The paths to "Eureka" moments: Teaching Mathematics in Secondary Education

Archive for the ‘P2’ Category

P2- Practice Differentiated Instruction

P2- Practice Differentiated Instruction

Teacher-candidates apply principles of differentiated instruction, including theories of language acquisition, stages of language, and academic language development, in the integration of subject matter across the content areas of reading, mathematical, scientific, and aesthetic reasoning.

This means that as a teacher, I construct my lessons by student interest and readiness, carefully integrating new vocabulary and academic language. I have done this by creating an engaging activity in which student learn new concepts around quadratic formulas. In their reflections on the activity, students were able to use their newly acquired vocabulary with the language function of “describe”. This lesson, as well as the student reflections, gave students the opportunity to develop fluency of the academic language surrounding quadratic functions such as parabolas, projectile motion, and vertex. In order to integrate the theories of language acquisition, this activity used principals 3 and 4. The exit ticket limited the forced output during the initial stages of learning new words as well as limited the forced semantic elaboration during the initial stages of learning new words.



The student work sample demonstrates how students have used the new vocabulary and language function to show their understanding. The rocket portfolio packet demonstrates how students were given the opportunity to choose their role in the group activity. In this way, the lesson was differentiated by student interest. The lesson was also differentiated by individual readiness as I created the collaborative groups to be mixed ability leveDifferentiation 3Differentiation 2

As I created this activity, I learned how to engage students in math content and inspire conversation around quadratic equations in a safe learning environment. Students were able to learn the real-life applicability of quadratic equations by shooting a rocket and using an equation to describe its height. In the future, I would like to build on student reflections, by giving them personalized feedback.


It’s Art class, it’s a post office, no it’s Math class!

Pictures and letters in Math Class??

Two Writing-To-Learn techniques that I will be using in my classroom are illustrations/pictures and teacher correspondence. Encouraging my students to draw Illustrations and pictures as a routine part of our math assignments not only gives them a creative outlet but it provides students to see math in a different visual perspective. Corresponding regularly with my students in the form of short notes will provide feedback, produce cues for individualized instruction, give insight into the learning styles of my students, and finally, guide differentiation.

Both of these writing tools are learner centered.

Illustrations and pictures allow students to create their own visual aid to deepen their understanding of a concept. For example, if given a word problem, each of five students could read that problem and then draw out the important pieces they feel vital to solving the problem. Depending on the problem and the variables they chose to emphasize, multiple correct solutions could be found using the aid of different visuals.

Teacher correspondence through letter writing would be personal. Several times a year, I will ask the students to write a short letter to me which answer several prompts about the class material as well as how they are doing individually. As I respond to each, students will see their value and get immediate feedback on their misunderstandings. While this may be time consuming, I feel it will be worth it!

Discussion Question: Can we please talk more about Learning Logs, Notebooks, Sketchbooks, and Buttpads? Specifically Learning logs? With all this paper floating around, I’m seeing chaos if organization isn’t implemented right.