Prior to each unit, I work with the rest of the 7th grade math team (one more general education teacher and one special education teacher) to create a unit plan. This unit plan includes an objective, standard, and key points for each day. It also contains an overview of expected misconceptions, vocabulary, and needed modifications from the eureka curriculum.
The day-by-day unit plan for module 1:
Throughout this unit, we also pre-taught skills for module 2 about number sense using integers. This is due to the long-term planning goals that tell us that mastering all four operations with rational numbers is critical, and the earlier students are exposed, the better.
The student data from the end-of-module assessment revealed across the school there was a great need for re-teach:
Based on the subpar performance from module 1, the module 2 unit plan was modified to include reteaching material. This modification was made by me for my classroom. The DCPS planning schedule does not include as much spiraling or reteach as my unit 2 plan does.
The re-assessment of module 1 skills showed that the re-teach was valuable and students made gains in mastery:
Unit 1 Reflection
None of my students mastered the material from unit 1 on the first assessment. I immediately took action and re-taught the material in a more visual, conceptual way during the beginning of module 2. The re-assessment data demonstrates that more students mastered the material (18% instead of 0%) and fewer students were below basic (49% instead of 82%) from reteaching the material in a more visual way. During this unit, I did not emphasize multiple ways of solving a problem strongly enough in my attempt to pre-teach essential skills I knew students would need later. For example, I emphasized that students should use equations to solve proportional relationship problems because I knew this was a major work of the grade, but as a result many of my students were confused about the fundamentals of a proportional relationship. In future modules I will continue to emphasize multiple methods of solving problems so that students can fully master the material. I underestimated how powerful it would be to draw upon students’ knowledge of tape diagrams to solve complex unit rate problems, for example.
I also did not place enough emphasis on “big ideas” and fell into the trap of emphasizing skills over understanding. As a result, few of my students understood why they were doing what they were doing, and thus did not master the material. I have emphasized the why and how more with module 2, and student understanding has increased dramatically as a result.
Unit 1 material will continue to be spiraled each day in the Do Nows so that students can fully master the material. I plan to add a question to each assessment that also re-assesses unit 1 material so I can monitor ongoing student mastery. Many math skills require repeated practice and exposure to master, and I will continue to fully lean into this.
I am very glad I pre-taught module 2 material during module 1, because it is taking my students time to master integer operations. On the first weekly quiz on integer operations, students averaged a 25%. Four weeks later, students averaged a 50%. Students are aware they get an integer operation quiz each week and that their highest score is the only one that counts in the grade book. Students will continue to re-take the quiz until they reach 100%. Once students reach 100%, they complete challenging enrichment problems during this time instead. This gives students the time to practice, but also a sense of urgency to master the material since they will be repeatedly tested on it. I did not create the same sense of urgency with module 1’s material, so students did not master it as quickly as they should have.