One of the essential academic learning requirements (EALR) for third grade mathematics is for students to be able to round whole numbers through 10,000 to the nearest ten, hundred, and thousand (OSPI, n.d.). This reflection post will be a brief lesson plan for the direct instructional method approach. The reason for using direct instruction approach is the effectiveness it has towards the teaching of facts, rules, and actions of sequences (Borich, 2010). Additionally, this approach has a greater emphasis on the teacher rather than in the indirect approach where the responsibility shifts towards the students (Scheuerman, 2013). Using direct instructional approach will be a simple and precise method to teach students what are whole numbers, specific number places, and concepts of rounding.
The first strategy of the direction instructional approach is a daily review and checking session. The primary function of this is to emphasize the relationships between lessons or knowledge previously learned (Borich, 2010). For this example students were given a worksheet to identify specific number places of either tenths, hundredths, and thousandths – then students will trade papers in class with a partner to correct and grade. By doing so, the teacher will gain useful information on whether or not the students have learned sufficiently to further proceed in the math unit (Borich, 2010).
The second strategy consists of presenting and structuring new content. For lesson would take the approach of sequential relationship which is the structuring of content through ordering – teaching content so that students will master the EALR goal of rounding whole numbers to the tenth, hundredth, or thousandths. By beginning with a homework assignment for students to identify number places, it will become obvious if students are ready to begin rounding numbers to the specific number place. The overall approach would take a sequential approach of learning what whole numbers are (this should be prior knowledge), recognizing number places, and being able to round to the nearest place.
The third strategy is guided student practice. This results in presenting stimulus material and then eliciting practice which is directed by the teacher and done of the desired behavior (Borich, 2010). One aspect of guided student practice is providing prompts, hints, and any other type of supplementary instruction. This lesson section would primarily involve verbal prompting so that students can be reminded of proper place values and to indicate which numbers should to be rounded. Likewise, modeling is another form of guided student practice. This would be achieved through the teacher demonstrating the proper way or ways to finding the solution. The teacher may be beginning to introduce the concepts of rounder numbers to the specific place and would demonstrate rounding the number 1,355 to the nearest hundredths. Teachers model because they want their students to be able to repeat the same actions when they are longer present (Borich, 2010). Additionally, students can be visual learners or need to see a problem completed once in order to gain a firmer grasp of new concepts.
The next strategy is to provide feedback and correctives. According to Borich (2010) students will respond in four different approaches: correct, quick, and firm; correct but hesitant; incorrect due to carelessness; and incorrect due to lack of knowledge (p. 238). Depending on the response to problem example, the teacher need to review information, explain the steps, prompt with clues or hints, or using different but similar problem to guide the student to the correct answer (p. 240). For example, if a student is struggling with which place is the tens and the hundreds – then it would be appropriate to review this information.
Finally, provide students with the opportunity for independent practice. This will result in unitization, which is the individual unit or steps in the problem-solving and automaticity, which is to connect the unit into the entire sequence (Scheuerman, 2013). Students here will practice problems on their own while the teacher can circulate to provide feedback or assistance when required.
The purpose for using direct instructional approach is to teach facts and content through active teaching and re-teaching if necessary. Through this approach students will learn in a sequential order of what whole numbers representing, number place values, and ultimately to learn how to round to the nearest number.
Borich, G.D. (2010). Effective teaching methods: research-based practice. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.
Scheuerman, R. (2013, April 29). EDU 6150 Course Lecture – Session 5: Direct and indirect instruction.
Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (n.d.). Retrieved April 21, 2013 from http://www.k12.wa.us/CurriculumInstruct/learningstandards.aspx