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Evidence #3: Professional Growth in Teaching Geometry and Measurement This Evidence Represents: Professional Growth This Evidence Includes

the Following Artifacts: 1. Investigations Unit 4: Size, Shape, and Symmetry: Lesson 3.1 Measuring Angles from 2009-2010 school year 2. Investigations Unit 4: Size, Shape, and Symmetry: Lesson 3.1 Measuring Angles with Common Core modifications provided by the Investigations curriculum and flexible grouping from 2011-2012 school year 3. Personalized Learning Geometry Unit: Using a Protractor to Measure Angles, with Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and Personalized Learning strategies from 2013-2014 school year Description of Evidence and Artifacts: 1. The Investigations lesson plans for lesson 3.1: Making Right Angles (Artifact 3.1A) identify key vocabulary words: angle, degree, right angle, and equilateral triangle. Learners are expected to use plastic two-dimensional figures called Power Polygons to create right angles. The benchmark to determine if something was a right angle was the corner of a sheet of paper. Learners were then taught to measure acute angles by relating them to the 90 degree angles they made. For example, if two of the same Power Polygon angles were used to create a right angle, then the measure of those two acute angles were 45 degrees. 2. As the CCSS were adopted, the Investigations curriculum created inserts for each unit with modifications for lessons to fit with CCSS. For the Geometry and Measurement Unit: Lesson 3.1 Making Right Angles, the adaptation included writing equations to represent what students did with the power polygons. I also teamed with the other 4th grade teachers and we used the assessment Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) results to group learners across the entire fourth grade. These groups were flexible and changed based on the unit of study. 3. During the 2013-2014 school year, the Verona Area School District released approved “I Can” statements for the Common Core, which are the standards rewritten in kid-friendly language. Additionally, the district is moving towards using a personalized learning approach to instruction. I reorganized my instruction of geometry and measurement so that it was guided by the Common Core state standards and our district!s “I Can” statements. I focused my instruction on deconstructing and practicing the academic language in the “I Can” statements with my learners, which required me to abandon using the Investigations curriculum for this unit. I separated my instruction of geometry topics by organizing the Common Core “I Can” statements into different sections: polygons, angles (Artifact 3.3A), measurement, area and perimeter, and symmetry. While working on one of these sections at a time, I held seminars to deliver new instruction. For example, I taught a seminar on measuring angles with a protractor (Artifact 3.3B). I also included a sample of student work as a result of that seminar (Artifact 3.3C).

Analysis of Evidence through the Artifacts: 1. My first year of teaching was the first year that the Verona Area School District adopted the Investigations curriculum. It was expected to be taught explicitly, so I planned my instruction using the appropriate lesson plans. Within the lesson plans were identified key vocabulary (ARTIFACT 3.1A) and modifications to differentiate instruction. New academic language was introduced when a new concept was first taught and the only opportunity to practice the new language was when there was an aligning page in the student workbook. A benefit of the Investigations curriculum is that it is cyclical and language and concepts are revisited in future units. However, for many learners, I noticed that there was not enough opportunity to practice academic language. However, the methods taught to measure angles was quite unique, in that it required students to use other polygons to create appropriately measured angles. Never, were students required to use a protractor and most often, students didn!t understand that a thirty degree angle and a sixty degree angle make a ninety degree angle. Rather, students memorized that you need a “skinny orange triangle” and “that other big green one” to make a ninety degree angle (see Artifact 3.1A, page 4 for a photo). However, admittedly, part of their limited understanding was due to the fact that I was not demanding enough practice with the use of academic language. I allowed students to call power polygons by other descriptors than their official names. Additionally, there were many learning and language deficits that required preteaching that Investigations didn!t account for. For example, I found that the concept of and the word “angle” was completely new to many learners, which significantly impeded their ability to comprehend measuring right angles. Further supplementation to the Investigations curriculum would have greatly benefited these learners. 2. The Common Core supplement using equations was a helpful addition. However, it did not solve the issue of introducing a practicing academic language, nor did it provide accommodations or opportunity for attending to learning deficits. By flexibly grouping our students, we were able to work at differentiated and appropriate paces. All students were taught using the Investigations Curriculum with the Common Core supplements, but the pace of learning was slowed or sped up to accommodate that particular group of learners. Many students who learned about measuring angles at a slower pace, were slower, in fact, because a significant portion of class time was spent focusing on teaching and practicing the academic language. By reviewing the keywords identified by Investigations daily, learners were able to read, write, speak and listen to about angles in a way that made the academic language accessible and meaningful. 3. By teaching the strategy for measuring angles with a protractor, I was able to conceptually separate the instruction of measuring from the instruction of polygons. Once I did this, I realized that by using polygons and polygons alone to measure angles, learners were overwhelmed with new vocabulary, because they were learning both the names and features of the polygons, but also the different types of angles. By teaching polygons and all the vocabulary that entailed first, we were able to apply that understanding to learning about angles. Once a learner was comfortable

identifying a shape as a rectangle and defining it by the fact that it has four line segments and vertices with opposite sides of equal length, you could extend the learning to discuss what perpendicular lines are based on the property of having ninety degree angles. Teaching in this order also allowed for the review and continued use of the newly learned polygon vocabulary. Summarize the Results of the Evidence: When teaching geometry to a diverse group of learners with abilities that span a large spectrum, I have noticed that a focus on language and vocabulary is crucial for all learners, especially ELLs. By using a personalized learning structure and offering seminars for the instruction of new fourth grade material, I found students to be much more self-critical and taking advantage of an opportunity for developing metacognition. The personalized learning element allowed students to apply the concepts and vocabulary learned in seminars in a meaningful way, by allowing for more collaboration and practice with authentic use of new academic language.