1:00:00 Great Lesson Ideas –

The Distributive Property [music]

Carl (VO) CARL:

Hi, my name is Carl Munn. I teach ninth grade algebra on the Crawford Educational Complex at the School of Champs. There is a great need here. This particular population of students is 99 percent below the poverty level. Their English level is very, very low. But if you provide the type of support so that they feel comfortable, they’re gonna be successful. They start to trust you. You can get them there.

LESSON IDEA:

THE DISTRIBUTIVE PROPERTY CARL:

Today’s lesson is “The Distributive Property.”

Carl (VO) CARL:

Distribution itself is actually pretty simple. It’s just you, you know, multiple across two different numbers within a parentheses. Um, in terms of specific things with distribution that I find that they have trouble with, it’s learning how to put together variables in terms of combining like terms. When you can put things together, when you can’t, what you do when you’re multiplying, what you do when you’re dividing.

Carl, Students CARL:

We use distribution when we can’t simplify inside the parentheses.

Carl (VO) CARL:

The property itself is pretty easy. The, the trick is making sure to build confidence and self-esteem through math.

01:01:11 Carl, Student CARL:

If you went like this …

STUDENT:

Mm-hmm.

CARL:

It’d be the same thing, right?

STUDENT:

Yeah.

Carl, Students CARL:

Are these like terms in here?

STUDENTS:

No.

CARL:

No, they’re not. So if they’re not like terms, can I combine them?

STUDENTS:

No.

CARL:

Can I do this like we did here?

STUDENTS:

No.

CARL:

No, I can’t. The only technique that’s gonna allow me to simplify this is what?

STUDENTS:

Distribution.

CARL:

Distribution. Go ahead and let’s start doing some notes here. We’re gonna make a box. On top of the box, you can write “the distributive property.” It looks like this. A, parentheses, B plus C.

01:01:43 Carl (VO) CARL:

One of the real, real key concepts that we focus on is the Cornell note-taking system.

Student CARL:

… is equal to …

Carl (VO) CARL:

It’s a way of developing a sense of critical thinking

Carl CARL:

… plus A, C.

CORNELL NOTE STRATEGY CARL:

So when you’re setting up your Cornell notes, you draw a line towards the left side of the page. The right-hand side is used for taking notes. The left-hand side is for putting questions and key points. And the bottom is for summarizing.

Carl, Students CARL:

And when we’re doing our Cornell notes, when we have great questions, where do we usually like to put those? On the …

STUDENTS:

Left side.

CARL:

Left side, right? So the question was, why … And I want you to put this question down here. Because the answer to it is going to be over here. So the question is, why do we need distribution?

01:02:26 Carl (VO) CARL:

The main advantage is that it incentivizes them and gives them a format for them to re-engage with their notes within the next 24 hours. And what studies show is that, you know, you’re much, much more likely to really internalize the knowledge and take ownership of that knowledge if you have interacted with your notes within about 24 hours.

Carl, Students CARL:

Questions?

STUDENTS:

No.

CARL:

Okay, put your notes away. Here come the white boards.

Carl (VO) CARL:

Once the notes are done, probably the most important part of the class is what I call guided practice.

Carl, Students CARL:

Everybody got a board?

STUDENTS:

Yes.

CARL:

Everybody got a wiper?

Carl (VO) CARL:

It gives me an opportunity to make that initial assessment and then most importantly it’s giving the kids that instant feedback.

01:03:02 2. GUIDED PRACTICE

-ALLOWS TEACHERS TO ASSESS STUDENTS AND ALLOWS STUDENTS TO ASSESS THEMSELVES CARL:

So we’ll start out with some easy ones. Everything that we do is about making sure the kids get feedback on what they’re doing as quickly as possible.

Carl CARL:

Good, good, good. Yes, yes, yes.

CARL (INTV) CARL:

And ideally, if we start small and build it, the feedback is predominantly positive feedback. And they get that confidence.

Carl, Students CARL:

Go. Good, good. Yes, yes. Perfect. Almost.

Carl (VO) CARL:

Telling students that they’re great and telling students they can be anything they want to be can be counterproductive, because if a student doesn’t really believe that about themselves, then they look at you like you’re kind of an idiot. So the guided practice gives me an opportunity to look at a glance and see, did I do a good job teaching this?

Carl, Students CARL:

Okay, these look good.

Carl (VO) CARL:

To be most successful is to just give them a problem, let them do it, immediately give them feedback. And just keep doing it and doing it and doing it. Gradually increase the difficulty of the problem so that they’re not getting frustrated. We use the white boards to generate that type of confidence. And we build our way up to some really difficult problems eventually.

01:04:07 Carl, Students CARL:

Six times negative two is?

STUDENTS:

Negative twelve.

CARL:

Okay, and then six times negative eight?

STUDENTS:

No.

CARL:

No, I bring this down. Okay.

Carl (VO) CARL:

So then finally, when it’s time to go into the worksheet, they’re chomping at the bit to get at it, because they know they can do this, they’re confident in what they’re doing. They just want that worksheet so that they can just do the problems and, and for the most part, every little problem is another success.

Carl, Students CARL:

In a few minutes, I’m gonna start coming around and just check the first like, four or five answers, make sure you’re on the right track.

Carl (VO) CARL:

Some advice I would give to teachers who are teaching a lesson on the distributive property, I would make sure that I set my lesson up in a way that developed their skills methodically over the course of the period, building confidence in students.

01:04:48 Carl, Students CARL:

Everything’s good except, what’s eight times eight plus six?

STUDENT:

Oh, fourteen.

CARL:

Yeah, there you go. You got it.

Carl (VO) CARL:

The real essence of it is the students have to build their own sense of self-belief. They do it by successful accomplishment of meaningful authentic tasks and then below it, all this support to make sure that they students, they’re actually able to reach it.

01:05:10 Student [music]

01:05:12 With special thanks to Carl Munn and the staff and students at CHAMPS

CREDITS

Wingspan Pictures Logo [music]

01:05:18 Fade to black

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