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Elementary Mathematics Methods

Elementary Mathematics Methods Task One

Megan Lincoln
Western Governors University

Elementary Mathematics Methods


Drag racing division: remainder division. Students gather in small groups of 2-4. Players solve for
remainders and move that number of spaces on a board game.
Quilt block: pattern recognition using triangles that are congruent. Students design a quilt square using
16 triangles made up of two colors.
Lego graph: design, survey and result graphing. The class will decide what kind of information to
collect, collect the data, and using Lego block build a graph.
The entire class will go outside to the playground, and participate in a hands on teeter totter experiment.
I will use the bungee cords to attach the crates onto the teeter totters. We will make equations by
placing various objects (bricks, shoes, bags of marbles, textbooks, water bottles, etc) in the crates and
attempting to balance them.


Drag racing division has two advantages. First, placing students in groups helps them have the support
and input of others to reinforce the learning concepts. This is especially beneficial for students who are
learning disabled. Also, this creates a fun reprieve from the normal grind of lectures and worksheets.
Therefore the students will be more engaged.

Students who are artistically inclined will find the quilt block activity particularly exciting. This will
give them an opportunity to use math while creating something beautiful. This will use the right, artistic
side of the brain in a typically left brained subject. Also, engaging the children physically in a coloring
and cutting activity will help give a tactile association to the concept of pattern recognition.

Lego graphs will provide a three dimensional manipulative to help give a strong visual and tactile
association with graphing data. This will make the lesson more memorable and relatable to different
learning styles. Also, it is a real life application for children who already play with Legos. It helps them
have a direct connection to an object they are already familiar with. This will give ELL students a
concrete visual manipulative to reinforce concepts and vocabulary.

The teeter totter experiment will allow children to catch a breath of fresh outdoor air, a welcome break
to normal classroom lessons especially for ADHD students. Sunlight will help improve attitude and
perspective for the students. Placing the objects in crates will engage the childrens gross motor skills,
and help release tension they may feel about mathematics.


Drag racing could have a couple disadvantages. Students who struggle in math may not enjoy group
work. Sometimes students can condescend to others who are less academically inclined. Extreme
care must be given to this problem when a teacher is creating groups. Also, creating competition of
academic work can be stressful and embarrassing for some.

Sometimes boys and girls have stereotypical ideas about certain activities. This could be perceived
as a girl project. Some boys may not be interested in this assignment. Also, children who have a
highly active left brain may struggle with finding meaning or enjoyment with this task.

Again boys and girls may have stereotypical gender ideas about Legos. This may be perceived as a
boy lesson. Boys are probably most familiar with the toy, and girls may not have such a strong life

Elementary Mathematics Methods

application association with them. Also, because of this gender identity issue girls may feel left out
of the activity if the boys dominate the Lego assembly process.

The teeter totter activity could present two problems. Weather is an issue to consider. If it is too
cold, rainy, muddy, or hot it would make the lesson less enjoyable and less effective. Another
consideration is the students allergy issues. Depending on the time of year certain children may not
be able to spend much time outdoors.




Virtual bar chart: create a smart board bar chart during whole group instruction showing different
percentages of collected data. Label columns and click on different values.
Virtual pattern: groups of students arrange colors and shapes to create complex patterns on a desktop
Virtual puzzle: during individual exploration on a tablet children solve a puzzle comprising of the
differences of given numbers.
Virtual factor tree: children observe a podcast about factoring numbers using a tree diagram. Then they
produce their own on a tablet or PC.
There are two advantages to the smart board bar chart activity. The smart board lends itself to whole
group engagement. This can be very effective when the teacher is introducing a new concept, as
opposed to leaving the children to do an activity on their own. It also, helps create a feeling of
community and working together for a common goal, which is vital for ELL students.
Group work on a computer is a nice change of pace to individual worksheets or book work. This will
help children experience the opportunity to talk to a peer about the pattern concept and hear the input of
others, which is a valuable tool when learning a new concept particularly for special needs students.
Using technology immediately adds extra interest in the lesson.
This will enable children to work with a virtual puzzle and experiment with number subtraction on their
own terms. They will be free to make mistakes without other students in the class knowing about it.
Tablets are also a perfect way to help children engage in the lesson. Most children are familiar with
them and enjoy using them. ADHD students will benefit by keeping their hands busy.
The podcast is a great use of technology so the students can see the factor tree modeled. A great
advantage to using the electronic factor tree on a tablet or PC is they can see mistakes immediately, and
make corrections. This will enable the children to teach themselves from mistakes rather than look to
the teacher for every correct number.

