New Front Row Lesson Plans
I have been using Front Row in my class for differentiated math instruction for my students since last year. It has worked really well and has helped me keep students engaged in improving their math skills at their current instructional levels. The Front Row team recently developed multi-day math lessons for all grade levels that cover a variety of Common Core math standards.
As the instructional technology specialist for my building, I’ve been able to keep in close communication with the Front Row team and got to preview some of these lesson units in advance. One of the units for fourth grade focuses on students’ ability to read and write multi-digit whole numbers using their understanding place value. The unit is spread out over the course of three days and centers around a fictional series of elections for mayor, governor, and president.
My student teacher and I planned on her beginning to lead Number Talks in our room this week, and the Front Row unit provided a perfect framework for doing this. Constitution Day (September 17) also happens to be this week, so it was a perfect combination of opportunities and needs that led us to decide to use this unit this week with my class.
We did the first lesson today and it went really well. My student teacher started the lesson with a Number Talk that involved using mental math strategies to multiply a two-digit number by a one-digit number, then we transitioned over to me for the remainder of the lesson. The students worked in their desk clusters of six to analyze election results from absentee ballots and polling places to determine who won the mayoral race. Then they shared their strategies with the whole class. One group discovered that they had only counted the absentee ballots and forgot about the votes collected on the day of the election. The great part was that the students were using the respectful transition phrases we encouraged, such as “I disagree with ____ because ____” or “Another way to think about how ____ solved the problem is _____.”
One thing I learned from our activity today was that groups of six are too big for the collaborative conversations needed, so my student teacher and I looked through the exit slips the students turned in and set up groups of three, which we will introduce tomorrow. All in all, though, this lesson went over very well and I am excited to see what the students do tomorrow!