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6th Grade Math - Rates - Price School

Clip 5/6: Post Lesson - Part 2


Observers who were not part of the lesson planning team reflect on their observations. The teacher shares the development of the unit by a group over time. The students were able to self-correct because of the context and use of sentence. Other observers share stories about how students thinking about units changed over time during the lesson.

Teacher Commentary

COACH LINDA FISHER: I value the lesson study process and how it allows us to step back and watch learning happen. Observers can concentrate on a pair of students for the whole lesson, rather than in teaching where we hear only bits and pieces as we move around the round.

Listening to the groups, I am amazed at how students tried to think about fractional ideas, number to total or number used to number not used. It gives me insight into why these mathematical ideas are confusing to students. We write fractions and rates with the same representation, but are expressing very different mathematical ideas. This can help us think about the types of questions to ask in the classroom to help push student thinking or the types of activities needed to bring out these differences in a way that students can compare and contrast fractions and rates.

I was intrigued by the group that focused on a single number. "I counted four or seven." As an adult, it seems so obvious that two numbers are involved objects and time. But for students that is a huge leap from counting to a compound unit of objects and time. What activities help students move from single number thinking, such as I have 3 pieces of pizza versus 3/8 of a pizza, or I counted 4 cubes versus 4 cubes per second?

I am also fascinated by the idea of students being uncomfortable with 3.5/1 and wanting to change to 7/2. Do we provide students with "comfortable numbers," whole numbers, too much? When numbers always come out even in the book, what message does that give students? The observational data helps me think about what activities or experiences students need as the unit is developed and what questions I should be asking.