One problem with the virtual bar chart is that whole group instruction is often arduous for ADHD
children to sit through. It also is an indirect manipulative that offers little interaction with the
student and the technology.
The virtual pattern activity could create a problem by causing some children in the group to be on
the periphery, not fully engaged, and perhaps even left out. Small groups such as this could also
create a problem with competition or intimidation among the students. Special needs learners could
feel especially unsettled if others are condescending.
The individualized nature of the virtual puzzle could present a problem with isolation and students
therefore feeling unsure of what to do. Another issue could be students not staying focused. When
they are left to do activities without the input of others and they are left to their own devices staying
on task could become a problem.
The pod cast could present a problem by causing the instruction to feel impersonal. Students need to

Elementary Mathematics Methods

feel cared for and receive personalized instruction. Electronic instruction should be utilized
sparingly. The tablet aspect of this activity could enable children to just play with numbers and not
have a full understanding of why they miss certain questions. It is important the students understand
the patterns and principles behind a factor tree. Without another form of checking progress children
could be lost, and the teacher would not know it.
WGU Task Objective Number: DUP1 Elementary Mathematics Methods (UG 1114)
Name: Megan Lincoln
Lesson Title: Teeter totter
Subject: Math
Grade Level: 5th
Instructional Setting:
Twenty five diverse students are seated at tables or grouped desks. There are many
wall displays one of which is mathematics with examples and definitions for the
applicable concepts.
Common Core or State Standard:
Process Standard 1: Problem Solving 1. Use problem-solving approaches (e.g., act out
situations, represent problems with drawings and lists, use concrete, pictorial,
graphical, oral, written, and/or algebraic models, understand a problem, devise a plan,
carry out the plan, look back).
Content standard:
2. Use algebraic problem-solving techniques (e.g., use a balance to model an equation
and show how subtracting a number from one side requires subtracting the same
amount from the other side) to solve problems.

Lesson objective(s):
When given equations to balance students will correctly answer with 80% accuracy.
When given equations students will correctly solve for unknown variables with 80%
Instructional Materials:

playground teeter totter

plastic crate

bungee cords

sets of varied objects for placing in the crates, and demonstrating balance
Resources: | Find the Meanings and Definitions of Words ... (n.d.). Retrieved
March 29, 2015, from

Elementary Mathematics Methods

Grade 5 Integrated Curriculum. (n.d.). Retrieved March 27, 2015, from PASS Int5.pdf
Moris, V. (n.d.). Math Warehouse. Retrieved March 29, 2015, from

must already know how to add and subtract

Commutative property- Of or relating to binary operations for which changing

the order of the inputs does not change the result of the operation. For example,
addition is commutative, since a + b = b + a for any two numbers a and b,
while subtraction is not commutative, since a - b ` a - b unless both a and b are
zero. (

associative property- The associative property states that you can add or
multiply regardless of how the numbers are grouped. By 'grouped' we mean
'how you use parenthesis'. In other words, if you are adding or multiplying it
does not matter where you put the parenthesis. Add some parenthesis anywhere
you like!. (Moris, V. n.d.).

Connections will be made to previously learned associative and commutative


The purpose of this lesson is to expand the concept of these properties to

balancing algebraic equations

I will use a table top balance to demonstrate equality by adding and taking away
coin stacks from side to side.

What must happen for the equation to balance?

After taking x amount from one side of the equation, how do we create

If we move x amount from one side of the equation and put it on the other how

much more is now on the other side?


The entire class will go outside to the playground, and participate in a hands on
experiment. I will use the bungee cords to attach the crates onto the teeter
totters. We will make equations by placing various objects (bricks, shoes,
bags of marbles, textbooks, water bottles, etc) in the crates and attempting to
balance them.

I will help guide the students with questions and organization of student

Elementary Mathematics Methods

participation as well as safety reminders. The students will put the objects in
place and demonstrate an understanding of balance by creating various

How can we balance the equation?

