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Planning Commentary
1. What is the central focus of the learning segment? Apart from being present in the school curriculum, student academic content standards, or ELD or other language-specific standards, why is the content of the learning segment important and how is it meaningful for your particular students to learn? (TPE 1) The central focus of this learning segment is modeling many different situations with mathematics. Modeling with mathematics is the fourth Common Core Standard for Mathematical Practice, which states that Mathematically proficient students can apply the mathematics they know to solve problems arising in everyday life, society, and the workplace. Realizing that math can be used to describe many different contexts is important for students because it helps them to see math as a useful tool that is not limited to the classroom. In the article Choosing Mathematical Tasks, Linda Dacey and Rebeka Eston (1999) state that The significance of mathematics is also increased when the generalization math is everywhere is addressed explicitly (p. 76). Providing and having students generate concrete examples of mathematical modeling is important to build this understanding. When students see that mathematical strategies can be applied to many situations, they are more likely to be motivated to learn and to independently use modeling with mathematics as a problem-solving tool. In this kindergarten classroom, students are beginning to develop their ideas of what math is, what it is for, and when to use it. In an oral survey that I administered to every student, 12 of the 20 students answered the question When do you use math? with some variation of at school or in the morning after recess. One student answered that he uses math When the teachers say. These responses demonstrate that students have almost exclusively designated math as being a teacher-directed activity confined to schoolwork, rather than as a tool that they can use themselves, anywhere or at any time, to solve a variety of problems. By focusing on how we can use math to tell stories and describe many different situations, students will practice extending mathematical reasoning and conceptual understanding beyond computational proficiency. This type of practice will enable students to use math independently, applying it to contexts of their own (real or imaginary). 2. Briefly describe the theoretical framework and/or research that inform your instructional design for developing your students knowledge and abilities in both mathematics and academic language during the learning segment. This lesson sequence is designed to provide students with many contexts for math problemsolving, and opportunities to connect mathematics and storytelling. Linda Dacey and Rebeka Eston (1999) write that students need to have worked with a variety of contextualized settings and have a firm grasp of how to model and represent situations before discussing any decontextualized questions. Similarly, Marilyn Burns writes that Problem situations should be the starting place for developing understanding of each of the four basic operations of arithmeticaddition, subtraction, multiplication, and divisionthereby establishing the need and context for computation skills (p. 14). According to this framework, before students develop their computational proficiency, they need to have developed conceptual understanding and reasoning skills. In this lesson sequence, students practice telling mathematical stories or using key concepts such as sequencing in a variety of contexts. For example, they tell math stories about pictures in books, use the vocabulary before and after to retell a story (Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed) and to tell about everyday experiences, and then use the same

(TPEs 1, 4, 9)

Task 2: Planning. The main concept for all lessons in this sequence is that math can be used to describe pictures and a variety of situations. Across all of the lessons, students understanding of operations is also key. This conceptual understanding will be built and reinforced using strategies such as connecting to prior experiences, discussing the meaning of symbols, number talks, connecting to literature, and demonstrating mathematical operations in many different contexts. Math reasoning skills will also develop along with conceptual understanding, using strategies such as number talks and other configurations where students have to explain their thinking. In addition, conceptual understanding is linked to academic language development; verbal practice in every lesson in a variety of group structures allows students to link concepts with mathematical terms and become comfortable using them. In every lesson, students will be asked to state and write number sentences. This practice enhances students procedural fluency of knowing what order to write the components of a number sentence, along with practicing carrying out addition and subtraction operations. This continual practice builds across all these areas (conceptual understanding, procedural fluency, math reasoning skills, and academic language), reinforcing students knowledge and increasing their comfort with applying mathematics. In the first lesson, students conceptual understanding is built by connecting to prior knowledge. Students have some experience describing pictures in a mathematical context. Connecting to this experience helps when explaining that students can use pictures to tell their own math story. Students also already have experience with the addition and subtraction operations and symbols; having them explain these operations meanings provides opportunities to deepen their own understanding in addition to previewing key vocabulary. Students will practice using verbal number sentence frames in small groups when they explore the picture books distributed around the room. This reinforces the idea that mathematical language can be used with different materials, and gives students an opportunity to develop using mathematical language. Having a number talk with the flip chart picture and asking students to connect what they see in the picture to a number sentence also builds understanding of the key concepts. The structured partner talk during this discussion gives students a chance to listen to others mathematical language as well as producing their own, contributing to academic language development. Additionally, this number talk builds math reasoning skills, as students have to create a number sentence that matches with a picture, reasoning about which operations are appropriate to describe a situation. Lesson 2 continues to build on the concept of math as storytelling by introducing the structure of before and after. This also provides an avenue for connecting with other content areas as well as students own experiences. In lesson 2, the words before and after are explained in the context of a mathematical story, as well as to describe students own daily routines. Additionally, prior knowledge will be built on in the discussion of the terms more than and less than. Students have experience using the greater than and less than symbols. This experience is built upon with echo talk so that all students practice using the academic language of more than and less than. Students are also asked to talk with a partner, using the key vocabulary of before and after. These discussions will help them build oral language skills as well as conceptual understanding of the terms. Students are also asked to write their spoken number sentences, demonstrating the connection between speaking and writing, as well as the connection between terms and specific mathematical symbols. Using a before and after situation, students have to consider what is missing in the middle what happened to make the before situation different from the after situation? This consideration requires math reasoning skills and conceptual understanding of operations. Students have to choose where their numbers should go in a number sentence, and which operation and symbol is appropriate to describe the situation.

