Lesson Transformed: Grade 4 Mathematics

This is the first lesson in the series, Lesson Transformed, in which traditional lessons are transformed into engaging experiences for students, which exemplify the premises of the Visioning Document.

Lesson #1

Topic: Angles

Grade Level: 4

Content Area: Mathematics

 Traditional Lesson

Objective: The students will be able to classify angles as acute, right, obtuse, or straight and measure angles using a protractor.

Warm Up: What time is it?

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Direct Instruction: The teacher will write and explain the following notes on the board while the students follow along, taking notes in their notebooks.

Part 1 Notes: Names of Angles

Acute Angle: measures more than zero degrees and less than 90 degrees 

Right Angle: measures 90 degrees

Obtuse Angle: measures more than 90 degrees and less than 180 degrees

Straight Angle: measures 180 degrees

Connect to the warm up: Explain that 1:00 is an acute angle on an analog clock, 11:30 is an obtuse angle, and 8:30 is an acute angle.

Part 2 Notes: Measure with Protractor

Demonstrate two examples below and check for understanding.  Demonstrate more examples if needed.  Emphasize the importance of placing the protractor accurately and noting the correct of the two angle measures on the protractor.

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Guided Practice: Reading Protractor Worksheet #1 (in class).  

Project correct answers to worksheet after 10 minutes of work time.

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Independent Practice: Reading Protractor Worksheet #2 (as homework).  Bonus: classify each of the angles.

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Transformed Lesson

Objective: The students will create evidence of understanding of how to use a protractor to measure angles with precision and how to categorize the angles based on their measures.  

Warm Up: Flip this video.  Encourage students to watch this video before class today.  Ask them to estimate the angle measure and compare their estimate to the actual measure.  At the beginning of the class, show the video again, pausing it to discuss and elicit estimates from students.  Record estimates on the board and encourage discussion related to those that may be too small or too large and why.

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Link to Video

*Note: The Warm Up has been transformed to include a more engaging task.  Notice the task includes the correct solution.  Emphasis is placed on the estimation and accuracy of estimation and not on finding the answer.  Also, note the length of the Warm Up (0:42 + discussion).  The Warm Up has been intentionally designed to hook the learners with the content, engage them with a struggle – comparing an estimate with actual measurement, and support interaction among the students and teacher.  

Direct Instruction: Front-load vocabulary using a card sort, pasted into a graphic organizer.  Encourage the students to cut apart the 16 cards and work with a partner to sort the cards into 4 categories.  Then, as a class discuss the connection between the cards.  On the cards with blank protractors, model how to sketch appropriately-measured angles for each category.  Then, the students should paste the cards into their notebooks on a 4-column graphic organizer (table).

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Link to Document

*Note: The Direct Instruction has been transformed to include an interactive portion for the students.  It also includes a pre-assessment when the students are asked to sort the cards with a partner prior to the whole class discussion.  The product of this stage of the lesson (pasted into the students’ notebooks) may be referenced in the latter stages of the lesson.

Activity: Paper Plate Angles – Use the video below to guide your students through creating angles with paper plates.  Each student will need two paper plates (different colors) and access to a pair of scissors.  Encourage your students to take the paper plates home after class and talk to their parents about the activity and the angles they can create.  If you prefer, do not show the video to the students, but rather use it to practice before class so you may lead the activity at your own pace.

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Link to Video

After the video, formatively assess the students by asking them to use their paper plates to show you various types of angles or angles with measures approximately equal to a given measure.

Investigation: Angle Scavenger Hunt – using the camera feature on their digital device, students capture photos of angles they find when exploring their classroom and school.  Then, using a presentation App, such as Explain Everything, the students upload their photos, use a transparent overlay of a protractor, such as this one, and record their voice explaining the steps to measure and categorize the angle.

An alternative option for the Investigation includes using the video feature on their digital device (attached to a tripod or held by a classmate) to record the process of measuring various angles, making an effort to include the proper placement of the protractor and accurate reading of the angle measure.

The content produced in the Investigation stage of this lesson should be readily available to the entire class to be used in the Reflection stage.

Reflection: Peer Review – Students access the work of various peers and provide descriptive feedback related to: accuracy of the content, quality and relevance of the images, clarity of the explanation, and the overall product.  This may be done after class.

Independent Practice: As necessary, students may be assigned additional angle classification and measurement practice.  The decision to include additional practice as well as the quantity of the work should be intentionally made based on the needs of the individual students.

It is the goal of this blog series to equip teachers with skills to transfer understanding and transform their own lesson design.




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