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Instruction Commentary

Write the Instruction Commentary (no more than 6 single-spaced pages, including prompts) by providing your response to each of the prompts below.
1. Which lesson or lessons are shown in the clip(s)? Identify the lesson(s) by lesson plan number.

Both video clips were recorded during lesson 3 of the learning segment. Clip 1 depicts the direct instruction portion of the lesson. This segment was immediately followed by a learning activity that involved work with a partner. Clip 2 represents an interaction with a student during that activity.

2. Promoting a Positive Learning Environment Refer to scenes in the video clip(s) where you provided a positive learning environment. How did you demonstrate mutual respect for, rapport with, and responsiveness to students with varied needs and backgrounds, and challenge students to engage in learning?

Throughout the entire lesson, whether whole class or individual instruction, I made direct eye contact with students and gave them my whole attention. I used all areas of the room and called on a variety of students to provide answers; including those that raised their hands as well as those that did not. I nodded along with students as they provided correct answers as well as repeated their answers to confirm them. I also took effort to modulate my voice so that the pitch rose and fell regularly. As a whole, during instruction, I questioned students to provide me with the correct procedures and to explain concepts rather than provide this information myself. Not only did this serve to keep students engaged, it challenged them to communicate effectively and refine their thought processes. Clip 1 demonstrates this approach at 0:35 when I say Let's say I don't know my math facts...what can I do to make that easier to multiply by 10? To begin the lesson, however, the first question I asked was directed to T.S. T.S. has an IEP and is reluctant to involve himself in non-preferred tasks. To get him immediately involved and to validate his input into the lesson, at 0:20 in the video clip,I asked T.S. How would we use multiplication to find the area of this rectangle?. When he supplied me with information I wasn't seeking, rather than invalidate his answer, at 0:36 in the video clip, I respond by nodding and satO.K., we'll get to that in just a second. At 1:17 in the video clip, I return to T.S. And ask him Now T.S., what was it you were saying? to reassurance him that I had been listening to him previously. Periodically throughout the lesson, as students supplied correct answers, I asked the class agreed? and they responded I agree (1:10, 3:03, 11:29, 12:41, 13:08, 14:31). This approach was used to reinforce that learning in our classroom is collaborative, and students regularly smile when they are treated with this level of respect. At 1:45 in the video clip,

when K.C. supplies a correct answer, I put up my hands and sound impressed and say O.K., we split it in half, right?. I use O.K. , Right, and Alright regularly throughout the lesson (0:46, 1:10, 1:24, 1:46, 2:03, 2:41, 3:44, 4:26, 5:38, 5:53, 6:12, 6:47, 6:52, 7:32, 9:02, 11:07, 12:51, 14:27, 16:51) to communicate that I understand what they are telling me, and that I am in agreement. At 2:28 and 2:42 in the video clip, I ask students Are we finished?; a prompt I use to elicit responses that may vary depending on student answers. With this method, I'm able to gauge their understanding before moving on. At 2:56 in the video clip; after J.G. offers a correct response, I follow it immediately with J says we need to.... As J sometimes struggles, this served as motivation and validation of her abilities. As additional motivation for the whole class, at 4:26 in the video clip, I say Now watch this! to keep the students interested and engaged. At 13:51 in the video clip, while working with J.O., I responded in a conversational tone That looks good to me?, and That looks good now, doesn't it? (14:07). This attempt to keep it light was to prevent any frustration J may experience, as he has previously broken into tears when this happens. As a point of fact, the only student I say Excellent to is J.O. (17:13).Throughout the exchange I modulated my voice even more to remain encouraging and non-judgmental.

3. Engaging Students in Learning Refer to examples from the clip(s) in your explanations.
a. Explain how your instruction engaged students in developing understandings of mathematical concepts.

