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1st Grade Math - Developing Student Understanding of Non-Standard and Standard Measurement

Clip 17/17: Sola 1st Grade Debrief


In her reflection / debrief immediately after the lesson, Tracy Sola shares her thoughts on her practice and the students’ learning.

Teacher Commentary

My plan had been to give them one cube and have them use it iteratively, and then to give them more cubes and have them stack cubes, and see if their iterative measurement matched their cube train measurement. But I changed my plan mid-lesson because, when I saw that some kids were using a number line and weren't using the cubes at all, I didn't want to force the lesson in a certain way, because they were using a strategy that they had invented for themselves (and most of the class did that). And so, I didn't want to negate that strategy as being invalid.

So, I just decided not to go in that direction, and to talk instead about all the different strategies we saw, because that's where the kids were. 

In watching these videos, I’m really struck by those one-to-one conversations between the students, when I asked them to turn-and-talk; just how much knowledge the kids have, but how hard it is for them to explain it to somebody else in a coherent way. 

And it makes me really think about how to take everything they’re saying and validate it and artfully weave it together and move them forward without doing the work for them. I kept thinking about that as I was watching all those conversations. I wish I had heard them all.

If I were to follow up on this lesson, I would like to talk about a vertical number line and the need for a consistent scale. The numbers basically were the scale, but their numbers were all different sizes. I thought it would be a really interesting investigation with them because we could all remember the number line, use a same-sized line, and figure out why we all get different numbers at the end. That’s what's important because that really relates to the footstep problem.

Materials & Artifacts