Task 2: Planning. This builds conceptual understanding as well as procedural fluency, because students gain practice in deciding what information they are missing and how they should find it. Lesson 3 reviews the use of before and after by connecting it to a sequence of actions. By continuing to present before and after in different contexts, students build their conceptual understanding of these terms and what situations they can apply them to. This lesson also incorporates color-coordination so that students can visually connect the terms with where items are placed in a number sentence. In addition to helping students connect the terms with its mathematical meaning, developing academic language, this will also help develop the concept that order can have meaning in number sentences. Students will practice explaining why they put a number where they did in a number sentence, building their reasoning skills. Students continue to build their computational and procedural fluency by creating and solving number sentences, using the addition and subtraction operations. The use of gestures to indicate addition and subtraction also provide students with another way of understanding and expressing the operations being used. 4. Given the description of students that you provided in Task 1.Context for Learning, how do your choices of instructional strategies, materials, technology, and the sequence of learning tasks reflect your students backgrounds, interests, strengths, and needs? Be specific about how your knowledge of your students informed the lesson plans, such as the choice of text or materials used in lessons, how groups were formed or structured, using student learning or experiences (in or out of school) as a resource, or structuring new or deeper learning to take advantage of specific student strengths (including strengths across both languages). What will you do to draw upon or make home/school connections within this learning segment? (TPEs 4,6,7,8,9) All students in the class are used to using mathematical language to describe pictures through the headline story presented in math lessons, as described in the Context Commentary. This lesson sequence builds on this knowledge by explicitly connecting students mathematical language with written sentences. In addition, this lesson sequence extends students use of mathematical language beyond being applied to the headline story picture provided, and gives students opportunities to describe many different contexts as well as create their own stories and representations. These contexts include language arts, such as by incorporating the Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed picture book. Students love this book and all eagerly read out loud in unison whenever it is read. They are very familiar with the story, and it is a good connection for discussing both subtraction and the concept of before and after. Other contexts include describing pictures in other picture books, acting out a scenario, drawing, and using gestures. In one instance, students are asked to share their morning routine using the words before and after; this connects students use of sequencing language in school with their experiences at home. This variety of contexts allows students with different interests and preferred ways of learning to engage and participate in the lesson. The structured ways of verbally participating also developed out of knowledge of the students. Sharing in partners potentially allows all students to have an opportunity to speak, as long as each partner gets a turn. To ensure that everyone has an opportunity to share with their partner, students are either an A partner or a B partner; all the As share with Bs while the Bs listen, and then the Bs share with their A partner while the As listen. To remind students what their role is, I made listening and talking sticks for each pair. When it is their turn to share they are holding the talking stick (it has a picture of a mouth), and when they are listening they hold the listening stick (it has a picture of an ear). Students then switch sticks and roles. Different opportunities and structures for participation and expression are important in this class, especially

