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SEEING MATH IN NEW WAYS

Adding edtech solutions to the equation in K–12 math classrooms is helping students achieve new levels of mastery and confidence. Here some innovative educators share ideas and best practices.


EVERYONE EXCELS

Since implementing a blended learning model in her seventh-grade math classroom at Gilmer County High School in Glenville, West Virginia, Kelly Barr’s students have had the highest WV General Summative Assessments math scores in the school.

The Free Press WV
Gilmer County High School students working on technology-based projects.


INDEPENDENT LEARNERS

The blended model allows special education students in her inclusive math classes to excel, Barr says, because “they can see the math through a more visual way.” In addition, tutorial videos enable all students to become more independent learners. “Students know where to seek the information and will make more of an attempt to solve the problem on their own,” she says. “Through the differentiation that Accelerated Math provides my students, I am remediating and enriching them at the same time.”

The result? Students of all abilities have “a better grasp of often difficult and abstract topics.” They’re “able to manipulate objects or use math manipulatives” and receive instant feedback, and they benefit from “assignments specifically tailored to their needs.”

Barr says focus can be a challenge in the blended classroom, but with a solution called AB Tutor she can monitor all the computers in her classroom simultaneously, message students, and open and close programs—all from her desktop.

The Free Press WV
Gilmer County High School students engaged in Quizizz, an online review game.


PRODUCERS, NOT JUST CONSUMERS

The school’s technology integration specialist (TIS) Traci DeWall helps both teachers and students make the most of technology tools. Barr and DeWall co-teach eight times a year, when students create and share technology-based projects (from PowerPoint presentations to Blendspace lessons to Discovery Education boards). Through these projects, Barr’s students “become producers with technology and not just consumers,” and they look forward to these opportunities “to show off what they know.”


TOOLS THEY USE GILMER COUNTY

AB Tutor
Discovery Education
ExploreLearning Gizmos
Formative
Khan Academy
Microsoft Office365
Padlet
Piktochart
Quizizz
Renaissance Learning Star Math, Star Reading, and Accelerated Math
Schoology
Tes Teach with Blendspace
Virtual Nerd


~~  Tara Smith ~~

This posting is very informative and it documents what can be done with innovative approaches to teaching math. For too long we were fed the party line that all was well in our schools for math and everything else. That myth prevailed because facts were hidden to hold down the County’s demands for accountability. Hats are off to Kelly Barr and Traci DeWall.

During intervention it was commonly known that school board members made repeated requests for all kinds of student progress information, but it was kept from them. That era has ended and the County’s school board is expected to focus on its top priority responsibility that is to continually improve student learning in our schools. Our kids can perform if they are given the chance.

Comment by Gilmer County Parents  on  11.02.2017

The grade 7 spike in math in comparison to lowered performances in higher grades begs the question about reasons. What is being done to ensure that math skills will not drop by graduation time? Has anyone looked at adverse effects of block scheduling and other factors?

Comment by Answers Needed  on  11.03.2017
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