The link above displays a second grade math unit about money that I wrote in the spring of 2010. As I wrote this unit, I collaborated with my second grade teacher from elementary school in order to determine real-life situations that would be appropriate for students. This is a unit that I hope to someday teach to students in the classroom!
This unit on money displays my recognition of the MSEP Standards. The first standard that this unit demonstrates is Standard 1 – Subject Matter: A teacher understands the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of the disciplines taught and is able to create learning experiences that make these aspects of subject matter meaningful for students. This unit on money can easily be related to each of the student’s lives. Coins are aspects of life that all second grade students have come encountered with outside of the classroom. As students begin to learn about the coins, they will find they are able to relate their prior knowledge about money to the new information being taught.
A second standard in which this unit addresses is Standard 2 – Student Learning: A teacher understands how students learn and develop and provides learning opportunities that support a student’s intellectual, social and personal development. This unit provides the students with many opportunities to manipulate the coins and observe the characteristics that each of the coins possess. By providing the students real coins as opposed to plastic coins, students are able to become familiar with past experiences, make connections, and retain new information.
Another standard that this unit on money acknowledges is Standard 4 – Instructional Strategies: A teacher understands and uses a variety of instructional strategies to encourage student development of critical thinking, problem solving, and performance skills. This unit teaches the second grade students about money through different hands-on activities. The lessons involve the students creating coin combinations for a specific value, completing activities in relation to literature about money, and purchasing items from a store. These are a variety of teaching and learning strategies that will engage students in learning new concepts.
An additional standard that is addressed through this money unit is Standard 6 – Communication: A teacher uses knowledge of effective, verbal, nonverbal, and media communication techniques to foster active inquiry, collaboration, and supportive interaction in the classroom. Throughout this unit, the second grade students are given many opportunities to work with their peers on the activities. This is an extremely important aspect of learning new concepts. Through this communication with peers, students can ask one another questions and gain feedback from one another.
Standard 7 – Planning Instruction: A teacher plans and manages instruction based upon knowledge of subject matter, students, the community and curriculum goals, is another standard that is addressed throughout this unit for second grade students. As I planned this unit, I considered ways in which I could create instructional opportunities that would address the needs of all of the children in a classroom. Each of these lessons provides unique activities that will address all of the learners in the classroom. These activities accommodate individual students and their specific learning styles.
A final standard that is apparent in this unit is Standard 8 – Assessment: A teacher understands and is able to use formal and informal assessment strategies to evaluate and ensures the continuous intellectual, social, and physical development of the student. Throughout the unit, the instructor assesses the children both formally and informally in order to determine the student’s progress. Day six of this unit is the formal assessment, in which the instructor has each student purchase things from the “Davey Store.” This form of assessment allows the children to demonstrate their knowledge gained throughout the unit, in a way other than a written test. This type of assessment allows the instructor to observe the student through a performance task, an effective form of assessing students.