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Reflection

Lisa Nix

Walden University

Dr. Ruth Collins, Instructor

MATH - 6563G - 4, The Base Ten Number System and Operations: Multiplication/Division August 17, 2014

Reflection

Mathematics is a content area that students will encounter every year of the academic lives. Basic mathematical skills are taught beginning in kindergarten, and the mathematical content skills increase in rigor and complexity as students move up to the next grade. To help students become successful mathematicians within and beyond the classroom, educators need to be knowledgeable of effective strategies applicable to the mathematical content being taught. As students are expected to learn and apply new found knowledge, educators should be held to the same expectation. The Base Ten Number System and Operations: Multiplication and Division course at Walden University has provided the opportunity for learning and applying effective mathematical strategies while creating a better understanding of improving my classroom instruction to meet the individual needs of my students.

I currently teach a second grade class, but I have learned valuable information that I can use to help prepare my students mathematically for third grade. In second grade, my class completes tasks focusing on arrays and repeated addition toward the end of the school year. Creating equal groups is another concept taught more toward the end of the year. This course has provided insight on the importance making connections between mathematical operations: addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Another skill taught in second grade is decomposing numbers into hundreds, tens, and ones as students write numbers in expanded form or use base ten blocks to create a visual representation of a number. Students will continue to decompose numbers as they transition from addition and subtraction to multiplication and division (Beckman, 2014a, p.316). Completing assignments for grades higher than second grade has refocused my mission to address the urgency of building students’ foundational skills so they may understand and explain the relationships between mathematical operations.

One area that I plan to improve upon is implementing students’ using math talk and proof drawings. By having students use math talk, I can assess their understanding of the mathematical skill in current practice. Students using proof drawings along with math talk can demonstrate their understanding of mathematics and justify their steps within their solutions of problem solving. The proof drawings can be a formative assessment tool by identifying students’ misconceptions(Van de Walle, Karp, & Bay-Williams, 2004) or lack of understanding of a the content being taught. My plan to implement math talk and proof drawings is having my students complete a problem of the day for morning work on a template I have created. The first box will contain the word problem and the second box will be labeled picture and students will draw their proof drawings. The next two boxes will be labeled numbers and explanation; students will write the equation with the solution that represents the problem and then write a few sentences explaining how the problem was solved. After everyone has finished the problem, I will call upon a student to come to the board to read the problem aloud and show their work on the board. Using the information from their problem of the day template, the student will explain the proof drawing and the steps taken to find a solution. Next, I will engage students in the audience in a discussion with the student at the board. I will model how to ask questions and provide feedback in an appropriate way. If time permits, I will call upon another student who solved the problem using a different strategy. This student will complete his or her solution beside the first student’s work. Once again, the student audience will engage in discussion, but this time...