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Mathematics Institute (Tougaloo College)
Journal Entries- Week One
Lesson Plans- Data Analysis
Lesson Plans- Numbers and Operations
Lesson Plans- Algebraic Expressions
Lesson Plans- Geometry
Journal Entries- Week One
Journal Entries- Week Two
Journal Entries- Week Three
Journal Entries- Week Four
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Philosophy of Education
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Empirical Research Article- Math Learning Disability
Empirical Research Article- Math Disabilities
Empirical Research Article- Computer Assisted Instruction (CAI)
Empirical Research Article- Generalization Strategies of Algebra Students

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Journal Entry

June 2, 2008

As the day began, we discussed pedagogy and various pedagogical topics including multiple intelligences and assessments. Then, we discussed the significance of mathematical empirical research articles that we would soon be researching. Next, we discussed lesson plans and elaborated on the Madelyn Hunter form. We expressed the significance of aligning the lesson being taught with the objectives and the objectives with the assessment. We went on to discuss the importance of infusing technology in the classroom and how to differentiate for diverse learners. Later, we analyzed various grade levels of the Mississippi Mathematics Framework. Lastly, we took a pre-test and reviewed our responses to them.

The instructive discussion that we had on each component of the Madelyn Hunter lesson plan was most beneficial to me. This discussion helped me to obtain a clearer understanding of this particular format of planning for instruction. Next year, I will be sure to carefully plan and incorporate each of these components on my lesson plans and in my teaching.

This lesson could be evaluated by allowing individuals to write and model each component while facilitating one of our TCIM sessions. I will definitely share what I learned with other novice teachers.

Journal Entry

June 3, 2008

Today our guest speaker, Dr. Bonita Potter, spoke with us concerning curriculum. I learned a great deal of information from her presentation. One main factor that Dr. Potter spoke on was motivation. It intrigued me because before a student can accomplish any task, he or she must first be motivated to do so. To provide this motivation, I was informed by one of my colleagues in the program to provide many opportunities for students to be successful. We also discussed the relevance of building assessments before teaching.

Later, we got into pairs and created a lesson plan for a given topic. My partner and I did our lesson on bar graphs. In doing so, we collaborated, shared ideas and presented our lesson. We each played significant roles in developing and implementing our lesson. For our assessment, we required of the individual to construct a bar graph on their own, when given the necessary information to complete the task.

Pairing with another teacher gave me the opportunity to implement more into my lesson. Next year, I plan on providing that same opportunity for my students. I will allow plenty occasions were my students will take part in cooperative learning. Like I did today, my students will be able to converse, share ideas, and assist each other while working in groups. I will express to my colleagues how helpful it was to converse with another colleague and encourage them to do so as well.

Journal Entry

June 4, 2008

Today we discussed instructional objectives. In writing these objectives, one should use verbs from the multiple levels of Bloom's Taxonomy-especially the ones from the higher levels. Also, these objectives should be specific, measurable, short term, and observable. I learned that these objectives are the foundation for the lesson and assessments. Next, we researched empirical journal articles in mathematics. Later, we worked on lesson plans and aligned the mathematics standards with our objectives.

The lesson on writing instructional objectives helped me to enhance the objectives section of my lesson plans. I was taught how to choose the most effective verb in writing the objectives for my lessons. I also learned the difference between a performance outcome and an instructional objective.

Next school year, I will be better able to create objectives that are truly valid. They will be objectives that are specific, measurable, and observable. To evaluate our lesson on instructional objectives, we could differentiate between instructional objectives and performance outcomes. We could also determine if instructional objectives are written poorly or not, when given a list of objectives. I will be sure to share the components of a valid objective with my colleagues and those in the district.

Journal Entry

June 5, 2008

Dr. Potter returned on today. She presented us with some data on the test scores of sixth, seventh and eighth grade students at one particular middle school. From the data, we were assigned to get into groups and have a debate based on what we would do to increase the scores. We had to include several components, such as assessment, planning, instruction, organization, and cooperative learning, in our discussion.

My group expressed that we would first administer a pretest that would provide insight on the students' specific strengths and weaknesses. We also spoke of learning centers which would not only enhance organization in the classroom, but also allow the students to receive individual instruction as well as immediate feedback from their teacher. These centers would also be favorable for English Language Learners (ELL). Our opposing team discussed ways to involve the parents and to increase motivation in the students. Later, we took a test pertaining to data analysis.

The lesson that we participated in with Dr. Potter helped me to better diagnose a student and be able to prescribe the best resolution for the problem. Next year, I will know that a pretest would be the first thing to do in order to find the specific strengths and weaknesses of my students. I will also involve the parents more often and collaborate with my colleagues to better serve my students.

The debate that we had was an assessment in itself. I would prefer a similar activity where we had to figure out a solution for a group of students' low test scores as an evaluation. I will share the solutions that we discussed in our groups with my colleagues and those in my district.

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