Thursday, February 12, 2009

Behaviorism Lesson Plan

Behaviorism Lesson Plan

 Behavioral Objective: Students will be given 6 different colors of paper and will make fraction strips of paper representing whole, 1/2, 1/3, 1/4, 1/6, and 1/8 in 15 minutes.


The students will walk into the room and find a tray of brownies at the front of the classroom. They will wonder what they are for and be very curious. Once everyone has taken their seats explain to them that you are going to break them into different pieces to represent fractions of the whole. Have someone come up and cut the brownies in half. Once they have broken the brownies in half, tell them thank you and they will receive a brownie at the end. As the students watch this they will be eager to participate in the activity. This is an example of vicarious reinforcement. Once the children have all helped and observed give them all a fraction of the brownie. 


Task Analysis:

At the end of this activity, students will have explored their fraction strips and will understand what a numerator and denomenator of a fraction represents. They will also see the relationship between whole, 1/2, 1/3, 1/4, 1/6, and 1/8. They will also understand that the larger the denominator, the more parts the whole has been broken into.

  1. First students will be given 6 sheets of different colored paper. Be sure that everyone knows that these pieces are whole pieces of paper. Have them write whole on one of the papers.
  2. Next, model how to cut the one of the papers in half. Then, have the students cut one of the pieces in half and write 1/2 on both pieces of paper.
  3. Do these same steps with each piece of paper.
  4. As they cut the pieces of paper, be sure that they understand why they are writing the fractions on the paper.
  5. After all of the pieces of paper are cut, have them explore the different sizes and the numbers that are written on the paper. Which piece is larger?
  6. Explain what numerator and denominator are.
  7. Why are the pieces of paper with the largest number on the bottom, smaller than the rest? Have them explore and answer this question.
  8. At the end of the discussion all of the students will understand that the bigger the number on the bottom, the more parts the whole has been broken into


As students are doing all of these tasks, be sure to reinforce them at each step. You can tell them they are doing it correctly by using positive praise which is a form of positive reinforcement. This will help them get to the final goal. This is called shaping. As you are reinforcing them after each step, you are practicing a continuous reinforcement schedule.  If you decide to only reinforce some people at certain steps this is an example of intermittent reinforcement schedule. When you use this type of reinforcement they are more likely to maintain their behavior without expecting to be reinforced. If a student refuses to participate in the activity and won’t cut his paper, a private reprimand may be needed. While the class is working walk over to the student and talk to only that person so no one else can hear. This is important because it won’t embarrass the child in front of the whole class. 

1 comment:

  1. concise and accurate descriptions. You're provided reasons help understand why you implement certain procedures. On your task analysis, remember that it should be stated in terms of what the students ought to be able to do at each stage.

    I see you've changed to brownies. Good choice (circles can be more difficult for fractions, unless you've got pre-made portions).