You are on page 1of 8

Daylan Bakes

Math
12/14/14

Analysis of Teaching
Analysis

Representation
My math lesson was composed of two activities. The first activity included the whole group and consisted
of decomposing the number eight into different pairs of numbers through the use of manipulatives. The
students were given eight cubes and first asked to count them and then to put some in one hand and some
in the other and then put their hands behind their backs. They would then tell me how many cubes they
had in one hand. At this point I would ask the rest of the group if they knew how many the student had in
their other hand, allowing for greater participation. I then recorded the pairs found by each student on a
chart at the front of the room (Image 1).
In the second activity the students were broken into pairs. Each pair was given a different number that
they would work on decomposing through the use of manipulatives. They would work with a stacked
tower of cubes, breaking the tower into two parts and counting these parts, demonstrating the different
pairs possible to compose the whole they were assigned. The numbers were 7, 8, and 9 (and I did 10). The
students were each given a worksheet where they were to record their pairs. Then, once each group has
completed their worksheet (finding all pairs possible), we would come back together and record the
number of pairs found on a large whole-group chart (hopefully finding the pattern involved in
decomposition) (Image 2).
Analysis
Tasks
The tasks at had enabled me to make a strong connection between the abstract that is part-whole
relationships and the concrete experience of using manipulatives to show those abstract relationships. The
way I structured the tasks was a bit of a constrain. I think there is a way I could have better organized our
second activity in which the students work in pairs decomposing different numbers into all of their parts. I
think the pair-work was helpful, but there seemed to be a misstep for some students when counting the
number of pairs found and trying to record that number (and then observe that pattern). Had we, instead
of having the groups write individually, instead verbalized or dictated to me, the pairs found and had I
been able to write them up on the board/chart, I think the pattern would have been more visible to the
entire group. They also would be able to help one another if not all decomposition pairs had been found.
My pedagogical focus was “selecting and using representations to make mathematics meaningful and
draw connections between mathematical concepts.” I think the use of manipulatives to illustrate an
abstract concept interacted incredibly well with my pedagogical focus. The students were able to both
understand decomposition (for the most part), segwaying into basic principles of addition.
Discourse
Discourse, whether peer to peer or teacher to student, was an essential part of this lesson. Without the
ability to communicate with one another my students would be unable to complete the second activity that
consisted of pair work to complete a worksheet. I am very aware of my tendency to parrot what a student
has said and have spent a lot of time trying to correct that habit, instead highlighting the importance of
listening to one another. While I try not to parrot, I do think I need to spend more time on each student‟s
strategy. I need to allow them enough time to explain and make sure they are heard and understood by
their peers. Also, I think we could have spent more time on discussion, perhaps eliminating part of or
cutting the lesson in half, providing a less rushed discussion pace and more time to unpack our learning.
Having the manipulatives helped our discussion immensely. The ability to, when one student said 0 and 0

1

Daylan Bakes
Math
12/14/14

Analysis of Teaching

was 9, illustrate the mathematical problem with cubes, was invaluable. At this age and this developmental
stage, my students need the abstract anchored in the concrete.
Tools
The tools used; chart paper (with graphs previously drawn), cubes, worksheets, markers, pencils and
discourse; allowed the lesson to function as intended. Without the use of the visual, through chart and the
use of manipulatives, through blocks, the abstract concept of part-whole would not be anchored in the
concrete. I chose the number 8 as the number each student would decompose in the first activity, which
consisted of each student putting handfuls of blocks behind their backs. What did not occur to me before
doing the activity is how small first grade hands are – we lost quite a few blocks while doing this activity.
The student‟s hands were a little too small to hold more than three or four blocks per hand. With “using
representations to make mathematics meaningful,” the tools used to implement a lesson become key. In
this lesson it was the combination of whole-group representation on a chart of the part-whole
relationships found and the use of cubes that brought the lesson into the realm of mathematical meaning.
Normative Practices
I‟ve conscientiously tried to establish discussion norms when I work with my students. I want them to be
able to work in pairs or be able to build on what one of their classmates has said before them in class
discussion. This worked in my favor during the pair work section of my math lesson. That is not to say
we had some hiccups. I think next time I would be inclined to switch around the pairs, specifically Susan
and Ethan who did not work well together. We also always go over our behavior norms anytime I am
working with the class without any aid from my classroom mentor, just as a reminder that I hold them at a
similar standard. I think that we need to establish better norms when it comes to working with
manipulatives; while nothing was „out of control‟ I think my students would have managed better had we
had some free time with the manipulatives. Pedagogically, my students could have had more scaffolding
in the use of the manipulatives, but when engaged, used the manipulatives as they were intended for the
lesson. Without the cubes, there would have been no lesson.
Conclusion
My ultimate goal for my students were for them to gain a deeper understanding of part-whole relationships
through the use of manipulatives. I believe that my pedagogical focus was rooted firmly in this goal: without
being able to see the relationships play out concretely, my students would more than likely be unable to make the
leap to the abstract relationship. The place were my focus fell short was in the way I chose to organize our final
activity and discussion. Instead of having each pair or each student write and then discuss, we should have written
as a whole-group, on the board where everyone could see. I think this is the step missed that would have helped a
few of my students make that next step more securely.

2

Daylan Bakes
Math
12/14/14

Analysis of Teaching

Image 1:

3

Daylan Bakes
Math
12/14/14

Analysis of Teaching

Image 2:

4

Daylan Bakes
Math
12/14/14

Analysis of Teaching

Observer‟s Notes: Please see Next Document for Full Notes

5

Daylan Bakes
Math
12/14/14

Analysis of Teaching

Assessment Checklist: Exploring Part-Whole Relationships through Decomposing Numbers

Activity #1:
Exploration of part-whole relationship: bringing the theoretical into the physical/tangible sphere.
Presentation of whole number (of cubes), separation by student into parts, recognition of original
whole number (made up of two parts).
Name

Su

Sa

One-to-one
Correspondence

x

While Sa has
one-to-one
correspondence,
she often
miscounts – I
believe this
comes from
counting too
quickly.

Conservation Conservation – Can initially Can Identify
identify whole Missing part of
whole

x

Conservation –
After separating,
can still identify
whole

While Su gets
here eventually, it
takes some time.
She will
immediately say
the number of the
whole and then
when prompted
will think some
more and provide
the missing part.

x

x

Sa is able to do
this, but similar
to Susan in
identifying the
missing part of
the whole, needs
to be prompted
to give herself
more time and to
double check.

L

x

x

x

x

P

x

x

x

x

B

x

x

x

x

E

x

x

x

x

6

Daylan Bakes
Analysis of Teaching
Math
12/14/14
Activity #2:
Decomposition of interlocked cube tower into all possible combinations.
Name

One-to-one
correspondence
x

Writes accurate
numerical
representation
x

Finds all possible
combinations

S
x – same as above.

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

S

L

P

B

E

7

Daylan Bakes
Math
12/14/14

Analysis of Teaching

Student Worksheets: Please See Observation Tab for Complete Worksheets

8