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Week 2 Assignment

Ana Rosa Barela

TED 636

Professor Dr. Wu

September 11, 2015

Abstract

This paper is to show familiarity with the math and science frameworks and demonstrate

knowledge and understanding of the content and pedagogical skills associated with the

frameworks by including two instructional strategies as well as a reflection for each.

When it comes to curriculum it is always evolving and throughout the years there have

been many different reforms. Common Core is the latest shift in these reforms. The

implementation of the CA CCSSM (California Common Core State Standards in Mathematics)

"demonstrates a commitment to providing a world-class education for all students, narrowing the

achievement gap, supporting lifelong learning, and helping students develop the skills and

knowledge necessary to fully participate in the global economy of the twenty-first century"

(California Department of Education, 2013, p2).

The California Common Core State Standards in Mathematics framework consists of five

guiding principles which include: learning, teaching, technology, equity, and assessment. These

guiding principles are the same throughout each grade level and include three underlying beliefs

which comprise of focus, coherence, and rigor. Along with the mathematical practice standards,

there is also the content standards, which vary at each grade level. Mathematics content includes:

number sense, algebra thinking, geometry, measurement, and statistics and probability. "These

two types of standards address both habits of mind that students should develop to foster

mathematical understanding and expertise, and skills and knowledgewhat students need to

know and be able to do" (California Department of Education, 2013, p2).

When talking about common core and math, there is a meme that I came across once that

comes to mind. It was a picture of a cat with its eyes protruded and looking very confused. In the

caption is said: Common core math "If you have 4 pencils and 7 apples, how many pancakes will

fit on the roof? Purple. because aliens don't wear hats." I found this really funny because I can

see how the new methods can be a little confusing at times. With some things it took me a bit to

comprehend. For example, in this week's POWT 2, I was a little confused about visually

multiplying fractions. After seeing it demonstrated in the video and in the collaborate session I

was able to comprehend it. Also, I can now see how it will be a great way for students to see how

multiplying fractions looks like visually.

In the sixth grade, students will build upon and relate their place-value comprehension to

confidently be able to multiply decimals (6.NS.3) and "understand percent as a special type of

rate, and students use models and tables to solve percent problems (6.RP3). "Writing decimals as

whose denominator is a power of 10 can be used to explain the decimal point rule in

multiplication" California Department of Education, 2013, p25). Decimals can also be converted

to fractions or vice versa to show a variety of ways to divide or multiply and get the same result.

One teaching strategy to help students learn the concept and relationship between

decimals and fractions is relating it to money. When talking about money I believe it catches the

student's attention. To teach the power of 10 can be explained in relation to dimes and a dollar.

The power of 10 can be explained in a variety of ways such as 10 dimes = one dollar. One dime

equal to 1/10 of a dollar or .10 as a decimal. Once the students get this concept of ten then

hundredths can be introduced as well with its relationship with the penny to the dollar. The

students will be able to review fractions, decimals and the place values of decimals by being able

to rewrite the values in relation to monetary values. To practice this concept, I was able to find a

worksheet from education.com. It will also be nice to use manipulatives in the form of fake

money.

Another teaching strategy when multiplying decimals converted to fractions and show

visually how it relates. One example would be multiplying .25 by .75, this can be converted into

fractions of 1/4 and 3/4. The visual can then be displayed by overlapping a square with 1/4

shaded region and another with

3/4 shaded region. The result would be three shaded boxes out of sixteen, or 3/16. The result

would be the same using the standard algorithm by first multiplying the numerator and then the

denominator.

Reflection

When I was in grade school, common core did not exist. I remember working with

fractions with manipulatives and relationships to pizza slices. I also remember working with base

ten numbers using the base 10 visuals that are still used today. What is different? With the

common core, "instruction should reinforce topics in major clusters by using topics in the

additional/supporting clusters and including problems and activities that support natural

connections" (California Department of Education, 2013, p2). In other words, the idea is to have

students relate what they are learning to their everyday lives so that they can make the

connections. One example of such a problem as described in pg. 25 of the mathematics

framework is as follows:

Maria had 3 kilograms of sand for a science experiment. She had to measure out exactly 1.625

kilograms for a sample. How much sand will be left after she measures out the sample?

I can see how students can relate to this particular situation. However, in the school that I

am currently teaching at, there is a big literacy problem. Based on the state test results from last

year, there has been some improvement, but there is a big literacy gap when compared to other

schools of similar demographics.

