In the Greece Central School District, most secondary classrooms are required to give a midterm or benchmark as a common formative assessments (CFA). A CFA is an instrument that is used to inform both the teacher and the student of the student’s progress (DuFour et al., 2010). Using CFA data, teachers are able to determine which students need additional time and instruction and to identify the teaching strategies that proved to be effective.
Mr. Mock and Ms. Ruggeri used the Integrated Algebra midterm that they gave their students to inform their instruction and diagnose what topics they needed to review. Selecting specific “most missed” questions, the co-teaching team used this opportunity to reteach certain topics. Then, students were reassessed using the SMART response clicker software. The SMART software provided a visual data model for students to see. The use of this technology also kept the entire class engaged in their learning. Great job students and teachers!
Mr. Mock showed students real world application of Geometry using the TV Show “Numb3rs.” Mr. Mock used a similar format from an earlier post. In the Parallel and Perpendicular Lines unit, he used the “Uncertantly Principle” activity. The context of the activity is that Mathematics professor Charlie Eppes is looking at a series of bank robberies to determine who is responsible and where they will strike next. FBI agent Don Eppes collects data and gives it to his brother to help him make predictions. Students must answer the questions on the worksheet relating to possible robbery locations and their knowledge of geometry. Students worked in groups to accomplish this task. Way to go Mock!
Many of our Athena math teachers have recently upgraded their classrooms with projectors and SMART boards. Although sometimes tempting to use these tools as an “expensive overhead,” our teachers chose to engage students with a variety of techniques.
Mr. Ingerick had his students teach the class on identity and squaring functions in his Pre-Calculus course. Each group of students discussed the topics at their desks, and presented them on the SMART board.
Mrs. Benz chose to use her projector by showing a pre-teach video clip from the Internet in her AP Calculus class. Her students were engaged by watching a math expert from calculus-help.com. Mrs. Benz explained that she likes this website because it offers a variety of informative and humorous videos on many aspects of Calculus.
Mr. Mock and Ms. Ruggeri hooked in their Integrated Algebra class with many interactive SMART board games and applications. This team of teachers had multiple activities throughout their class. At one point in the class, students came to the front of the room to work on a math basketball SMART board game that reinforced the ideas of solving equations. At other moments in the class, an interactive graphing calculator was projected to assist students in mastering this important tool. Both teachers were able to increase instructional engagement by utilizing technology and fun into their classroom.
Practical Strategy: Advocate for technology in your classroom and make a committment to use it often. Even the smallest technology activity can help to keep your kids interested in the content that you are delivering.