Sunday, June 29, 2014

#70Days Strategic Lesson Planning: New American Lecture

My copy of The Strategic Teacher arrived! I'm excited to think about instructional strategies from this book!


Silver, Harvey F., Richard W. Strong, and Matthew J. Perini. The strategic teacher selecting the right research-based strategy for every lesson. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 2007. Print.


Also known as an Interactive Lecture
has 5 parts …
  • a topic
  • a visual organizer
  • review questions
  • a hook
  • a synthesis task

This is a direct instruction strategy that emphasizes building memory by making connections, pausing for reflection and questions, and organizing information in a visual organizer. The lecture has a pattern ... present information (roughly 5 minute chunk) , then pause and use structured questions that appeal to different learning styles to help process. 

In the first week of school, I have to introduce seven parent functions.  I believe that the “new American lecture strategy” will work well for this topic.


The lesson plan will start with the hook: I will project a series of graphs (all quadratic) using Desmos. Students will be asked to think about what they see.  What do they notice?  What do they wonder?  (https://www.desmos.com/calculator/16w5qftowv) Students will record their noticings and wonderings in their notebook. I'll ask students to volunteer their thoughts after 2 minutes and create an anchor chart that we can use during the unit.


Bridge … using students’ noticing and wondering I will introduce the idea of families of functions; and that the parent function represents the simplest of each of the families.


I’ll distribute a graphic organizer.  The visual organizer will be a matrix chart (a table) that includes the following information:


Name of Parent Function
Equation for Parent Function
Graph of Parent Function
Domain & Range
Key Characteristics


Using Desmos and our TI 84 calculators, students will graph each of the seven parent functions that we study.  We will fill in the table for each function.  As we do so, I’ll ask questions … including the following:  


  1. (As we complete information on each parent function) Prioritize: What are two key points you want to remember about that function?
  2. (After completing information on at least 2 parent functions) Compare/Contrast: What are similarities and differences between the linear function and the quadratic function? (or between the quadratic function and the square root function) etc.
  3. (After completing our chart) Preferences: About which function are you most interested in learning?  Which function seems the most complex to you?
  4. Each function has a distinct shape. Name the shapes in a way that will help you remember them. How will you describe the square root function, for example?


I’ll assign one or more of these tasks to help students synthesize their learning:  


  1. Order the parent functions we are studying from least to greatest by the rate at which f(x) increases as x increases for x > 1.  Explain your thoughts.
  2. Use the set of points {(-1,-1), (0,0), (1, 1)} to answer each question.
    1. What parent function best describes the set of points?
    2. If the points (-2,8) and (2, 8) were added, what parent function would best describe the set?
    3. If the point (1, 1) were replaced with (1, -1) what parent function would best describe the set?
    4. If the point (-1, -1) were replaced with (4, 2) what parent function would best describe the set?
    5. Select 1 or 2 points to change or to add to create a different function than those already described.  Explain your selection and the parent function that would best describe the set.
  3. Create “Who Am I” Riddles for 5 of the parent functions.  For each riddle use 4 to 6 clues.  Here is an example:  My graph is continuous.  My graph has an intercept at (0,0).  My domain is the set of all nonnegative real numbers.  My range is the set of all nonnegative real numbers.  The shape of my graph is sometimes referred to as an eyebrow.  What parent function am I?

As a formative assessment in groups, I’ll ask students to discuss these questions and submit their answers. I don't think our technology will be available in the first week of school, so I may use whiteboards for each group to submit their responses.

As I read The Strategic Teacher, my goal is to write at least one lesson in each of the strategies highlighted in the book. If you have ideas or comments ... or want to join me in creating a set of lesson plans ... please jump in! I'd love to hear your comments!

1 comment:

  1. As a formative assessment in groups, I’ll ask students to discuss these questions and submit their answers. I don't think our technology will be available in the first week of school, so I may use whiteboards for each group to submit their responses.
    The Investment Banking School

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