This week I taught a math lesson and it was very out of my comfort zone since I haven’t taken any math classes myself since I was in grade 10. However I thought it went well considering. What I thought went well was that the students seemed very engaged in the introductory discussion about estimation, all were very eager to explain what estimation was and how we can use it in everyday life. I had some prompts prepared just in case, but I found I didn’t use them because the students all had great ideas to share. They also seemed very interested in the activity about estimation, which was where they chose an object (eraser, pencil, etc.) to measure something with (door, book, etc.) but before, they used their estimation skills to guess how much it would be without actually measuring.
What didn’t go as planned is that some of the students didn’t fully understand the activity on what they were supposed to do. I had to go back and explain more in depth about what I wanted them to do and give a few examples of how I wanted them to do it, so obviously I could have elaborated on my instruction more. I also had planned in my lesson to show an example in front of the class of how to do the activity but I just forgot about it, until I realized that the students were having troubles with understanding completely at finishing the activity.
What I would change if I ever taught this lesson again would be the instruction, I would definitely give a lot more instruction and examples of the activity so that no one was confused about what they were supposed to do. I also would change my handout because I asked the students to measure something with their object and then afterwards, get a ruler and actually measure the object again and find out what the measurement actually is in centimeters. This is where many of the students got confused on where they were supposed to estimate with their objects they chose and then again with the rulers.
Something I learned this week is that it can be very challenging to try to explain things to your students when you think you have explained it in every way you possibly can and they still don’t fully understand it. It is hard to explain things when you personally understand completely and don’t understand how the students don’t understand it! I always got frustrated when my teachers wouldn’t explain things in depth and left me feeling confused about what was expected of me. This week I experienced this from the teacher perspective, which was equally frustrating.