Last Friday, I administered the first math test to my students. In the classroom when I

would check for understanding, and based off their homework and class work, they seemed to

have it down pretty good. In the assessment, the problems that were in standard form, the

majority seemed to get them with no problem, but when it came to questions such as the example

from above that required some reading, almost all did not comprehend. I feel horrible, because I

feel that I did not do my job in a way to help my students understand the math problems to real

world scenarios. I also see how many of the students, although understand the math, lack in

literacy. Going forward, I will be integrating more literacy into math and giving more real life

scenarios to help the students bridge the math concepts to how they will be incorporating what

they are learning into a real life scenario.

Science

Teachers have the opportunity to encourage and motivate students in science. According

to the science framework for California Schools, "the goal is to have students gain the

knowledge and skills necessary for Californias workforce to be competitive in the global,

information-based economy of the twenty-first century" (California State Board of Education,

2003, p.2). Like the mathematics framework, the science framework also consists of guiding

principles. In science there are 8 guiding principles which include: Standards, academic

language, comprehensive approach, multiple strategies, continually engage, technology,

resources, and connections.

According to the content standards for teaching science, teachers should provide balanced

instruction in order for "direct instruction and investigative activities... to be mutually supportive

and synergistic" (Science Framework, 2004, p.6).

In the sixth grade, one of the science standards is based on thermal energy (STANDARD

SET 3) It involves learning about the transfer of heat through convection, conduction, and

radiation. As mentioned in the content standards, there needs to be balanced instruction. In

teaching about thermal energy and fulfilling the science guiding principle of academic language,

it is important to introduce the vocabulary of the this standard such as, thermal energy,

equilibrium, insulators, conductor, convection, conduction, and radiation.

One instructional strategy I would use to help the students remember the vocabulary is

for the students to make their own little foldable flip chart with the vocabulary words on the

outside and the definitions along with a picture that the students will draw to help them

remember the concept.

The second strategy will be to show the students firsthand how thermal energy works by

showing a couple of experiments that show the effects of thermal energy. There is a great

youtube video that I came across while doing some research that demonstrates these

experiments. One of these experiments includes two students balancing an ice cube on spoons,

one made of plastic and the other made of aluminum to demonstrate the transfer of conduction.

The second experiment is to demonstrate convection by having a glass cooking pan balance on

top of 4 cups. At one side of the pan there is candles heating the water beneath. Red and blue

food coloring was used on each side to demonstrate how through convection, thermal energy

tries to reach equilibrium. The third experiment involves a lamp and a couple of ice cubes, one

ice cube placed directly under the lamp and the other is placed away, to demonstrate radiation.

Reflection

As a child, one of my favorite subjects in school was science. One of the reasons I really

enjoyed it was because it involved many hands on activities and doing experiments. My favorite

teacher when it came to science was my fourth grade teacher. Some of the experiments I recall

were with plants, sound waves, germs, and magnets.

In my school, the curriculum for the fall semester involves history social science, in

which I can incorporate some experiments and integrate some science curriculum. In the spring

semester the time block will be dedicated to Earth science. I am really looking forward to the

transition because science is such a fun subject to teach. I am already looking ahead for ideas on

projects and experiments to implement.

This week on the discussion board topic I also learned a lot about learning science

through inquiry. This is a great method to get the students thinking about a topic and asking more

questions about what they are curious about. Then their curiosity will cause the students to

explore and seek answers to their own questions and in turn help with the learning process. The

state standards for California states that "effective science programs continually engage all

students in learning and prepare and motivate students for further instruction in science" (Science

Framework, 2004, p4). This is extremely important, especially with students who are already

below reading comprehension skills and also lack in mathematics. In my school, from my

observations thus far, it is evident that there is a lack in reading comprehension skills. This is

something I have to keep in mind and infuse extra practice within all subjects, while at the same

keeping the students engaged. I'm looking forward to the challenges and its rewards.

References:

California Department of Education. (2013). Mathematics framework: instructional strategies.

Sacramento, CA: California Department of Education. Retrieved Sept. 10, 2015 from:

http://www.cde.ca.gov/ci/ma/cf/draft2mathfwchapters.asp

Science Framework for California Public Schools. (2004, January 1). Retrieved September 10,

2015 from http://www.cde.ca.gov/ci/sc/cf/documents/scienceframework.pdf

KCSD (2014) KCSD Lesson Series: Sarah Jarrard 6th Grade Science

"Radiation, Convection, Conduction". Retrieved September 10, 2015:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rX4Qc3XAosk

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