HOPE Standard Post/ EDMA 6432- Mastering a Lesson by Teaching it to Peers Before Students

P3- Practice standards-based assessment.

To me, practicing standards-based assessment means researching and planning carefully to provide students informal and formal assessment that informs next steps of differentiated instruction, feedback, support, and scaffolding.  This past quarter I had the opportunity to peer-teach two lessons in an Elementary Math Methods course.  I was able to utilize feedback from my elementary education cohort mates to inform my assessment process.  In particular, I gained valuable insight into how I could best present the introductory module for geometry to our first grade mathematicians.  The evidence I am providing is a video of three of our mathematicians performing an attribute block two-dimensional shape-sort of  as an end of the first geometry module formal assessment.  Here, three of our advanced mathematicians demonstrate competence with sorting by two attributes, shape and color.  I use “Math Talk Moves” from Classroom Discussions in Math; A Teacher’s Guide for using talk moves to support the Common Core and more to encourage meaningful reflection from the students on the new two-dimensional shape knowledge they have gained in their last module.  The three student’s clear articulation of defining and non-defining attributes as I ask them open-ended strategic questions demonstrate my competence and ease with promoting effective math dialogue amongst math community that supports them in meeting the Common Core standards.  Furthermore, by practicing “Math Talk” moves with my peers as I taught them a two-dimensional geometry game called Last Shape Wins from the Bridges math curriculum prior to teaching this game to my class, I was able to actively process how I would effectively deliver this lesson to first graders.  As I played Last Shape Wins against my  class, I used the “Math Talk Moves” of using wait time, having kids turn and talk, revoicing, pressing for reasoning, and having kids add-on to one another’s ideas that I had rehearsed to create a climate where all students had an entry point to help strategize for the class team.  I have found the process of practicing “Math Talk Moves” with peers to be helpful in making a math lesson engaging and successful for all learners.  Overall, my 12 math students were able to meet the standards for this module: identifying, naming, comparing, and describing two-dimensional shapes; demonstrating an understanding of the difference between defining and non-defining attributes; and creating composite shapes.  I was successful in helping my students attain this goal largely because of my reflective practice with other pre-service teachers.  Whether I was assessing student conceptualization of two-dimensional shapes informally during our math game, or with the formal small group assessments at the close of this geometry module, utilizing “Math Talk Moves” was key to meeting math standards.  Moving forward, I would like to continue to work with colleagues to practice teaching lessons.  I am interested in reflecting with teachers to gain deeper insight, and more skills for differentiated instruction. In doing so, I plan to show up for kids with a math lesson that has already been rehearsed so that I have multiple strategies for giving all learners access to new math concepts.


Chapin, S. H. , O’Connor. C., & Anderson, N. C. (2013). Classroom discussions in math: A teacher’s guide for using talk moves to support the common core and more (3rd ed.). Sausalito, CA: Math Solutions Publications.

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