O2 – Offer appropriate challenge in the content area. This program standard highlights the teacher’s ability to plan and/or develop curricula that is standards driven so that students will develop understanding and problem-solving skills in the specific content area. The evidence presented is several journal prompt entries for mathematics. The journal prompt on the top is the hardest problem, then in the middle is harder, and the bottom is hard. Students may feel uncomfortable or incapable depending on their selection if these were labeled beginner, intermediate, or expert. Therefore, these prompts are labeled as hardest, harder, and hard in order to provide students with appropriate challenge levels in a manner that builds confidence and promotes students to strive to solve more difficult problems.
This evidence demonstrates math journal prompts that are derived based upon the state standards. Furthermore, they are developed so that the prompts will meet the needs of the various skill levels of students in the class. Having prompts that are appropriate for skill level will help support students to be able to develop deeper understanding and problem-solving skills. If problems are too difficult or too easy, then students will not be deepening their understanding or furthering their problem-solving skills because these problems would be solved with many mistakes or little effort.
This has benefited me in that I now realize the importance of finding appropriate challenges within all content areas that are derived from the state standards. This alignment will ensure that students are learning things vital to their success in future mathematical lessons and in following lessons or units. Also, working in a highly diversified school has taught me to provide appropriate challenge levels for all students in the class. This journal prompt is a great way to facilitate learning that is appropriate for the various skill levels identified within the class. It also provides a way for students to have some involvement within their learning process. Students are given the choice of which journal prompt to select. This gives students a sense of ownership and accomplishment when they can successfully answer a journal prompt they choose in order to challenge themselves. Students were able to learn in ways that is appropriate to their skill level in the mathematics unit. Providing prompts or problems that are challenging enough that causes students to tap into their prior knowledge of what they have learned and what they are learning will appropriately challenge them.
In the future, I would like to continue to create lessons that are standards based and provide every student with an appropriate challenge level. As we know students are individualized in their learning and that no two students learn in the same fashion. Due to this fact, teachers must different and individualize instruction to better meet the needs of each individual student. Providing journal prompts with various difficulties is a way to ensure that a student is receiving an appropriately challenged problem. I plan to continue to assess students in my class and to provide appropriate work so that they are not only successful but are challenged to deepen their understanding and to improve their problem-solving skills.