How can we determine equality of two different objects?

I will use a table top balance to demonstrate equality by adding and taking away
coin stacks from side to side in order to demonstrate scaffolding and guided


Can the objects represent numbers?

What represents the equal sign in our experiment?

Describe how can we set up an equation?

How can we solve an equation?


We will balance equations during whole group guided practice on the smart
board. We will find the value of unknown variables by deduction.

Balance- to arrange, adjust, or proportion the parts of symmetrically


Solveto work out the answer or solution to (a mathematical problem)

Variable- a quantity or function that may assume any given value or set of
values. (

Real life daily application: wheelbarrow, truck, and boat load balances.

The smart board will be used for whole group guided practice, and tablets will

be used for the exit exam.


Students will have met the objectives for this lesson when they answer at least 8
of 10 exit exam questions correct.

At the end of the lesson there will be a short summative exit exam for the
children to complete on tablets which will let me know if the students have met
the lesson objectives.

Elementary Mathematics Methods

Exit exam:

Can letters represent numbers?

What does it mean to balance an equation?
Describe what a math variable is.
Explain how to solve for variable A in this equation: A+B=C
Name one real life application for equation balancing.
Solve for A:
Differentiation strategies to meet diverse learner needs:
Instruction will be differentiated to accommodate ELL and learning disabled
subgroups. ELLs will receive a graphic organizer with the terms and definitions for this
lesson. It will have extra marginal space for the students to take their own notes. They
will also have access to a translation book to use during instructional time. Children
with learning disabilities such as auditory processing problems will be provided extra
time to answer questions and have a partner to help reiterate instructions.


Active learning involves students working on their own or in groups. According to Bonwell and Eison

the general characteristics of active learning include more than simple listening. The focus is not so much on

Elementary Mathematics Methods

transmitting information as it is on developing students skills. Students are engaged in activities that promote
higher-order things and explanation of their attitudes and values. Individual activities can include using objects
(e.g., marbles, play money, rods and cubes) called manipulatives in mathematics to solve a problem, writing a
journal, and teaching a lesson. Group activities, possibly involving the entire class, are also popular. (Berek, D.
2013, September 1) My teeter totter lesson involves whole group active learning. The children will use hands
on manipulatives to help promote higher-order thinking. By using everyday objects such as a teeter totter,
marbles, balls, shoes etc. the children will have a strong life application association with the manipulatives.
This will aid in making the link between the representations of numbers by other symbols such as letters when
balancing and solving equations.

It is often difficult for students to grasp the concept of letters or symbols representing numbers. This lesson will
expect them to balance equations and solve equations involving algebraic concepts. It is easier for the children
to understand the mathematical ideas when they are able to see and touch objects that represent the numbers and
symbols they will work with. The teeter totter will act as a literal large scale balance, the fulcrum serves as an
equal sign, and the distributed objects are the numbers and variables. Students will be asked prompting
questions to help them understand that numbers on each side of the equation must equal each other in order to
create balance. If we give a weight value to at least one of the objects it is also possible to find the weight value
of other different objects. Thus they can solve for variables of equations and balance them.

A tablet is a great virtual manipulative for this lesson. The online pan balance activity (Pan Balance Interactive
n.d.) could provide a replacement for the teeter totter on a rainy day, but better yet it would give a form of
reinforcement in addition to the teeter totter. The pan balance activity has students move objects around to
create balance. It helps make the connection for students by showing how to balance and solve equations using

Elementary Mathematics Methods

a pan balance concept. The prompts on this activity provide wonderful higher order thinking questions that help
children think about abstract math concepts.

Berek, D. (2013, September 1). Active Learning. Retrieved April 3, 2015, from

Elementary Mathematics Methods


2l0ZQ==#db=ers&AN=89677513 | Find the Meanings and Definitions of Words ... (n.d.). Retrieved March 29, 2015, from
Grade 5 Integrated Curriculum. (n.d.). Retrieved March 27, 2015, from PASS Int5.pdf
Moris, V. (n.d.). Math Warehouse. Retrieved March 29, 2015, from
Pan Balance Interactive. (n.d.). Retrieved April 3, 2015, from