Date of Award

Spring 4-28-2018

Degree Type

Honors Thesis

Department

Education

First Advisor

Linda Hutchison

Abstract

It is a common saying among teachers that the hardest grades to teach are middle school. Beginning January 3rd, 2018, I was placed in an eighth-grade mathematics classroom for student teaching with the mindset that I was going to tackle this challenge head-on. I started the experience enthusiastic and ready to teach my students with exciting and engaging lessons. Unfortunately, I soon found that many students have low self-esteem, low self-confidence and they lack the necessary perseverance needed to complete challenging assignments and to be successful in math. It quickly became apparent why people say middle school is the hardest to teach.

This work is a collection of all of the pieces of my EdTPA, a performance-based, subject-specific assessment system used to measure the knowledge and skills of students in teacher preparation programs. The lessons that I created for this work focus on geometric transformations including translations, reflections, and rotations of an image. Each lesson was created with the hope that it would engage students, challenge them to have more perseverance and increase their self-confidence. This work includes the reasoning behind each lesson, a reflection on how it was implemented and the final results.

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