Math Observation, 8th grade

I recently observed in a math 8th grade resource room.  The lesson reminded me of the Hope principle O1. – Offer an organized curriculum aligned to standards and outcomes.  Taking this principle into consideration will enable me to provide my students with instruction that is geared towards learning goals that use the appropriate standards as a guide.  Another key word in this HOPE principal is the word organized.  This teacher had placed rulers and the worksheet that were necessary to complete the in class lesson on each students desk prior to the students arriving.  This allowed the teacher to maximize the time spent on student learning.  The lesson for the day was working on the state Grade Level Standards listed below:


8.2.F Demonstrate the Pythagorean Theorem and its converse and apply them to solve problems.

8.2.G Apply the Pythagorean Theorem to determine the distance between two points on the coordinate plane.

The teacher had put together an activity that would require students to find the distance between two locations on an x-y coordinate grid.  The locations were places that the students would be interested in going to which increased the engagement level.  This was not the first time the students had been working on the Pythagorean Theorem.  The in class activity was also an appropriate challenge for the students.  In order for the students to find the different lengths or sides to the triangles, they had to first create right triangles that would enable them to apply the Pythagorean Theorem.  The teacher modeled how to find the first side for the students, at the same time, the student was very active in checking on each students work to make sure they were participating fully and understanding the steps.  This involved moving around the room and checking in with each student.  After modeling the first step, the teacher asked students to then find the length of another side to the triangle.  The teacher was checking in with her students as they were working, and assisting or providing the necessary scaffolding that some students required.  The teacher then asked for a student volunteer to model how they solved the problem on the overhead.  There were several hands that went up.  The teacher did an eeny-meeny-miny-moe type of game to choose the student. This made for a fun atmosphere.


I found watching this teacher to be a very worthwhile.  The students were well behaved, engaged, and putting forth a great effort.  The teacher was prepared for the students, and created an activity that seemed challenging, aligned to standards, and also fun.  I was invited to stop by anytime, I will have to do so.