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# Co-Teaching Assignment #1 - Station Teaching

Co-Teaching Assignment #1 Station Teaching Trina Kelsey EDU-724 Practicum in Inclusion Settings July 22, 2012 University of New England

## Content Relevant to the Whole Instructional Unit - Algebra

Unit Objectives General Outcome: Represent algebraic expressions in multiple ways. Specific Outcomes: Model and solve problems using linear equations of the form ax = b =b,a0 ax + b = c +b=c,a0

ax=b+cx a(x + b) = c ax + b = cx + d a(bx + c) = d(ex + f) =b,x0 Where a, b, c, d, e, and f are rational numbers (Ministry of Education, 2008) Unit Key Concepts Students are expected to be able to demonstrate the following processes communicate in order to learn and express their understanding connect mathematical ideas to other concepts in mathematics, to everyday experiences, and to other disciplines demonstrate fluency with mental mathematics and estimation develop and apply new mathematical knowledge through problem solving develop mathematical reasoning select and use technologies as tools for learning and solving problems develop visualization skills to assist in processing information, making connections, and solving problems (Ministry of Education, 2008) Achievement Indicators Achievement Indicators as per Ministry of Education Guidelines: Model the solution of a given linear equation using concrete or pictorial representations, and record the process Determine, by substitution, whether a given rational number is a solution to a given linear equation Solve a given linear equation symbolically Identify and correct an error in a given incorrect solution of a linear equation Represent a given problem using a linear equation Solve a given problem using a linear equation and record the process (Ministry of Education, 2008)

## Co-Teaching Assignment #1 - Station Teaching

that he is selling pot to supplement the family income. In class he presents as friendly and co-operative, but only if he likes you.

Classroom Environment The math class is taught in one of the computer labs, to allow access to technology as required by Ministry of Education guidelines. There are enough computers so that each student can have their own. The Smart Board at the front of the room is attached to the teachers computer, so that the lesson and examples can be seen by everyone. The room is also big enough to have a table in one corner that can be pulled out. The table will be used for Station A, because we will need a place to lay out the algebra tiles. Station B is going to be a bit of a logistics problem. There isnt a second table in the computer lab, so the students can sit with their chairs in a circle around the extended computer counter where the teachers desk is situated. The space is large enough and everyone will be able to see, but initially the noise of moving the chairs will be disruptive. Station C, the independent practice will be centred on the bank of computers against the back wall. Noise will certainly be a problem in this classroom, because the floors are linoleum and sound seems to echo in the room. The teachers will have to keep this in mind when teaching and the doors will have to remain closed so that other classrooms near us are not bothered by the sound.

## Co-Teaching Lesson #1 Station Teaching

Grade Level: Grade 9 Content/Skill Area: Algebra Solving Two Step Linear Equations Objective General Outcome: Represent algebraic expressions in multiple ways. (Ministry of Education, 2008) Specific Outcome: Model and solve problems using linear equations of the form ax + b = c and + b = c, a 0, where a, b and c are rational numbers (Ministry of Education, 2008) Materials: Algebra Tiles, Computers (available in the classroom), textbooks Vocabulary: Variable, terms, algebraic expression, balancing, checks, cancelling Teaching Methods/Strategies Introduction/Questions/Set Up (10 minutes) Yesterday, solving one and two step linear equations was introduced to the class. Today we are going to have a chance to refine and extend the students skills with this concept (This is one of the variations on station teaching found in the Friend text). Check to see if there are any concerns that have arisen since yesterday. If there are questions, show an example on the board (teachers can take turns with this). Once all queries have been answered, explain todays procedure. The teachers have divided the class into three groups of the same size. Each group will have 20 minutes at a station to learn more about Two Step Linear Equations. Two of the stations will have a teacher to guide progress and the third station will complete independent work on IXL (more will be explained later). Station A Algebra Tiles Teacher led (20 minutes) As required by Ministry of Education guidelines, the student must be able to model the solution of a given linear equation using concrete or pictorial representations, and record the process (Ministry of Education, 2008). The teacher at this station will be providing a lesson on completing two step linear equations using algebra tiles. The students have been using algebra tiles throughout the course, as prescribed by the Ministry of Education.

## Co-Teaching Assignment #1 - Station Teaching

Using the tiles, arrange a sample question such as the one below.

Give the students a reminder: Green tiles represent x Red tiles represent 1 White tiles represent -1 What equation do the algebra tiles represent? If 3 green tiles and 4 red tiles = 19 red tiles, that can be written as 3x + 4 = 19 (Marysa, 2011) To complete the next step of the question, add -4 to each side using white tiles.

