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1.

My fourth grade math classroom at Webling Elementary School is considered to be


the higher level math course. There are twenty-six students in the class, comprising of ten
girls and sixteen boys. None of the students are MLL or ELL or Sped students, but there is
one student who is in the gifted and talented program. The students come from a variety of
different backgrounds and home life. Not including myself, my mentor teacher is the only
adult that teaches the class. When I am present for the math class on Wednesdays and
Thursdays, I observe the students while walking around the classroom and asking them
questions about their work or correcting the speed drills that my mentor teacher uses to
begin class.

2.

The standard that I chose from the list of standards on Common Core is:

CCSS.Math.Content.4.OA.A.3
Solve multistep word problems posed with whole numbers and having whole-number
answers using the four operations, including problems in which remainders must be
interpreted. Represent these problems using equations with a letter standing for the
unknown quantity. Assess the reasonableness of answers using mental computation and
estimation strategies including rounding.

This means to be able to solve problems using expressions or equations including
addition, multiplication, multiplication or division with a letter that stands for the unknown
quantity.

I modeled my assessment tool to a similar assessment that my mentor teacher uses
that she attaches when she hands back to the students.



This is the assessment tool that I created to observe my student on this standard:



OA.3
(I can solve
problems using
expressions or
equations with
a letter that
stands for the
unknown
quantity)

EXCEEDS
4
I can solve
problems using
expressions or
equations with
a letter that
stands for the
unknown
quantity with
ease and
accuracy.

MET
3
I can solve
problems using
expressions or
equations with
a letter that
stands for the
unknown
quantity with
fluency, but
with minor
calculation
errors.

APPROACHES
2
I attempt to
solve problems
using
expressions or
equations with
a letter that
stands for the
unknown
quantity.

NOT MET
1
I am unable to
or make no
attempt to solve
the problem
with
expressions or
equations with a
letter that
stands for the
unknown
quantity.


3.

My mentor teacher recommended a student named Reid to do my assessment on
since he is in my mentor teachers homeroom and math class and is considered to be an
average leveled math student. I looked at Reids math homework from September 25,
2014 and his chapter test from October 2, 2014. I also gave a challenge question to the
whole class on October 2nd and talked to Reid after the class to see what he thought about
the question.

This is a photo of Reids homework from September 25, 2014:

EXCEEDS

MET

APPROACHES

NOT MET


OA.3
(I can solve
problems using
expressions or
equations with
a letter that
stands for the
unknown
quantity)

4
I can solve
problems using
expressions or
equations with
a letter that
stands for the
unknown
quantity with
ease and
accuracy.

3
I can solve
problems using
expressions or
equations with
a letter that
stands for the
unknown
quantity with
fluency, but
with minor
calculation
errors.

2
I attempt to
solve problems
using
expressions or
equations with
a letter that
stands for the
unknown
quantity.

1
I am unable to
or make no
attempt to solve
the problem
with
expressions or
equations with a
letter that
stands for the
unknown
quantity.



Looking at his homework, I can tell that he exceeds this standard because he did not
have any miscalculations with his work and was able to plug in numbers that represents
each symbol. Reid also showed the quantity of each symbol for each equation to back up
how he was able to get his solution.


This is a photo of the last questions of Reids chapter test that my mentor teacher
created. He took the test on October 2, 2014:



EXCEEDS

MET

APPROACHES

NOT MET


OA.3
(I can solve
problems using
expressions or
equations with
a letter that
stands for the
unknown
quantity)

4
I can solve
problems using
expressions or
equations with
a letter that
stands for the
unknown
quantity with
ease and
accuracy.

3
I can solve
problems using
expressions or
equations with
a letter that
stands for the
unknown
quantity with
fluency, but
with minor
calculation
errors.

2
I attempt to
solve problems
using
expressions or
equations with
a letter that
stands for the
unknown
quantity.

1
I am unable to
or make no
attempt to solve
the problem
with
expressions or
equations with a
letter that
stands for the
unknown
quantity.



Using my assessment tool, I found that he was able to solve problems with accuracy
and with the correct labeling for the last two questions. He also was able to write out his
work on the side of the first two problems to show understanding of what the directions
were asking.


Lastly, I gave a challenge problem for the whole class to try after taking their test. I
modeled this problem from an activity (14.9) that I found on page 267 of Elementary and
Middle School Mathematics Teaching Developmentally 8th Edition by John A. Can De Walle,
Karen S. Karp and Jennifer M. Bay-Williams. The textbook suggests that students find the
weight of a football, baseball and soccer ball. However, since my class did not go over
decimal points yet, I had to revise the problem using whole numbers and the weight of a
watermelon, apple, and a pineapple:

Reids work for this problem looked like this:




This problem was a bit more challenging because I wanted to see if he was able to
understand the concept of the unknown numbers, instead of using the guess and check
method.

