I was very nervous going into the experience as the lesson we were presenting was only created the previous day. Talking with the art teachers was comforting but also interesting. After giving them a run down of our lesson they had some questions that I had never thought of. I said the students would need construction paper to create their project and the teachers asked what size of paper the students needed. I just assumed there would be normal letter size; it never occurred to me that construction paper came in more than one size.
After hearing the students that taught the day before I was under the impression that the students understood and did well with working with fractions. I was incorrect in thinking that our lesson would go the same way. I didn’t do a good job with explaining what they were going to be doing for the day. One girl wasn’t in class the previous day when they used circles and she made it very clear that she did not know what was going on and was coarse when I tried to help her. I tried to explain it a few ways and she always responded with I don’t know what’s going on. I tried asking if there was a different way I could help her and she wanted nothing to do with me or my help, this was the first time I’ve ever encountered a student like that, it was unsettling but something I need to get used to.
I noticed that after explaining that they had the freedom to create their own stencil, the majority of them did not create a stencil and went on to create their project. When going around to the tables, I asked some of the students who did not have a stencil what fractions of the whole their pieces were. Many had to go back and we figured it out together. I told the students that they had to keep track of the fractions that they used, but didn’t tell them how to organize it. I liked the variety of organization that the students used, from a map with the fractions on it to a table with them.
When it was time to add the fractions together majority of the students had challenges. It was nice to be able to talk it out with some of them and help them, but I wish I had the rime to go around to all the students and hear their understanding rather than just seeing their math. I think it would be good to have more time dedicated to this lesson. The 50 minutes we used could easily be doubled in order to provide adequate time for creating, analyzing, and reflecting. It was very clear that the students needed more time working with the concept of fractions in regards to a whole, and with adding fractions.