Saturday, January 15, 2011

Tell Me and I Forget ... Involve Me and I Understand

As a 3rd grade associate this week, I watched a veteran teacher guide students to an understanding of the use of a coordinate grid. Prior to this lesson, they had used a map with letters on the horizontal axis and numbers on the vertical axis to locate cities. This time numbers were on both axes. The class discussed if this would cause any problems. About half thought it might. One student plotted the point (3,2). The teacher asked if anyone had a different location in mind. Another student placed a point in another location. The class discussed the problem. Next, the teacher explained the rule that solves the problem and results in each set of coordinates identifying only one point. I thoroughly enjoyed watching the students discuss their ideas with their shoulder partners and with the whole class. This lesson is an excellent example of involving kids in their learning.

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