Our "Planning To Teach" math project consisted in making a video of us teaching math to a kid of grade and age appropriate for the level we desire to teach. We had the privilege to work with a beautiful first grader girl named Melanie Rodriguez.
As part of our lesson and as a tool to introduce Melanie to subtraction, we read "Monster Musical Chairs", a book that tells the story of six goofy monsters playing musical chairs. The game began with music playing, six monsters and five chairs. As the game proceeds, chairs and monsters are being eliminated one by one, until there is only one monster and one chair left.
The objectives for our lesson were for Melanie to learn to subtract ...view middle of the document...
For example; if she had one monster, she would place the one monster over the flash card with the number one on it and so forth.
We believe both methods were effective. With the taking away model, Melanie was able to recreate the story by actually removing monsters and chairs herself. She gained a better understanding of the concept of subtraction and found a connection, not only to the book but also things she had already learned at school. With the number line model, she was able to see the number, not just hear it and picture it in her head; therefore making that connection, something we were looking for with the use of manipulatives.
What was not effective about those two methods was that it may not have been challenging enough for Melanie. She was able to figure out the answer to each subtraction question in a matter of seconds and quickly moving the manipulatives around and placing them in the correct spot according to the directions given.
We were very surprised about Melanie's responses to questions she was asked prior and throughout the lesson. She is a bright young girl and perhaps we didn't challenge her enough. As we reviewed the video, we noticed that we only subtracted and added up to ten. Prior to the taping of the video, we asked her how far she count and if she knew how to count in 5s. She responded, "I know how to count up to 100 and also count in 5s," she showed us she could and did it perfectly. However, we didn't think to add more manipulatives to our lesson, and I believe that if we would have, we would have challenge her mind a bit more and actually take a moment to think about her answer.
When she was asked questions about the game "musical chairs" and she has ever heard of it at birthday parties for example, she said no. We then talked about it and gave her general explanation about the game and its rules; it only took a few minutes for her to understand the concept of it. She did really well when we used the taking-away model. We could see she was really paying attention and anxious to answer. She was coming up with the answer really fast, that even a few times she had to stop and count again to make sure she had answered correctly.
We were very surprised on...