The white tiles will cancel the red tiles on the left and leave 15 tiles on the right side of the equation. It can now be written as 3x = 15

(Marysa, 2011) Once the cancelled tiles are removed the equation will look like the following:

(Marysa, 2011)

## Co-Teaching Assignment #1 - Station Teaching

There are 3xs and 15 ones. Both can be divided by 3, so make 3 equal groups. The first one is drawn on the diagram. Show the students how to finish the final two. The equation can now be written as = which shows that the entire equation is divided by 3, so that the both sides of the equation have the same steps occurring in order to keep it balanced.

(Marysa, 2011) Finally, you have the variable isolated and the tiles should appear as follows:

## The tiles show that x = 5

(Marysa, 2011) To check if their answer is correct, they will have to put the answer back into the original question to see if it balances. 3x + 4 = 19 3(5) + 4 = 19 15 + 4 = 19 19 = 19 if the numbers balance at the end the question is right Ask the students if they have any questions about the example that was given. Clarify any misunderstandings. Have the students complete the next example using guided practice with a partner. With only five groups to watch, it should be fairly easy to see if there is a problem. Have the students move step-by-step using their own tiles to complete the following question: 4x 1 = 11

## Co-Teaching Assignment #1 - Station Teaching

If they are proficient, allow them to complete the next four problems and record their answers: a) 3x + 2 = 8 b) 2x + 3 = -9 c) 5x 1 = -11 d) 3x 1 = 17 If there is extra time at the end, the students can make up their own questions to see if others in the group can answer. They will need some warning that their answers must contain only whole numbers when using algebra tiles (which is a drawback of this method, but the visual helps to reinforce the concept). Station B Showing All Work Teacher led (20 minutes) At this station, there will be a focus on solving questions using a pen and paper and showing all work. This station will feature different questions than the algebra tile table, because decimals and fractions can be represented on paper easily. Start with an example question with decimals and model the solution. Here is an example: 4.5x 3.2 = -18.5 Add 3.2 to each side 4.5x -3.2 (+3.2) = -18.5 (+3.2) 4.5x = -15.3 Divide each side by 4.5 = The solution is: x = -3.4 Verify the solution by putting the answer back into the question to make sure it balances. Check for questions and ensure that all students are focused on the example. Show an example of a question with a fraction. Here is an example: + 3 = 7.2 Subtract 3 from each side + 3 (-3) = 7.2 (-3) = 4.2

## Multiply each side by 4 4x = 4 x 4.2

The solution is: y = 16.8 Verify the solution by putting the answer back into the question to make sure it balances. Ensure that everyone has seen and understood the example. Are there any questions? Students will complete a series of problems to ensure understanding, while being monitored and guided by the teacher. Here are the questions the students will practice at first: Decimal questions a) 5t 2.1 = 8.9 b) 4.2 + 0.5y = 8.1 c) 6 1.2x = 8.4 d) 1.4m 3.6 = 3.4 e) 2x + 1.4 = 7.8 Fraction questions f) +3=5 g) 4 + = -7 h) i) +5=3 1.5 = -7 5

j) 5 =

For those who finish early, more questions can be found in the textbook, Math Makes Sense 9 on page 272-273.

Station C Computer Practice Independent (20 minutes) The students are familiar with http://ca.ixl.com/ because our school has a site license for the program. The Canadian based website is aligned with the Ministry of Educations prescribed learning outcomes for math up to grade 9. The students will log in, so the computer recognizes them. They will choose the link for Grade 9. They will choose the link M.4 Solve Two Step Linear Equations under the heading Solve Equations. The students can practice and the computer gives immediate feedback. If a

## Co-Teaching Assignment #1 - Station Teaching

question is correct, they receive a comment such as Fantastic or Great. If an error is made, it responds with an example of how the question should have been completed with an explanation. The students receive points for each question they correctly answer. For each error, points are deducted. The goal is to reach 100 points. As a school with a site license, we also receive data on each students progress. IXL shows exactly which problems students missed, where students' trouble spots lie, how they've progressed over time, how much knowledge they truly understood and retained (IXL Learning, 2012). The students really enjoy using this program, so it works well as an independent station for the students.

