One of my biggest curiosities as I began this experience was how tech would be integrated into the math classroom. Mr. Angell and his students didn’t leave that question unanswered for long as students worked right away today on an online program called IXL. This program divides lessons by both grade level and objective, so students are able to focus their work specifically on the concept at hand. Today we were reteaching proportions and cross-multiplication, so with the objective numbers on the board, students were independently working through a series of problems to reinforce the review of the content. Many students did work on whiteboards or on their whiteboard tables. Were they asked to hand in their work, the students would take an iPad picture and email their work to Mr. Angell. Though this drastically increases the teacher’s inbox, it completely eliminates the need for paper!
Once the class has completed their work on the concept, the teacher has access to immediate feedback via the website to see which students spent time on which concepts, how much time they spend working, and how their understanding of the concept is reflected through their work. These results can be represented through various graph types, sorted by student, concept, class as a whole, and by month or unit. This is not only changing the way students are assessed, but drastically altering the opportunities for self assessment by the educator to evaluate “holes” in instruction and what topics need to be retaught.
Below and a few screenshots depicting some of the resources available to the teacher through the IXL results page:
Overall, though a relatively ‘low-key’ day on the surface, with students beginning to get back in the swing of school after break, these math lessons provided some excellent food for thought.