Critiquing a Linearity Lesson Plan

Here’s the lesson plan I selected and it deals with solving a system of equations:

http://mste.illinois.edu/courses/ci399TSMsu03/folders/wiggin/thurslesson/jul9/lssnpln.html

It’s a pretty solid lesson plan with a lot of detail.  Here are my suggested upgrades and comments:

1.  The plan introduces most of the material through steps.  It would be interesting to first start by doing more problem posing – seeing if the students could present ways to solve the system BEFORE being told the methods and steps.

2.  More use of visuals.  The plan does a good job of incorporating a graphing calculator, but again just lists the steps the student should follow.  Using software to project the use of the calculator on a screen might be a good thing to do.  There are also great sites on the web that show visually what is happening when solving a system of equations.

3.  Perhaps it was in a previous lesson, but I would spend some time on talking about how systems of equations can be used in real life (e.g. air traffic control software).

4.  I like that multiple representations were used (graphing, substitution, and elimination).  The author also talked about when one method might be preferable over another.

5.  Again, perhaps it is in another lesson, but a closing that setup where the class might go next would be nice.  For example, a lead in to a system of inequalities might make sense.

6.  Use of Bloom’s higher level of thinking would be good.  The setup is good – being able to analyze different graphs for amount of solutions.  Next step could have been to create graphs that showed one, none, or many solutions.

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