## Co-Teaching Assignment #1 - Station Teaching

Station Teaching Mini-Research Station teaching is method of teaching in which two teachers divide the instructional content, and each takes responsibility for planning and teaching part of it (Timmons, 2008). In the classroom, three stations are set up and each teacher is responsible for teaching the content at their station to a third of the students in the class. In addition, one station is set up so the students have an independent learning area. The students are separated by the teachers into groups that can reflect skill level or... student interest (Friend, 2008). At regular intervals, the students rotate, so that by the end of the lesson each student has attended all of the stations to learn instructional content. Station teaching is a recommended method of teaching (Friend, 2008). The small groups make it easier for the teacher to engage students in hands-on activities and keep an interactive lesson going. At a station, the teacher has the advantage of being able to monitor each students understanding and make adjustments as needed. The small group setting also reduces that number of behaviour concerns because of the teacher to student ratio and the ability to separate students who may not work well together (Friend, 2008). Having smaller groups also allows the student to be exposed to similar material, but groups can be differentiated by level (Zelkowitz, 2008). Because the groups are small, the amount of material covered in a period of time increases, which makes it an efficient method of presenting information. Station teaching is a preferred method for teachers as well. They have clearly defined roles within the co-teaching environment. With each teacher having responsibility for a station, there is no worry about one of the teachers being marginalized as a helper.

## Co-Teaching Assignment #1 - Station Teaching

Furthermore, because two lessons are concurrently happening, each teacher can independently plan for an area or lesson of strength (Zelkowitz, 2008), so students receive optimal instruction throughout a unit. There are a few disadvantages to station teaching, which should be kept in mind. The preparation time for this method of teaching can be time consuming, because three different lessons happen at once (Timmons, 2008). The classroom space itself can be limiting and the noise level will increase exponentially during the lesson with both teachers speaking simultaneously to their groups. Station teaching requires good communication between the two teachers and a sense of timing, so that lessons finish at the same time. Some teachers use a timer, so that everyone knows when the time is up (Friend, 2008). The independent group could potentially be disruptive if they think that the teachers are preoccupied with their respective groups, so the teachers must make a plan to deal with the logistics of this situation before starting. Station teaching is an excellent strategy that should be used often when co-teaching. It is advantageous to teachers and students and can provide smaller groups, more interaction with the teacher and greater access to differentiation.

Reflection on Station Teaching Solving two step linear equations is a lesson I have taught dozens of times in the traditional manner by standing at the front of a class of thirty students. The students who struggled with the concept would wait for me to review information on the overhead, would get individual help after the lesson during the working time, or would get assistance during their Learning Resource block if they had one. With a ratio of 30:1, I didnt always get to

## Co-Teaching Assignment #1 - Station Teaching

everyone to answer their questions and some were too shy to ask questions in front of such a large group. I often had an Education Assistant to help out, but not always. This method is still the way academic lessons are taught in our school to this day, because we do not have coteaching due to funding restraints and decisions made at the district level regarding programming. Having the opportunity to conduct station teaching would be of great benefit to the students in general. I am now the Learning Resource teacher, but I previously taught math. I would be very comfortable leading a group at a station in a math classroom. I also have a good working relationship with the teachers in the math department and they would be willing to have me come into their classes to teach lessons. Being able to teach the students on IEPs in their classrooms would be a fantastic opportunity, rather than always having them come to the LR room for help. They do need individualized assistance sometimes, but the small group lessons would compensate for the reduced one-on-one time in the LR room. Station teaching provides more opportunities to meet the learning outcomes as set out by the Ministry of Education. By teaching the same lesson in three different ways, we could cover concepts using technology, visually and through problem solving. The different means of presenting the material would tap into more of the students learning styles, allowing them to internalize and comprehend the material on a deeper level, rather than having the material presented in one way by the teacher at the front of the room. On the downside, our school does not provide common prep time. In fact, teachers might not even have a prep block in the same semester, so all planning would have to happen outside of school time. Given that there are four math teachers in our school, I might have a

## Co-Teaching Assignment #1 - Station Teaching

difficult time scheduling time to plan and that would be frustrating given everyones busy timetable. It might actually be the downfall of starting a co-teaching program at our school. I also have concerns about the students on IEPs when they are at the independent station. One student would have an Education Assistant accompany him because of his severe Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, but the others may get frustrated that they cant get help during this phase of the lesson. The student with severe behaviour concerns would definitely try to take advantage of the situation, because he is an opportunist. The supervision around the independent station would have to be carefully planned and executed. Overall, I think this method is an excellent way to meet the needs of the students in the class. We dont have co-teaching at our school yet, but I am starting to wonder if it can be integrated in some manner in the upcoming year.