Beginning at 0:20 in the video clip, I ask students how to determine the area of the rectangle on the board. At 0:40 in the video clip, I ask a student Now T.S., you said we can do 4 x 10; what does that mean if we do 4 x 10. The student immediately responded that We multiply 4 x 10. At 1:02, I ask What do you call the answer to a multiplication problem?. D.M. answers The product. At 1:36, to illustrate how to break apart a number when applying the distributive property, I ask students What can I do to make that number easier to multiply times 10?. K.C. supplies the correct procedure when he responds We can split it in half. To ensure that students understand that splitting apart a rectangle creates 2 smaller rectangles, I ask students at 1:56 what the measure of the new sides are, to which they supplied the correct answer of 2. At 2:07, I continued this line of questioning and asked How would I use multiplication to find the answer to this?. K.C. supplied the algorithm, while I called on J.B. to provide the product. At 2:28 I asked Are we finished?, to which O.E. Answers No. I ask again at 2:42 in the video clip Are we finished yet?. When students answered NO!, I called on J.G. to instruct me on how to proceed. She replied You have to add the sums, so 20 + 20 = 40.. At 3:14, I required students to identify the procedure they used during this exercise when I asked them What property of multiplication did we use?. E.F. correctly answered The distributive property. When demonstrating the different algorithmic representations of the distributive property, at 4:12 I asked students 2 + 2 is the same thing as 4, right? So could I just write 2 + 2?. Students answered

that it was the same thing, and that I could indeed write 4 as 2 + 2. To further their understanding of the order of operations for the algorithm, at 4:40 in the video clip, I asked students What does that mean if I put that 2 + 2 in parentheses?, to which J.F. replied It means you add whatever your doing first.. At 5:15, I demonstrated that 2+2=4 is a representation of the width of the rectangle by pointing at it on the board and tracing it with my marker to scaffold questioning for H.K. When I ask H.K. what I would multiply 4 by, she correctly answers 10. At 6:00 in the video clip, I ask students to note the equivalence of products, despite which algorithm is used. In demonstrating a 3rd algorithmic representation of the distributive property, I asked students at 6:29 What did we do here, we multiplied 2 x 10, and we got 20. Can I write that here?. Students answered in the affirmative. I then pointed out That's one of the operations we did, right? Did we do it more than once, though? How many times did we multiply it? J.O. correctly answered 2. Rather than performing the operations directly, I then asked students at 7:22 What did we do over here with these 2 20's to find the whole area? Z.H. correctly answered We added the 20 + 20 to = 40. To connect the 3 algorithms, at 7:45 I asked Are these just 3 different ways to show that we multiply the length times the width? Beginning at 7:57 in the clip, to transition from whole class instruction to individual, I said I want to show you something with our rods. At that time I held up four base 10 rods to represent the 4 x 10 rectangle we had been working with on the board. Students were immediately able to relate the Base 10 rods to our previous work. I asked students to identify the dimensions of rectangle, which they correctly identified. To connect the manipulatives to the board work, all 3 board examples were rectangles that each had one side length of 10 that they may be translated into base 10 format. At 8:23 in the video clip, I ask students to identify the dimensions of the rectangle I created with the base 10 rods. To make this explicit, at 8:30, I asked students Did we just make a rectangle that matches what we did on the board?, to which students replied Yes. To further their understanding of the distributive property, at 8:37, I demonstrated splitting the rectangle into two 2 x 10 rectangles. Students audibly gasped as the connection was made from the manipulatives to the board work. This connection was reinforced after students provided the side lengths and area for each smaller rectangle. At 9:14 in the video clip, I asked them Isn't that what we have here?; referring to our algorithm on the board. To complete the representation, at 9:30, I asked the students What do I have to do if I want to find the totals? while moving the base 10 rods together again. K.C. was able to answer add them, to which I responded Add them together-I have to find the sum, don't I?. Cut 2 of the video clip depicts scaffolding individual instruction with J.O., and involved extensive use of base10 manipulatives to support learning. At 9:51, I ask J.O. how he can use his base 10 rods to make 8 going up the side. When he answers correctly, I ask him to show me, which he does at 10:07. At 10:54 in the video clip, I asked J.O. if the model he created matched the example on the board. He then rotated the object to match it at 11:18. At 11:36 in the video, I refer J.O. to the algorithm he created on his worksheet and ask him to identify the length of his model sides, as well as the source of the number 3 he used in his algorithm. At 12:38, he was able to rotate his object correctly and correct the algorithm on his worksheet. At 13:29, I asked J.O. how he would split that

