showing. I usually see this a lot in class with
these students, because they are well versed in the traditional algorithm. In order to encourage
them showing their work, I want them to be able to draw out pictures, write out a sentence to
that explains how they know that it is the write answer, etc.

Kimberly Greco
November 2016

Math Lesson Plan- 4th Grade


University of Pennsylvania

Accommodations
a) Accommodations for students who may find the material too challenging: Hopefully with my
pairing strategy, the students who are struggling will be able to learn from those who have a
better understanding of the lesson. If there are still issues, I will take the opportunity to jump and
try to pin point their disconnect to the problem.
b) Accommodations for students who may need greater challenge and/or finish early? As stated
above, I will have extra problems readily available for those who need more work, as well as
challenge them to create their own word problem that they can present to the group later on.