Background

Measurement is a difficult subject to address in my eighth and ninth grade courses. When students come into my room 50% of the students know how to measure and 50% of them have no clue. When deciding to address the learning gaps, I decided that there were enough students that didn’t know how to measure so the entire class would participate in the lecture.

During the lecture based lesson, I called for answers and received them quickly from the students who already knew how to measure. Being comfortable with what I was saying and being reaffirmed by quick responses from students, I assumed that the lesson was a success.

Reality

After I completed the lesson, students were then expected to know how to measure to a 1/16” accuracy on their projects. I was disappointed to find that about the same number of students still did not know how to measure properly. Looking back at the lesson, I realized that I did not address the needs of the students who did not know how to measure, and my lesson should have been focused on these learners.

Instructional Design to the Rescue

The planning phase is essential to a successful project, and a part of the process is learner analysis. In specifically analyzing the students who did not know how to measure, I would have developed a lesson that would have better met their needs. I could have asked myself and the students with the need what kind of experiences with measurement they have had, how have they been taught to measure in the past, and how they feel about math subjects. By analyzing theses learner more in depth, I could have formulated a better lesson for them.

Application

Since that failure of a lesson, I have approached measurement very differently in my classroom. Although I did not formally run through the learner analysis laid out in ADDIE, (because I didn’t know about it), I did recognize that there had to be a better way of reaching these students.

I ended up having conversations with these students about their learning to determine how to approach the subject. From this knowledge, I was able to build a new approach, that tackles the issue from more than one angle.

New Approaches to Addressing Learning Gaps

Students often don’t want to learn something until they need to know it, so I have put more emphasis in creating attractive projects that students will want to build which also requirethem to know how to measure. With these motivating projects, I now have students who come to me asking how to measure.

Measurement is more easily taught in a one on one or small group setting, where it is easier to check for understanding. As I discover students do not know how to measure, I pull them aside and have honest conversations about their ability. Most admit that they do not know how to measure and then I can take next steps.

References

Greer, M. (2010). Theprojectmanagementminimalist: JustenoughPMtorockyourprojects! (Laureate custom ed.). Baltimore: Laureate Education, Inc.

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