Lenses Lesson & My New Exemplar

The task before me is to write a lesson plan which expects students to design, create, inquire, play, problem-solve and/or evaluate (DCIPPSE). It also needs to be a lesson plan that uses technological, pedagogical, and content knowledge (TPACK). Though the lesson will be inherently useful in my classroom, it’s also for my Masters of Arts in Educational Technology (MAET) program. To write a great lesson, it’s necessary for me to consider the two main constraints. First, it must involve all of the aforementioned requirements and, second, somehow I need to get students to be the ones creating meaningful questions that demands using technology to answer. How do I meet both these constraints?

Somehow, using the repertoire of math lessons already in my arsenal didn’t seem like it was enough. Meaning, the approaches I’ve had to teaching math for years has been too far on the side of less effective for me. Doing math is not so much about following the correct algorithm for the correct problem, but that is what I’ve fallen back into doing because, at the surface, it seems easier. Some research on overcoming this shortcoming lead me to ny new exemplar, Annie Fetter. She is a math educator at the Math Forum at Drexel University. At the Math Forum and NCTM Ignite event at the 2015 NCTM Annual Conference in Boston, she said this: 

This video really struck home to me with the scope of the TPACK and getting students to really engage to problem solve. In my class, I feel I’ve fostered too much the student perceptions about sense making (part of the CCSS Mathematical Practices). When my students get stuck, I confess I give in and emphasize rules and algorithms. The result is when a new problem comes along, they don’t see that they have the tools to be able to solve it by themselves. Therefore, I want to write a lesson from the foundations that doesn’t leave them stuck as to how to apply their knowledge beyond what we do in class. To do this, I need to have them “Notice and Wonder.” In another presentation

, Fetter points out that “people cannot understand problems they don’t have” and “students cannot answer questions they didn’t ask.” She also points out I need to make sure all students have ideas about every problem. This is the task before me.

This blog describes the rationale and thinking of the lesson I created.


Fetter, A. (2015, April 16). Sense making: It isn’t just for literacy anymore. Talk presented at the 2015 NCTM Annual Conference: Math Forum and NCTM Ignite event, Boston, MA. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lz7aELjGy_Y

Fetter, A. (2016, April 15).  An Alternative to SWBAT. Talk  presented at the 2016 NCTM Annual Meeting: Math Forum Ignite event, San Francisco, CA. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ssjZvR__QQ




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