rectangle, and he chose to split it into 2 rectangles with dimensions of 4 x 10. When I asked him what we turned that 8 into, he was able to answer Two 4's at 14:17 in the video clip. When I asked J.O. how he would write that, he responded 4 x 4, but quickly corrected himself and said 4 + 4). He then proceeded to correct the algorithm he had on his worksheet. When I asked J.O. at 14:53 how to use multiplication to find the area of each rectangle, he was able to reply 4 x 10. J.O. used this information to correct his worksheet. At 16:00, to complete his algorithm, I asked J.O. Did you say we had to do this again? Why do we have to do this again? J.O. responded Because there's 2 of them. J.O. then finished the algorithm correctly.

b. Describe how your instruction linked students prior academic learning and personal, cultural, and community assets with new learning.

While not depicted in the video clip, numerous examples for finding the area of a rectangle were prefaced with This is my shed, and This is my house, as students are familiar with this visual. Lesson 1 referenced and reviewed the use of arrays to create multiplication problems; a learning segment they performed well on previously. Lessons 1 and 2 also highlighted the difference between perimeter and area as a review before concentrating on the distributive property.

4. Deepening Student Learning during Instruction Refer to examples from the clip(s) in your explanations .
a. Explain how you elicited student responses to promote thinking and develop understandings of mathematical concepts.

At 2:04 in Clip 1 I ask How would I use multiplication to find the answer to this?, requiring students to recognize what multiplication is rather than simply how to multiply. At 2:23 and 2:58,when I ask Are we finished? students are required to understand what we're trying to achieve, and if we've achieved that goal yet. At 3:05 in the video clip, I summarize the procedures we've just completed and ask them What do we call that? This question ensures that students understand that these procedures represent the distributive property of multiplication. 4:57 in the video clip I ask What am I going to multiply by 4 if I want to find out the area of this rectangle?. Rather than supplying 2 multiples and asking students for the product, this format requires students to find the missing multiple. To achieve this, they will need to connect the measure of a side with the quantity to multiply. At 5:55, I ask students if they Notice any similarities between the products of each algorithm. This was to help students make the connection that each algorithm was equal to the others. At 7:20 in the video clip, I ask students What did we do over here...to find the whole area?. Students needed a conceptual understanding of the operation to provide the correct procedure. From 7:55 to 9:35 in the video clip,

demonstrated the use of base 10 rods and required students to make the connection between the conceptual representation of a rectangle (rods) and the algorithms on the board. While working with J at 14:17 in the video clip, I asked him What did we turn that 8 into?. This enabled him to understand the equivalence of 8 and 4 + 4. I go on to ask How I would write that, if I'm going to write two 4's together. This provided J with the opportunity to identify addition as the correct algorithm to represent the shape he had just created. At 16:00, to complete his algorithm, I asked J.O. Did you say we had to do this again? Why do we have to do this again? J.O. responded Because there's 2 of them. J.O. then finished the algorithm correctly.

b. Explain how you used representations (manipulatives, models, tools, diagrams, charts) to support students understanding and use of mathematical concepts.

