Monday, June 10, 2013

Math in Focus 3A - Planning Lesson, Choosing Anchor Tasks

One key step in planning lesson is the choice of anchor task - the one used for teaching. A good starting point is to look at the textbook and ask if the given task is a good one. Good tasks allow the attainment of learning outcomes and allow teachers to challenge advanced learners even as he takes care of the rest of the students.

Today we look at Math in Focus 3A Lesson 4.3 Subtraction with Regrouping. I was planning for a lesson I will be teaching to third graders at The Blake School in Hopkins, MN.

The main method (which is in the textbook) is to develop an understanding of the standard algorithm, which is essentially about regrouping / renaming a numbers to facilitate subtraction.

The alternate method (which is not in the book) is to get students to see 2,598 as 2,500 + 98 ... which make subtraction from 5,000 + 100 + (46) fairly straight forward. 46 can be put aside.

The choice of numbers in this anchor task allows for the alternate method (which teachers may get advanced students to think about) while letting the other students have ample time to master the main method.

The choice of numbers allows emphasis on doubles facts (4,000 - 2,000, 1,000 - 500 and 16 - 8).

It is important for teachers, in the lesson planning process to think about the choice of examples selected.

Grade 4 Lesson

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