Autumnsfall2's Blog

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Lift the lesson out of the textbook and into the learner’s life

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Teacher Stephen Lee engages the student with a hands-on project of staining pencil boxes. He said the project was successful because the task “lifted the lesson out of the textbook and into the learner’s life.” He engaged by showing a finished pencil box and presents the challenge of how much stain is needed for the project. He said that he was going to go to the hardware store to buy stain and asked the students what Mr. Cunningham at the store would ask him. A student stated the task, “How much stain do you need?” Mr. Lee restated the task to find out the total area of the box so they’ll know how much stain to buy. He provides information on how much area the stain will cover: 1 point covers about 25 square feet. He provides them with wood pieces be measured, calculator, ruler, pencil, and paper. The learners work in groups proposing their ideas. The learners apparently have worked in groups, as they discuss and disagree amiably. Learners have assumed roles in the group:  recorder, calculator, and one who measures. Mr. Lee asks them to tell him what they are doing. He clarifies his understanding and encourages, “Wonderful!” Evidence of their thinking is in their conversation, their recording, and their behavior.  He gives a 5 minute warning by ringing a bell. He advises to estimate what has not been measured and decide on a recommendation for the amount of stain to be bought.  When they met to share information, he recorded their totals for area in square feet, volume of stain, and cost of stain. Group recommendations did not agree. He posed another question, “What in the world am I going to tell Mr. Cunningham?” The students began to estimate the area of 26 boxes in comarison to the size of the room. As they discussed their ideas, they realized their errors. The answers began to converge. He wondered how they could check their answers. A student suggested that the class work together. (Source:

Written by autumnsfall2

November 12, 2010 at 4:06 am

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. I like how you level your thinking of gemotry at level 1.
    I choose level and 1 and 2,I think I am in between. But you had alot of points with discussing the videos.

    shakeya stokes

    November 24, 2010 at 4:49 am

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