## Sunday, October 26, 2014

### Coaching Reflections - Lesson Series 2 - Model lesson with Google Forms & InfuseLearning

I got to teach a math class this week!  That's right, I got to teach Completing the Square to a class of almost 40 Freshmen-Seniors in Algebra 2 [I mention that because it is quite interesting to have a class of the "top" freshmen and the "low" seniors... what a mix!].  This was a "model lesson", which means my fellow decided she wanted to see me teach the full lesson, with her sitting in the back observing and taking notes.  We also recorded the lesson on my iPad so we have something more concrete to reflect back on.

For our pre-brief, we planned the lesson together.  We decided what part of the concept to cover, what the students would already know coming in, and what the end goal would be. Our focus for the lesson was on using InfuseLearning as a tool to monitor their progress continually throughout the lesson.  Thankfully, I also decided after our pre-brief to use Google forms as an opener and an exit ticket, because Infuse Learning completely failed - none of the questions would load on the student computers!!

Funny thing is (and I think one of the awesome things about teaching - you are always seeing new things and making new connections) I actually taught the concept in a completely different way than I had before.  Our focus was on making perfect square trinomials and why they are so useful to use in solving quadratic equations vs. expressions that aren't perfect square trinomials.

This was the first time students in this class have used their laptops, so I went and visited this class period the day before to introduce myself.  I think that helped, because when they came to class that day, they already knew who I was and were excited they were going to get to use their devices that day.

I had this on the screen when they entered, so we could get started with class right away.  I think having some sort of "opener" or "warm-up", even if it's as simple as this, is so important in making the best use of the class time you have with your students.

Below is my "rough" planning notes that I had made before the lesson.  My reflections and comments are in green.

• It was fun to be up teaching again!  The hard part was that I didn't know the students' names, or what levels most of them were at, so I had to learn a lot on the fly and try to reach all students in the class period.  There was also a brand new student that day that transferred from another teacher's class that had already learned this concept, so I wanted to help him feel welcome and appreciated but didn't want him continually sharing the "right answer" since he already knew how to do it.
• Even I did not 100% monitor student laptop use.  I made a big deal about the "half mast" with the laptops when we weren't using them.  There was one kid in the back corner who was playing around with it during the first part of the lesson.  Funny thing is, because of where the iPad was recording the lesson, you could see what he was doing the whole time! Ha! It was only for about 5 minutes but I'm disappointed I wasn't more aware of it, since that is something I really want to model for my fellows (classroom management w/ laptops)
• Seating arrangement in class really affects collaboration.  The students were seated in rows and although they did a decent job of "talking to a partner" at different points throughout the lesson, it would have been great to have a better setup and expectations for what this would look like.  Obviously, that is something that has to be built and can't just happen with a strange teacher on a random day.
• Tech Back-up plans! I feel I did a decent job adjust when Infuse Learning didn't work at all, but if I would have thought through it a little better, I would have had Socrative ready, or have asked ahead of time if the teacher had mini-whiteboards available to use. I just came across this blog post comparing Socrative & InfuseLearning.  I'm wondering if many of the students were using Internet Explorer and that was the issue?
• Checking homework... I didn't spend any time in class checking their homework from the night before, which is a normal routine for the class. Where does this fall in this lesson, if at all?  Should homework even be checked (I never did, students were responsible for checking their answers and their performance would show on their quizzes).
• The Google Form Opener and Closing really provided valuable feedback for me (the teacher) and [the opener] allowed for some great partner/group/class analysis and discussion.  I think that is a valuable use of technology that enhanced the lesson.
"Lesson Plan":