March 08, 2013
Expert Corner: Lesson Materials give teachers choices
Dan Moriarty is a curriculum writer and editor for ExploreLearning, and our chief "demo movie" maker for Gizmos and Reflex. He holds a Master's degree from the University of Virginia in secondary math education, and he taught high school math before joining ExploreLearning.
The new Lesson Materials consist of four documents (Student Exploration Sheet, Answer Key, Teacher Guide, and Vocabulary Sheet), each available as either a Word document (for easy editing) or a .pdf (for smaller file size and consistent formatting). The full lesson materials provide teachers with a convenient, ready-to-use lesson plan.
The Student Exploration Sheet is ExploreLearning's version of a student worksheet, with an emphasis on inquiry. Every Student Exploration Sheet begins with Prior Knowledge Questions and a short Gizmo Warm-up on page 1. After that, there are usually 2-3 activities from which teachers can choose.
Occasionally, we hear from teachers that the Student Exploration Sheets (SE) are longer than they expect — quite a bit longer than a traditional worksheet, for example. They are often 4-6 pages in total length. But we certainly do not expect teachers to assign an entire Student Exploration Sheet to their students — at least, not all at once.
Typically, we recommend that teachers assign page 1 of the SE plus one activity at a time for students. Depending on the length of the activity, that’s just 2-3 pages total.
We include multiple activities in most SE’s to give teachers options. It’s built-in differentiated instruction! Generally, you should find that Activity A includes “the basics” of the lesson, while later activities address more advanced topics or provide further practice. So, you could assign part of your class page 1 of the SE (prior knowledge questions and the warm-up exercise) plus Activity A, while assigning other students who are ready for more page 1 plus Activity B.
We hope that our Student Exploration Sheets make your job of teaching effectively with Gizmos easier, giving you choices in appropriate material for students.
And, don’t forget that if you use the Word versions of the Student Exploration Sheets, you can further customize them for use in your classroom.
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