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Hayley Corkery

Dr. Fritz

EDUC 410

30 January 2018

Analysis of Lesson

Part 1:

I was able to have an intriguing conversation with my mentor teacher about

planning/preparation and professionalism. She was able to discuss how she has added into the

curriculum a two-year Algebra course. This course is for students who have not done

traditionally well in math. They would be able to go slower with the Algebra I material over two

years so they have a higher chance of passing the Keystone Test. She really demonstrated her

knowledge of content and pedagogy. Last year was the first year she taught Algebra I. She

realized that some of her students were getting left behind as she had to keep covering material.

She has incorporated this new class while also going through skills quicker in the 1 year Algebra

course so and switching around the curriculum.

I think one of my challenges is incorporating student interest into my math lesson. When

discussing with my mentor teacher she said that sometimes it can be tough. Students need to

understand the skill in a basic form before you can add real world problems or projects. We

unfortunately did not have time to incorporate a Systems of Equations project about profit and

break even like we had hoped because we lost so many snow days. I learned that it is not always

easy to work on student interest, but it can pay off in a big way. Another thing I learned from my

mentor teacher was about knowing your resources. She has told me about all the various

activities she has gotten from a website Teachers Pay Teachers where teachers create fun
activities to align with different outcomes. We do not have textbooks in the school I student

teach at, so we need to be creative to find hands on activities that will adhere to different types of


Under professionalism, I have been able to really learn how to reflect on my teaching.

My mentor teacher is super reflective and we usually take a good amount of time during our prep

period to talk about what we could have done better and what our students did not understand.

As time has progressed I have been able to have these thoughts on my own without my mentor

teacher leading the discussion. She has also taught me how to write emails home to parents as

well as make parent phone calls. She discussed how it is one of the best ways to work on a

student’s behavior in the classroom and I have seen that first hand. Finally, she was able to tell

me about all of her responsibilities as Math Department Chair and a teacher mentor. She plans

our math department professional developments and I was able to hear how she goes about the

preparation each time and think about what the team needs. Not only did she discuss

participating in professional development, but leading it as well. I learned a great deal of

information during my discussion with my mentor teacher and over the course of the time that I

have been working with her.

Part 2

I was able to observe my mentor teacher teaching the first day of equations in slope-

intercept. Students had already learned how to find the slope from different representations

before the end of last quarter, so this topic was building on that skill. My mentor teacher was

able to use their prior knowledge in order to help the lesson go smoother. In the Do Now,

students had to calculate the slope from a graph as well as two other skills that fall under
equations and functions. I observed the two-year algebra course so my teacher knows that she

must go slower with the material and offer many examples before independent or group work.

This lesson did not specifically have an assessment, but rather a formative assessment. During

independent work my mentor teacher circulated around the room to see how well students were

doing and what questions they were asking.

At the beginning of the year, the students had a hard time calming down and focusing.

My mentor teacher has been working with them and having students perform one step at a time

so that they do not get overwhelmed. The students have been showing so much growth over the

year not only academically, but also behaviorally. The students were eager to participate and get

the answer correct. There were a few callouts, but they were always on task. No matter what, my

teacher has high expectations for these students that they can succeed in math and have a

productive classroom. The classroom routines are so precise that there is no instructional time

lost and she grabs the attentions of the students quickly and efficiently. The desks are in rows

and my mentor teacher is able to navigate around the room targeting off task areas and answer as

many questions as possible.

My mentor teacher is able to clearly set expectations for the lesson and remind students

throughout. For example, when students call out she says I would like you to raise your hand.

The student then raised his hand and she called on him. My teacher has implemented Habits of

Discussion into her classroom where students are encouraged to agree or disagree respectfully

about different math problems. It promotes higher level thinking in terms of the problems and

discussion. In this lesson, there were only informal assessments, no formal assessments. My

teacher was able to demonstrate professionalism by reflecting on how the students were able to

receive the information and how she would add onto it tomorrow.
Part 3

One of the first things that I would change about this lesson is in the Do Now. My mentor

teacher reviewed three different skills including equations with fractional coefficients, function

notation and finding slope from a graph. Students were confused with the topics of equations

with fractional coefficients and function notation. A great deal of time was spent on that part of

the Do Now. I think that the Do Now should have just included finding slope from a graph, one

example of a positive slope and one example of a negative. Students prior knowledge of slope

will be activated because they have not seen it since the midterm. However, instructional time

would not be lost by having students confused about the other topics. I think that the skills

should be reviewed at some point, but for this lesson it added more confusion than it helped.

Another thing that I would change about the lesson would be to just focus on one skill of

finding the slope and the y-intercept. During the lesson, my mentor teacher tried to show

students that a point on the line would satisfy the equation they wrote. Many students were

confused about what she was trying to show them. I think that because it was the first day going

over slope-intercept form that the students should have just worked on finding the m and the b

and writing an equation with those values. Once they mastered that after the lesson, then students

would be shown how the points on the line fit into the equation.

The final thing that I would change about the lesson would be to add in an exit ticket or a

formal assessment at the end. Students were working on independent practice, but there was not

much accountability. Some students were off task during this time. If students knew there would

be an exit ticket they would be more focused on willing to ask questions when they were

confused. It would also allow my mentor teacher to see where students are making mistakes and
could then address them in the Do Now the next day. I think all of the things that I have

mentioned would enhance the learning for students who are being taught this lesson.