Around two weeks ago my students finished up a math unit and started a new one. Students previewed the next unit by reviewing a study guide and looking ahead at the skills in their consumable math journals. They then made appropriate goals based on the preview. I spoke with the students afterwards and helped them reshape the goals to be more aligned to what’ll be explored during the next unit. I wrote about this process here and then started to think about next steps.
Some students created goals related to topics that we haven’t explored yet, while others felt more prepared to answer. My students around about a 1/3 through the current unit. This week students checked on their progress towards the goal. My intention was for students to become more aware of their goal and the progress made towards its completion.
I think in the future I’d like to create some type of scale where students identify the progress made towards the goal instead of a met/not prompt. I’m looking forward to revisiting and refining this idea as the year progresses.
It’s apparent that student achievement data, in many different forms (formative, standardized, norm-referenced, common assessments, etc.) is becoming increasingly valued by administrators and teachers alike. Teacher PLC teams analyze this data to become more aware of strengths/concerns and differentiate their instruction accordingly. Instead of whole group instruction, teachers are beginning, or already using guided groups to meet the diverse academic needs of their classroom.
Once needs are identified, teachers put together plans to address the needs in the classroom. Generally, teachers utilize guided reading/math groups, small groups, resource specialists, to meet the needs of individual students, whether the needs are remedial or for enrichment purposes. One of the goals is to meet the need with some type of teacher support or intervention; although this is not always possible with time constraints and limited staffing. Have time to be able to individualize instruction is vital for any teacher. At times, time and staffing limit the amount of differentiation that can occur. Teachers continue to look for ways to supplement their instruction for differentiation in and outside of their classroom. Which leads me to this question …
What free online tools can be used to supplement math differentiation in and outside of the classroom?
Note: All of the tools below are aligned to the Common Core Standards and can be accessed at school or home. I’m not suggesting that these tools replace school interventions, but they may be helpful if used appropriately. Click the pictures to enlarge.
MobyMax is an adaptive online curriculum provider that creates individual education plans for students. Student take a pre-assessment that seems to be fairly accurate (at least in my opinion). The pre-assessment determines where to start instruction and helps students practice skills that they haven’t yet mastered. Student data is collected on every lesson and problem that is completed, so progress monitoring is quite painless. Mobymax also has an app for easy access.
Scootpad is another adaptive curriculum provider that enables teachers to assign specific CCSS concepts to individual students. Teachers determine the mastery level and they are able to keep track of individual student progress. As of right now, there aren’t any lessons associated with the questions.
TenMarks is used to introduce or reinforce teaching in the classroom. Students are able to review online lessons and are asked questions related to the topic. Teachers are able to track student progress over time with TenMarks.
Xtramath is designed to help students improve their math computation fluency. This isn’t a program that’s for everyone. I’ve found that students who need practice with multiplication/division tables benefit from this web-based intervention. The program is very user-friendly and has a progress monitoring component which seems beneficial.