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Introduction to Math Content Strand

Ms. Jacobs enjoys using technology-- particularly the powerful PowerPoint-- to improve teaching and learning in mathematics.

Ms. Jacob's Biosketch: Diane Jacobs has been teaching for five years.




sparksMs. Sparks' Biosketch: Joell Sparks has been teaching for three years.




classroomClassroom Setting: The video clips are taken from two periods of Algebra 1A students, all of whom failed Algebra in the previous year. In period 2, there are 37 students, 9 of whom have identified special needs and 23 of whom are English learners. In period 3, there are 28 eighth grade students, 19 of whom are English learners. The students are predominantly Latino. Four of the students have been identified as having special learning needs. Two teacher aides are also present in the classroom during these class periods.

Fitz SchoolSchool Setting: Fitz Intermediate, in the Garden Grove Unified School District, is a Title 1 school with a high percentage of students receiving free or reduced lunches. Approximately 68% of the student body is Hispanic.

Lesson Plan Summary: This lesson uses an interactive PowerPoint presentation to involve students in making sense of math word problems. The lesson begins with a video clip of cartoon characters speaking nonsense words, which is a lot like what students hear when they read a math word problem. Students work both individually and in small groups to identify cues for algebraic formulas, both "real" and made up. Two teacher aides complement the instruction and provide important support to special education and English learner students.