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Hayley Corkery

EDUC 409
11 November 2017
Blog Entry # 2

Today we started a student-centered learning strategy with my students. We used a
flipped lesson approach to learn about parallel and perpendicular lines as well as their
corresponding equations. Students were led through a Do Now and then asked to take 10 minutes
to work through the problem with their groups. Even though it was an inquiry activity, the
students had the skills to complete it. The activity asks the students to graph 3 lines. We have
already done graphing lines and they have to see that these lines are parallel. They have the skills
to understand what the slope is from an equation y = mx + b and can compare the slopes. After I
brought them back and we had a discussion about their findings. They then did the activity with
perpendicular lines with the same structure. The first class that I did it with had trouble getting
started and getting engaged. The students had to rearrange the equations before graphing it and
they were having some trouble getting started. This was the first time that students had
participated in an activity like this where I did not model how to solve a problem before moving
into their groups. I didn’t acknowledge this fact for the first class. For the next class, my mentor
teacher and I decided that we should make it a competition so students are more motivated to try
the activity. The students were still struggling with the equations, so for the last period I tried this
activity where I did not give them the activity sheet until we started the activity. This made the
competition better because no students went ahead and got a head start on the activity. I showed
how to rearrange the equations on the board before they started the activity, so they could start
with graphing and not have to have extra stress. After, I had a student go up to the board to share
her answers and promote discussion. This included student voice in the lesson and really made
the activity meaningful.
Student learning was affected because students have never participated in an activity like
this this year. They felt uncomfortable with this type of learning and did not feel great motivation
to complete the task. Students in earlier periods were getting stuck on how to rearrange the
equations. This was not the purpose of the activity, so the first class really didn’t get to explore
the main topic. They were worried about trying to put the equation into y=mx _+ b where the
activity really looked at comparing the slopes of 3 parallel or perpendicular lines. In the morning,
there was not too much learning because students were not motivated to preserve.
I have learned that I need to work with my students on this type of learning. I need to
acknowledge that it is okay they feel uncomfortable with this type of activity. They are used to
my mentor teacher or myself going over the procedure of solving a problem before they try
problems on their own. We need to start small with these types of activities before we work our
way to an entire flipped lesson. The 12th grade math teacher did an activity like this just for the
Do Now. Students only had to struggle for 5 minutes before being helped. I think starting with an
activity like this will grow students’ confidences in this type of learning, so that they may be able
to stretch their brains for inquiry learning. I also learned that students get frustrated with
struggling through a problem. I think using the incentive of a competition at first will help
students be motivated to persevere rather than just waiting for me to help them.
The goal I have set for myself as a result of this learning is to incorporate perseverance or
inquiry learning at least 3 times next quarter. Even if I start with a small activity and by the third
time, work up to an entire flipped lesson. I would hope that after the third time I would be able to
take away any incentive and this type of learning would be seen as a norm. For this quarter, my
mentor teacher and I have planned an inquiry flipped lesson for systems of equations. We have
tried this lesson last year, so I hope to use our reflections from last year to make it a better
activity by ensuring our students have all the tools to think about the main idea of what we are
trying to have them figure out.
The first domain that I exhibited was under the domain of instruction where I
demonstrated flexibility and responsiveness. I realized that students did not understand how to
rearrange the equations. So, for the last period of the day, I showed students how to put equations
into y = mx + b before the activity. For the other periods, I helped students individually rearrange
the equations. I also saw students were not sure what generalizations they should make. I made it
a point to have students participate in discussion about what rule they could come up with about
the slopes of parallel and perpendicular lines. Another domain I showed was under professional
responsibilities where I reflected on my teaching. Throughout the day, my mentor teacher and I
constantly asked ourselves what can we do to motivate our students more? What other parts of
the competition can we think about to make it as smooth and clear as possible? We were able to
change the lesson through the day and even incorporate student voice into learning as a student
lead the discussion in the last period. I am working towards Domain 2, Classroom Environment
where students feel comfortable to be challenged in material and discover their own findings.
#instruction #professionalresponsibilities