Saturday, September 19, 2015

How We're "Doing" Math This Year

Math is clearly a significant focus at my school this year.

While I was happy teaching with TenMarks last year, I will be using the district purchased Houghton Mifflin GoMath curriculum this year.  We had a training yesterday on the digital portion.  My students will do most of their daily practice with the HMH Player app and homework assignments will also be online.  One downside to the digital portion is the last of deeper thinking and explaining/showing understanding.  For that reason students will still complete some pages of the paper workbooks.

In addition to daily GoMath, here's what I plan to use with my students and why.

We have math centers with 4 activities each week.  One activity is hands-on and run by a parent, another is hands-on and led by me.  The last 2 are either independent hands-on activities or  a mix from the following apps.

Splashmath--every week or every other week as 1 of our math centers.  Students enjoy the "games" compared to straight multiple choice questions. I like the fact that the curriculum runs grades K-5 and includes most CCS.  It doesn't adapt or differentiate automatically, but asking students to complete 1st or 3rd grade activities is easy.  The teacher dashboard is easy to use, although I do wish that student progress was mapped to the CCS more clearly.  Instead I have to "translate" a skill, such as skip count by 2s, to the appropriate standard.

Front Row--every week or every other week as 1 of our math centers.  The differentiation, hints, and videos provided in this app are fantastic.  I can be very hands-off as far as adjusting student assignments and check the dashboard (easy to follow and several report options) quickly to monitor progress.

Prodigy--every week or every other week as 1 of our math centers.  Math problems are incorporated into a story line of wizards, which the students love.  I can assign the topic they work on through an easy to navigate teacher dashboard, and all of the data is housed there as well.

Osmo Numbers, Osmo Tangrams, Motion Math Match and Motion Math Hungry Fish--every week or every other week.  There are no dashhboards here (my school is not paying for Motion Math Educator this year).  However, a few minutes before the center time is complete I ask students at this activity to take a screenshot and then reflect on their learning using Seesaw, our eportfolio.

Sprinkled in throughout the week...

Zeal--see last week's post

Matific--episodes, worksheets, and playlists, we focus on episodes (games), which I unlock as appropriate to match current curriculum or provide review.  The students love these games.  It's a little harder to read their teacher dashboard, and I would like student data mapped to CCS rather than having to "translate" the skill to the appropriate standard, but the website keeps students very engaged.

TenMarks--much better than GoMath, in my opinion, at deeper understanding of concepts.  I will still occasionally give all or groups of students assignments.

Timed Test--for weekly math fact practice and testing, addition and subtraction facts

Bedtime Math--great for problem solving, easy to differentiate, and provides a connection to real world math

Thinking Blocks--great visuals for solving word problems and does a good job of walking students through the steps one at a time

Then there are other apps, such as Dragonbox, Crackers & Goo, Mathmateer and Math Museum that we use occasionally or as choice activities.  They are student favorites but don't provide a way for me to track progress and understanding.

Now if only there was more time for all these activities I'd be set!

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