Saturday, 5 January 2013

Full unit plan on place value, worth $1,000,000,000 price free

At my school, we are required to submit our planners via the Ultranet (a Victoria state government mandated version of the intranet but for each individual school - I won't comment on its merits or otherwise here). Most teachers at my school - including myself - prepare their planning weekly, either during class specialist times or over the weekend. I know compared to some schools the planning requirements of mine are relatively elaborate; however, I do believe that overall they are beneficial.

As a student-teacher, I'd planned on a day-by-day basis, which worked well for placements. However, I found that during my first six months of teaching as a full-time teacher (now ongoing) planning on a week-by-week basis was rather confusing and didn't aid me to really understand where I was trying to take my students and the ultimate goals of a unit. It also didn't encourage me to actively research and locate teaching techniques for the relevant topic and resources past anything I considered necessary for the next five days of teaching.

Accordingly, I'm trialling planning on a unit-by-unit basis this year, such that one week I might plan three weeks ahead for mathematics for a place value unit; the next I might plan my next writing unit; the next reading and so forth. This will make my planning more user-friendly for future years, which for someone who plans to be a career teacher is invaluable. This is my first attempt at a lesson-by-lesson, whole unit plan that spans approximately four weeks. It is based on the first numeracy topic for the year for the 5/6 area - place value - and having cleared it with my numeracy coach, who thought it was 'excellent', he urged me to share it with my team; I thought I'd go one better having done that and now share it with the world.

For numeracy, I generally run two lessons in a row that are fairly similar. This allows me to assist students who either self-identify or I identify as needing help during the first session and then check the understanding of other students to allow assessment for learning. The second session then ensures that I can call to the floor students who did not grasp the skill during the first session and, for those students who excelled, make the material more challenging or set them a special type of project for that hour. I check for this understanding using the math dictionaries and also by inspecting students' math books after the first session in each two session sequence. I also run a differentiated, year seven type of program for those students who score extremely highly on the pre-test, which I'm expecting four of my grade sixes to achieve given the preliminary nature of this topic.

I'm very happy for you to use this whole unit plan and pass it on to others around your school or elsewhere. That is the purpose of this site: collaboration. However, I do request that as a courtesy you either share it through the medium of this blog or mention this blog in passing it on. (WALT stands for We are Learning To and is another phrase for the learning intention of the session). Google place value houses, number expanders, expanded notation and decimats if you're unsure what they are; I probably wouldn't have found half of these if I hadn't researched place value in order to plan the unit as a whole.

I've copied it below but the link to the word doc is here for easier viewing: Place value unit plan

As a final celebratory type of lesson before the post-test, or to revise ascending and descending order as well as how to write numbers in words and digits mid-unit, I came across this show which students could watch, record numbers in two columns (digits and words) and pause to order numbers at different points. There's heaps of different clips of it on YouTube, all very entertaining as well as educational for this unit:

If you have taught any other lessons on place value or know of any other resources that could enhance this unit, please share them via a comment.  

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