Lifting the curtain to share my coordinate graphing lesson…


So, I promised to reflect on how my lesson on coordinate graphing with VoiceThread went. It was not great, but there are two things that I can attribute this too, poor planning/prep on my part intersecting with the challenges of one of the most off the hook classes in the school. For one fourth grade class the lesson was a disaster. The coordinates that they needed to graph were not readily visible as students did the activity, the students needed to login to VoiceThread and I didn’t have that information readily available. Here was the result of that, a real two shot glass chat with Glenn Moses. Thanks Glenn!

Me: Hi Glenn, ever have one of those awful lessons?
Glenn: [The] answer, yes
Glenn: pretty often
Glenn: what’s your awful lesson story?
Me: Well, hideous lesson with Voice Thread and coordinate graphing, with most challenging class in school…
Glenn: technology problems or content problems?
Me: And like the usual 1/4 of students are whack, and the others are fine, BUT have no idea what to do because I’ve been spending time dealing with kids throwing crayon bits around the lab…
Glenn: gotcha
Me: And didn’t do the intro of lesson comprehensively enough…
Glenn: it’s always that 25%
Me: So admins come in with counselor to see what is happening which is a mess…
Glenn: 🙂 most lessons do
Me: and this is the weird part….
Glenn: oh of course the admin came in
Me: and they were like that is the most fantastic lesson! You need to have help in here so you can teach it.
Glenn: ha!
Glenn: that’s good
Me: I’m trying to figure out if they are on the tech crack thing, or for real?
Glenn: I’m going to go “for real”
Glenn: take it a face value
Glenn: I have no doubt it was a good lesson
Me: Well not as executed, lol!
Glenn: you’re being too hard on yourself…
Glenn: even if things didn’t go as well as planned I bet some of the kids picked up what you wanted to
Me: Oh they gave a me good tip about working with small groups that they agreed would NOT work with this group
Glenn: cut yourself some slack 🙂
Glenn: ha
Me: This is one of classes you have to watch EVERY second.
Glenn: oh, I know those classes…

The next day, I taught the lesson again with the other fourth grade class. I was able to prep things better, and my explanation/into was not interrupted by crayon throwing. Some kids are still having a really hard time getting the whole coordinate thing, but many were on track. I’m going to take this lesson up to fifth grade, which I think will be better prepared. I would NOT spend this much time on the lesson, or using the technology except my experience is that HOWEVER this is taught (I’ve done dry erase grids, chalk on the school yard, etc.) it’s a hard one, so I’m keeping my expectations tiny (so I won’t be so whiney). Here, for your elumination, is the VoiceThread thus far:

[kml_flashembed movie="" width="480" height="360" wmode="transparent" /]

One Comment to

“Lifting the curtain to share my coordinate graphing lesson…”

  1. April 4th, 2008 at 9:17 pm      Reply Mathew Says:

    If I end up in the lab next year I’ll be calling on you for help…best way to catch crayon bits, best way to pick crayon bits out of iMacs, and how to come with so many great lessons.

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