Task 2: Planning. for English learners. The SDAIE strategies described in question 2, such as visuals and gestures, are designed so that all students in this class, from beginning to advanced English proficiency, have access to the content. 5. Consider the language demands2 of the oral and written tasks in which you plan to have students engage as well as the various levels of language proficiency related to classroom tasks as described in the Context Commentary. (TPE 7) a. Identify words and phrases (if appropriate) that you will emphasize in this learning segment. Why are these important for students to understand and use in completing classroom tasks in the learning segment? Which students? b. What oral and/or written academic language (organizational, stylistic, and/or grammatical features) will you teach and/or reinforce? What language strengths do your students bring to these tasks? c. Explain how specific features of the learning and assessment tasks in your plan, including your own use of language, support students in learning to understand and use these words, phrases (if appropriate), and academic language. How does this build on your students strengths in both languages and increase their abilities to follow and/or use different types of text and oral formats? Words emphasized in this sequence are plus, minus, less than, more than, before, and after. Phrases emphasized are [number] plus/minus [number] is [number] and [number] is less than/more than [number]. These words and phrases are important for all students to understand and use. This language helps students accurately describe a situation using mathematical vocabulary and phrases. They will need to know this language not only to understand the learning sequence, but also to apply to arithmetic in the future. Additionally, sequencing terms such as before and after are beneficial across content areas. For example, sequencing is an important skill when retelling a story or describing a scientific process. All students have had previous experience with sequencing and retelling stories; explicitly introducing the terms before and after helps students reinforce their prior knowledge as well as apply this concept to mathematical stories and written equations. All spoken vocabulary and structures are explicitly connected to written mathematical equations. Plus and minus are accompanied by gestures that correspond to the written symbols, echo talk is used to read mathematical sentences while pointing to the corresponding written numbers and symbols, and color-coding is used to help connect the concepts of before and after with corresponding order in a number sentence. The color-coding is used both during whole-class discussion on the board, and for students assessments. Students then use writing to describe pictures, including pictures that they create in their assessments. Students have opportunities to verbally practice using these terms through structured partner talks, small groups, and explaining to the whole class.

Language demands include such things as grammatical structures, vocabulary, mathematical notation, or language conventions within mathematical reasoning. For early readers/writers, this will include sound-symbol correspondence and a word or number as a text but might also involve the development of oral skills which are antecedents to reading and writing, oral narratives, and explanations.

Task 2: Planning. 6. Explain how the collection of assessments from your plan allows you to evaluate your students learning of specific student standards/objectives (both language and mathematics content) and provide feedback to students on their learning. In a bilingual setting, be sure to justify the choice of language(s) used in the assessments. (TPEs 2, 3) The collection of assessments involves both written worksheets and students explanations. Students will be informally assessed for both mathematics understanding and language use through observations of their verbal and nonverbal responses and explanations. Formal assessments require students to write number sentences to describe a picture, demonstrating their understanding of mathematical symbols and using math to write about a situation. The formal assessments are very similar to what we do as a whole class, which students will be informed of so that they know it is expected that they use similar thinking and processes on their written assessment. Students are also given the opportunity to complete a challenge sheet, which allows them to create their own pictures and stories and describe them with written number sentences. This assessment provides a further challenge for students who have a strong understanding of the concepts. Before handing in their work, students have to verbally explain it to a teacher, who will provide feedback through discussion. During the lessons, feedback will be provided through questioning and asking students to explain their reasoning. The setting is not bilingual in my language of emphasis, so English will be used in teaching and assessing. Some explanations for individual students who have stronger Spanish language skills than English skills may be in Spanish. 7. Describe any teaching strategies you have planned for your students who have identified educational needs (e.g., newcomers, GATE students, students with IEPs). Explain how these features of your learning and assessment tasks will provide students access to the curriculum, support academic language development, and allow them to demonstrate their learning. (TPEs 9.
12)

Strategies are included to specifically address the needs of English learners. The one student with an IEP in this class was also at a beginning English proficiency level at the beginning of the year according to the CELDT. Incorporating SDAIE strategies is important to ensure that the 8 students who have not been designated as initially fluent English proficient have access to academic content. Cummins (2007) writes that building background knowledge is particularly important for EL students who may be struggling with unfamiliar vocabulary and grammatical structures in addition to complex new concepts (p. 1). Creating a context with which students are familiar permits students to understand more complex language and to pursue more cognitively demanding activities (Cummins, 2007, p. 1). Connecting to experiences that students have had in class with storytelling and previous math experiences, such as discussions about what mathematical symbols mean, allows ELs to fully engage with the same content as students who are fluent in English. According to Cummins (2007), visuals are a particularly beneficial strategy for teaching ELs because they enable students to see the basic concept we are trying to teach much more effectively than if we rely on words (p. 2). There are many visuals incorporated into this lesson sequence, including the ones that we describe using number sentences. Students are also encouraged to create their own visual representations of a story, and to demonstrate the concept of before and after. Additionally, color-coding will be used to provide a visual key for the words before and after, both to refer to the pictures and to help students connect those pictures to their written number sentences. Using gestures is another way to convey concepts and

Task 2: Planning. reinforce the meaning of words. In this lesson sequence, we will use gestures to represent adding and subtracting. These gestures and visuals provide many ways for students to access content as well as to demonstrate their understanding.