Artifact 1: The following is the observation from Pat Tyunaitis for her visit to my classroom on May 25, 2011. She notes the communication that I had with the students during the course of the lesson. She mentions how I tied information from a previous lesson to the current lesson, how I work through problems along with them and how I did a good job in guiding students through the activity. Students need direct and effective communication for instruction and feedback.
Artifact 2: The lesson plan that follows is for a Geometry lesson from May 25, 2011 about coordinates in space. I used a number of communication techniques, including the SmartBoard both for homework and for the lesson notes. The SmartBoard is a great device in instruction because of its flexibility and appeal to the students. I also used the whiteboard and a worksheet to accompany the verbal lecture and instruction. We also modeled the XYZ plane with string from wall to wall and floor to ceiling. This communicated in a tangible way what was represented in 2D on the whiteboard, SmartBoard and their worksheet. This demonstrates the variety of communication methods that can be used to deliver a lesson.
Artifact 3: In this lesson from May 25, 2011, my Algebra class tried some hands on activities to use trig ratios to measure the height of a wall. We used tape measures to measure distance from the wall along the floor and clinometers to measure the angle of elevation to the top of the wall. The students could then use the TAN trig ratio to calculate the height of the wall. This lesson brought in a variety of tools and concepts to model how to solve a problem in real life situations. In order for this type of lesson to be worthwhile, students need to be given clear instructions and guidance along the way. Communicating expectations about behavior as well as the concepts to be learned are important in the classroom.