In all 4 lessons of the learning segment, students were required to use graph paper to generate representations of the rectangles modeled in instruction. This provided a conceptual reference and continuity throughout the segment as a whole. In addition to drawing models of teacher generated figures, lessons 1-3 also required students to generate their own figures. During lesson 1, students were required to generate as many models of rectangles with an area of 24 as possible. Likewise, in lesson 2, students were instructed to generate as many models of rectangles with an area of 48 as possible. During lesson 3, at 7:56 in the clip, to transition from whole class instruction to individual, I said I want to show you something with our rods. At that time I held up 4 Base 10 rods to represent the 4 x 10 rectangle we had been working with on the board. Students were immediately able to relate the Base 10 rods to our previous work. I asked students to identify the dimensions of rectangle, which they correctly identified. To connect the manipulatives to the board work, all 3 board examples were rectangles that each had one side length of 10 that they may be translated into base 10 format. To make this explicit, at 8:26, I asked students Did we just make a rectangle that matches what we did on the board?, to which students replied Yes. To further their understanding of the distributive property, at 8:35 I demonstrated splitting the rectangle into two 2 x 10 rectangles. Students audibly gasped as the connection was made from the manipulatives to the board work. This connection was reinforced after students provided the correct area for each smaller rectangle. At 9:14 I asked them Isn't that what we have here?; referring to our algorithm on the board. To complete the representation, at 9:30, I asked the students What do I have to do if I want to find the totals? while moving the base 10 rods together again. K.C. was able to answer add them, to which I responded Add them together-I have to find the sum, don't I?. Graphed rectangles that all had a side length of 10 were also employed on the reverse side of the worksheet to provide students with a visual representation of rectangle side lengths and area. Students were encouraged to use base 10 rods while completing the worksheet to transition them from a concrete representation to a more abstract one.

5. Analyzing Teaching Refer to examples from the clip(s) in your explanations.


a. How did your instruction support learning for the whole class and students who need greater support or challenge?

From 0:00 to 9:41 in the clip, instruction was whole class. The use of graph paper was a support provided for the entire class. This provided a conceptual model of the lesson, as well as connecting learning to previous instruction. As some students would need more direct support while others were capable of working more independently, the lesson was designed to provide individual practice as well. The remainder of the hour was spend working in a partnered learning activity. Students are encouraged to check each others' work periodically and agree or disagree. If they disagree, students are instructed to try to find a solution together. If this approach is unsuccessful, students then raise their hand so that I can provide individual help. 9:42 to 17:13 in clip 2 depicts my individual intervention with J.O., during which I was able to scaffold instruction and feedback. This approach was used in each of the 4 lessons within the learning segment. In addition to this, as part of direct instruction, students were encouraged to turn to their partner to discuss answers before offering them to me.

Consider the variety of learners in your class who may require different strategies/support (e.g., students with IEPs, English language learners, struggling readers, underperforming students or those with gaps in academic knowledge, and/or gifted students).
b. What changes would you make to your instruction to better support student learning of the central focus (e.g., missed opportunities)?

To transition from direct instruction to the partnered learning activity, I employed the use of base 10 rods to show the relationship between our the algorithmic/procedural work and a more conceptual representation of the lesson. In retrospect, I would use the base 10 rods in the beginning of the lesson. This simple change would have afforded students the opportunity to model each algorithm demonstrated on the board with their base 10 models. The connection between the two should have been more explicit, and would have improved learning outcomes. Additionally, when demonstrating the procedure to solve the 2nd and 3rd algorithms, I drew additional blank spaces to provide a space to solve the operations in parentheses. These were not present on student worksheets. Students would have benefited from having a fill in the blank guide to learn the algorithm since they have not obtained mastery. When demonstrating the 3 algorithms that all represent the distributive property, I also neglected to call them algorithms, despite the fact that students are accustomed to the term.

c. Why do you think these changes would improve student learning? Support your explanation with evidence of student learning and principles from theory and/or research as appropriate.

The partnered learning activity served as a formative assessment for the effectiveness of the lesson. While assisting students, it became clear that I had to remind students to use their base 10 rods to help them complete the activity. Once they began to use them, students were far more successful in completing their work. Bloom's Taxonomy of the Cognitive Domain provides an insight into this improved performance. Student performance clearly indicates they are capable of operating at Bloom's Application level. At this level, students have little difficulty completing supplied algorithms. The distributive property, however, necessitates the ability to break down material into its component parts; a skill located on Bloom's Analysis level. Because students were capable of this when using the manipulatives, it is clear that their cognitive development is in a transitional state between Application, and Analysis. When using the manipulatives, students were also far more collaborative with checking each others' work and seeking agreement on answers. This result is in keeping with Vygotsky's contention that learning is constructed through social learning activities.