Teaching post-pandemic brings challenges that we’ve never faced before. However, some challenges from pre-pandemic remain. How do we meet the task of teaching in a mixed-ability classroom? A typical class has a range from students who struggle in grasping new concepts, to those who are way ahead of their classmates from the onset, and those who fall somewhere in between.
To be sure, there are a range of effective strategies that can help all students succeed. Our math team at CABOCES does a tremendous job in educating our teachers about what works and what resources help. Additionally, we’ve added math intervention kits to the warehouse shelves to compliment the work that Graham Fletcher has done in our area.
But I want to circle back to a resource we’ve had for years that is a research-based, highly engaging, and self-paced solution for mixed-ability K-3 math classrooms. It makes math fun, interactive, and personalized for young learners. The program? Mathseeds.
Mathseeds is a technology-based classroom tool that offers a powerful way to differentiate learning while teaching elementary math. Combine that with a good story and interest is ignited in young minds. Incorporating story problems into classroom lessons allows students to see how certain math concepts can apply to real life. Story problems are also a good way to help students understand how to use math in everyday life and see the relevance of math.
Mathseeds provides colorful end-of-lesson books as part of its online program. Many of these are designed so students read the problem, work through it independently, and then turn to the next page to see the solution.
Are your teachers using Mathseeds? If not, please reach out and we’ll make sure they are using this valuable math tool with their students.
By: Alexandra Freer, CA BOCES Learning Resources
While building contractors remodeled Fillmore School this summer, Fillmore teachers renovated their traditional classrooms to incorporate blended learning. Fillmore will be implementing 1:1 devices for their K-12 students, and the teachers are readily adapting their classes to incorporate technology into daily instruction.
The CA BOCES Learning Resources and Model Schools teams worked with Fillmore teachers at Tech Camp for three full-day workshops. Teachers were introduced to Nearpod’s mobile interactive presentation software, Socrative’s quick assessment tool, Moodle’s Learning Management System, iPad Apps for Elementary and High School, CA BOCES Library and Media resources, and much more.
Opening discussion each day with the Fillmore teachers included:
Wendy Clark, who built a Moodle course she named Phenomenal Fourth Grade Readers shared, “I can't wait to use all of the fantastic apps that we learned about in my guided reading lessons! When we get our iPads; I’ll be all ready to go thanks to our summer tech training days!”
Cristin Glasner, MS Science Teacher added, “I had an amazing experience this summer. I brought back a huge amount of new knowledge on new technology to use in my science class. I was especially excited to incorporate Nearpod, Moodle, WEO and Edge factor into my classroom. I am so excited about using this technology to engage my students in their STEM lessons, add in Brain breaks, and trying some flipped lessons. This technology helps me make my content more relevant to my students and draws them into the lesson. They have so much fun, ask great questions, and have a better retention of the content.”
Every teacher at Fillmore has developed a Moodle course filled with interactive items for students, including: Math modules to reinforce math concepts, STEM videos, Music exploration videos, Spanish glossaries, Art concepts, Reading surveys, English journals and forums, Quizlet flashcards, Geography maps, News feeds from historical, language, STEM and Arts sites, and much more!
Fillmore’s journey to a 1:1 classroom environment has proven to highlight some great new strategies and tools that teachers are embedding into their day. Placing technology into the hands of every student allows students access to continue learning beyond the typical school day. Shaping the future of blended learning and global citizenship within the newly remodeled walls of Fillmore Central School is on an exciting path to great success.
By: Betsy Hardy, Distance Learning Coordinator, CA BOCES Learning Resources
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