We were expected to complete the reading of “How Students Learn: Mathematics in the Classroom” for our last seminar and reflect on the reading. During the past seminar meeting, we were asked to think about what to stay mindful of while planning a lesson. The reading had many key ideas that will prove to be helpful while planning a lesson.
The new material presented to students must draw on prior knowledge. This helps increase students engagement since they can then relate to the new material presented. Students often link what they already know to what they are learning about. This helps provide students interest to take control of their learning, and not just memorize something for a test. It can develop conceptual understanding and allows students to make connections instead of just memorization. Also, any prior knowledge students have allows for misconceptions to be brought out. This lends itself to the next topic of misconceptions. Students may memorize, then go back to preconceptions. Drawing on their prior knowledge allows the students to make connections and hopefully not go back to their preconceptions which may in fact be misconceptions.
While planning a lesson, a teacher must also stay mindful of common misconceptions. If many students have the same idea of how to approach a problem an incorrect way, students will wonder why doesn’t their way work. It is important for teachers to be able to see these misconceptions a head of time so they are well prepared to explain why their way does not work, and use this to help students better understand the lesson. If there is a common misconception, teachers could draw the students to that specific mistake and use this as part of their lesson.
Also, getting to know the students is a good way to understand their interests. Connecting any new lessons with student interest will show both application and it can keep students engaged. I know in any of my subjects in school related to something with hockey, I was way more engaged and wanted to understand how the new material can be applied to hockey. Learners can make connections with the new material that is presented, and see how it is important and applied in their own life. Also, they students see different representations of math instead of just the classic numbers as problems. They can see the new applications and link it on their own to something else in their life. This makes math relevant and engaging for students.