Expected learner outcome:

This lesson plan is designed for year 7 students and introduces the concept of variables / pronumerals, like and unlike terms in algebra ("Mathematics Years 7-10 Syllabus," 2003, p. 82-83). By the end of this lesson students should be able to distinguish between like and unlike terms and know how to perform an addition or subtraction involving these terms.

Describe the lesson:

In this lesson, the teacher introduces the concept of variables and develops the notion of abstractness. The idea that letters can be used to represent numbers and can be manipulated using mathematical methods is the key concept of this lesson. In order to teach this lesson, the teacher would help the students extend their understanding

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In this lesson, this can be done by illustrating real life examples that students can easily relate to. Teachers lead by showing how objects with similar characteristics can be represented by a common letter. A typical example would be to assign a letter that would represent all their family members or friends. This is followed by a guided practice in which the students are encouraged to suggest similar models or examples which the teacher or class would accept or refute. These examples would demonstrate the understanding or skill acquired by the students. Each example shared by the students would be analysed by the group, class and the teacher. The teacher would initially comment on the correctness of the illustrated example with the help of set guidelines (Stein, Carnine, & Dixon, 1998, p. 228-232). The teacher would then eventually fade away as the students gain more confidence in citing correct examples.

The activities for guided modelling would involve the teacher illustrating examples and students being encouraged to suggest similar examples or models of the concept taught in each of the phases. These strands (Kozioff, LaNunziata, Cowardin, & Bessellie, 2000, p. 55-59) or phases include introduction, representation and manipulation of variables. Each strand would end with a quiz in which the students would be given an opportunity to suggest similar examples or

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High and meaningful interactions are considered to be essential in enhancing the effectiveness of a teaching method (Karpicke, 2012, p. 404-405). The guided practice in explicit instruction gives an opportunity to assess the effectiveness of the lesson. On the basis of this assessment, teachers can reinforce individual students with additional examples or they can choose to reteach the entire content (Killen, 2003, p. 68-75). In a typical session, teachers move around the class and can monitor individual students work or responses to the assigned task. While the gifted students approach these tasks independently, teachers can focus on students who are struggling with the