EXCEEDS
MET
APPROACHES
NOT MET

4
3
2
1
OA.3
I can solve
I can solve
I attempt to
I am unable to
(I can solve
problems using problems using solve problems or make no
problems using expressions or
expressions or
using
attempt to solve
expressions or
equations with equations with expressions or
the problem
equations with a letter that
a letter that
equations with with
a letter that
stands for the
stands for the
a letter that
expressions or
stands for the
unknown
unknown
stands for the
equations with a
unknown
quantity with
quantity with
unknown
letter that
quantity)
ease and
fluency, but
quantity.
stands for the
accuracy.
with minor
unknown
calculation
quantity.
errors.


According to the assessment tool, he is able to solve for the unknowns of the
problem accurately using the method of guess and check, but I would like to see him see the
pattern between the three equations and solve it that way. For example he could have
solved the problem like this:


4.

Name
Reid



This is a table that combines Reids work that I have assessed.
9/25 Homework

10/2 Chapter
Test
Exceeds. I can tell
Exceeds. I found that
that he exceeds this he was able to solve
standard because he problems with
did not have any
accuracy and with
miscalculations with the correct labeling
his work and was
for the last two
able to plug in
questions. He also
numbers that
was able to write out
represents each
his work on the side
symbol. Reid also
of the first two
showed the quantity problems to show
of each symbol for
understanding of
each equation to
what the directions
back up how he was were asking.
able to get his

10/2 Challenge
Exceeds. According
to the assessment
tool, he is able to
solve for the
unknowns of the
problem accurately
using the method of
guess and check, but
I would like to see
him see the pattern
between the three
equations and solve
it that way.

solution.

For this standard, I feel that Reid needs to be exposed to different problems that
take creativity to solve. I noticed with the work that was given to him for his homework
and chapter test, the answers were easily solved with the guess and check method. He still
needs to work on the ability to see the patterns that the problem represents to figure out
his solution. Giving bigger problems that needs to be worked out will help him to develop a
deeper understanding of how to solve for the unknown problem.

5.

The challenge problem (Activity 14.9) that I found in the Van de Walle textbook was
one of the activities that I engaged Reid in at the end of his test. The other two activities
that I researched is a balancing scale activity that can be found on page 264 (activity 14.5)
and activity 14.7 on page 265 of the Van de Walle textbook.

For activity 14.5, I would draw on the board a balance with a numeric expression on
each side. The students have write whether if the scale will be balanced or when it tilts with
a less than or greater than symbol. Students will then make their own equations up using
different variables then solving to figure out which side the balance will tilt.

For activity 14.7, I will write open sentences on the board and have one of the
numbers replaced with a box or letter. Students will then decide what number makes the
sentence true. They will then have to explain their thinking.

For Reid, I think that the best activity to help him see the patterns between
equations would be to do activity 14.9 so that he can see how equations balance out. Then
he will be able to develop seeing different patterns between the equations.

6.

The engagement and results of the activity that I engaged the student in is the last
activity (activity 14.9 or challenge activity) in the third section of this paper.

7.
What was my role in the situation?

I think that my role in the situation was purely to observe the student by watching
what they need to work on and if they met the standard. For the most part, the student was
able to understand the different concepts, but next time I would like to be more hands-on
with him and have an interview of what he could have done better and what I could have
done to maybe explain the concept a different way.

So what does this tell me/imply about my teaching etc?

This taught me that most math problems can be easily computed for the child, but as
a teacher you want to see if the student actually understands the concepts. I feel that after
teaching the math problem to the whole class and watching the whole class struggle with it,
as a teacher I need to give them background knowledge first before beginning to solve the
problem.

Now what do I need to do to improve situation/prevent recurrence?


I feel that I need to start my lesson off with instructions on how to get to the solution
before just handing a problem out to the students. I think they would have been able to
understand the problem if I at least helped them get the problem started instead of
expecting that they already know how to get to the answer.

8.
Self-Assessment:

I met the criteria listed on page 2 by making sure that I prepared everything that I
needed for this assignment. I made sure that I had evidence to support my thinking by
taking photos of the students work. I think that my work is above and beyond expectations
because I followed everything that was listed and explained my reasoning.



Peer-Assessment:
I really liked reading about Kendras reflections and suggestions for Reids growth
in math. Kendra was able to see that Reid may need to work with more creative problems
to keep him better engaged in math activities. She was also able to reflect on the way she
introduced the problem, critiquing her own teaching method. This shows traits of a good
educator. I could see these traits at the end of number four and when she answered the So
What? and Now What? question in number seven. Kendra has met the requirements on
page 1 of the rubric, specifically in the EDTPA section, develop and apply knowledge of
varied students needs and reflect on and analyze evidence of the effects of instruction on
student learning.
Kendras numbered sections make it clear that she has met all other criteria for this
assignment and has exceeded expectations by giving a rubric for each assignment,
including photos, and by critically reflecting on her experience.
-Peer assessed by:

A., Van De Walle John, Karen Karp, and Jennifer M. Bay-Williams. "Developing Early

Number Concepts and Early Number Sense." Elementary and Middle School

Mathematics: Teaching Developmentally. N.p.: Pearson, n.d. 140. Print.