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# Running head: REFLECTIONS ON VIDEOTAPED LESSON TWO

## Reflections on Videotaped Lesson Two: Making Patterns with Solid Shapes

Richelle E. Colucci-Nunn
Drexel University

## Reflections on Videotaped Lesson Two: Making Patterns with Solid Shapes

Once again, I found viewing myself on videotape to be a powerful learning experience!
Not only did I identify areas of strength and areas for improvement, but I also was able to see
that the lesson was not as chaotic as it felt when I was in the throes of teaching it. The children
were particularly keyed up this day even before we had an unannounced severe weather drill;
following the drill, it was more difficult than usual to get them back on track.
Despite that, all learning goals for this lesson were met; the children were able to identify
and name patterns. Children were also able to extend patterns and create their own patterns
during the collaborative activity. I loved that a child made a connection to patterns we had seen
in science even before I brought it up! This suggested that the children were building on their
understanding of patterns from the prior lesson on plane shape patterns.
Based on feedback from my instructor, one of the areas on which I tried to focus during
this lesson was higher order thinking and different levels of questioning and discussion. I find
this to be the most difficult area of planning for me, especially when teaching basic concepts and
skills. This is one of the reasons I added non-patterns to the guided practice, so children could
evaluate why my shapes were not in a pattern and suggest ways to make a pattern out of a nonpattern. This activity helped the children think more deeply about patterns. I also provided a
journal writing prompt that requires the children to apply what they have learned about patterns
in a new context.
My lesson planning was thorough and creative. I followed the concrete pictorial
abstract progression that is recommended to help students reach a deeper understanding of
mathematical concepts (Jordan, Miller, and Mercer as cited in Gujarati, 2013). Although the

## Running head: REFLECTIONS ON VIDEOTAPED LESSON TWO

goals of this lesson did not include abstract understanding, it was obvious that children were
reaching this level of understanding when they recognized patterns in the numbers reported on
our wind graph in science. One child also noticed a pattern when we were sorting nouns by
person, place, thing, or animal today; clearly, the children connected with the concept and were
more in tune to patterns in the world around them!
Quality of instruction was evident from the beginning of my lesson when I helped the
children see the relevance of this lesson to their lives and stated instructional goals in a way that
was meaningful to them. I also incorporated collaborative work, multiple learning modalities
(visual, kinesthetic, auditory), and independent practice into my lesson plan so that the children
would have multiple ways to experience the learning. I have the desk groups set up so that
shoulder partners are heterogeneous pairs; however, if the stronger partner is not doing his job, as
occurred once in the video, I stepped in to help the struggling student and, at the same time,
model collaborative work for the stronger partner.
One thing I would change the next time I teach this lesson is to be more responsive to the
childrens claims that my guided practice was too easy. I knew that some children still needed
the guided practice so that they could see which attributes changed and which did not in the
pattern, so I continued with my lesson as designed. However, the guided practice went on much
longer than planned (even though I had set up the blocks for each pattern in a labeled baggie to
facilitate quick pattern changes); I would have liked to provide more time for collaborative work.
If this happens again, I could provide fewer guided practice patterns and instead offer a
math club option as an alternative to the collaborative work. Children who still felt a bit
mixed up about the difference in patterns after the guided practice could choose to work with
me in math club until they felt ready to work independently with partners.

## Running head: REFLECTIONS ON VIDEOTAPED LESSON TWO

My classroom management skills were evident throughout the video. For example, when
a child did not have a place to sit in our oval formation, I suggested that the children be problem
solvers. I take this approach quite often, because I like the children to be primarily responsible
for the classroom environment. When children were having difficulty finding a place to sit with
their new partners, I again suggested they be problem solvers; I did not have to provide any
If I observed inappropriate behavior, I redirected children as necessary and they
responded immediately; because the classroom environment is such a positive one, I rarely have
to take more steps than a gentle reminder. The ultimate test of the classroom environment was
when the principal announced the severe weather drill; you could have heard a pin drop as
students listened to the announcement!
However, I would make one change to this lesson to improve the management of the
collaborative activity. Even though our students have the opportunity to play with blocks in our
ICE (Imagination, Creativity, and Exploration) Room once a week, they do not often get the
chance in the classroom. Next time, I would provide a couple minutes for the children to just
play with the blocks before getting down to work creating and extending patterns so that they
are not distracted during that part of the activity. This free play time would also reinforce
shape concepts that we learned previously, such as which shapes can be stacked.
I also usually expect the children to manage classroom materials; in this lesson I managed
the distribution and collection of the geometric solid sets because I wanted to make sure that the
sets from the other first grade teachers did not get intermingled. As I watched the video, I
realized that I still could have achieved that goal while having the children manage the materials.

## Running head: REFLECTIONS ON VIDEOTAPED LESSON TWO

Professionalism is reflected in my appearance and language, both during the actual lesson
and in my lesson plans.
While I first learned that we were to videotape two of our lessons, I was very nervous and
reluctant to watch the recordings! However, I now appreciate what a powerful learning tool such
experiences are, and I plan to periodically videotape myself teaching so that I can continue to
reflect on my growth as a teacher.

## Running head: REFLECTIONS ON VIDEOTAPED LESSON TWO

References
Gujarati, J. (2013). Deepening mathematics teaching and learning through the concrete-pictorialabstract approach. Strategies for Successful Learning, 6(2). Retrieved from
http://www.ldworldwide.org/educators/strategies-for-successful-learning/1096deepening-mathematics-teaching-and-learning-through-the-concrete-pictorial-abstractapproach