Algebra Tile Lesson Reflection
Although my students are in RSP, most have significant learning disabilities. Due to their special needs, the students have a difficult time performing above the ‘Far Below Basic’ level in most subjects, especially in Math. However, with the given opportunity to teach a math concept, I embraced it and learned from every aspect of the experience. During previous lessons, the students had learned about positive and negative integers. Using concrete and realistic situations, the students were able to understand the concept and were now ready to learn about adding and subtracting integers using algebra tiles. This would eventually allow the students to be able to solve simple equations, with and without the algebra tiles. However, the students were able to learn how to add integers conceptually while using the tiles first. This becomes even more important when the students will be learning more complicated and multiple step equations, as their basic understanding of integers will be built upon with using manipulatives.
The concept of adding and subtracting integers can be very difficult to grasp. The use of integer tiles provide a way for students to manipulate and utilize tangible objects that help them understand the potentially confusing procedure of adding and subtracting integers. Before using the tiles however, the students had to understand that the white tiles represented positive numbers, and the red tiles represented negative numbers. Then they were taught how to make pairs using one white and one red tile, which was accomplished during warm-up. Once the students were comfortable making pairs, problems were introduced. The students paired up the tiles and were able to distinguish between the matched up pairs and the remaining ones, therefore determining positive and negative answers. However, with the goals of teaching the addition of negative numbers, it was noticed that the students were not...
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