Blog Archives
Differentiated Circle Geometry Lesson Video
Lisa Gross and Monica O’Brien cotaught an engaging review lesson for a Geometry unit on Circles. In this lesson, Gross and O’Brien differentiate using a combination of the parallel and alternative models of coteaching. Students were grouped based upon their most recent formative assessment. The groups were as follows: an independent Castle Learning group, a mostly independent worksheet group, a guided worksheet group, and a highly guided worksheet group. The guided groups were assisted by Mrs. O’Brien and a student in the class who has mastered the material. Mrs. Gross rotated throughout all groups to ensure high quality work and to answer questions that came up.
A video summary of this highly engaging differentiated lesson is below:
8th Grader is Double Accelerated in Math
Athena Middle School 8th grade student Xiaoning Guo has been double accelerated in math. Based on his proficiency score on the Scholastic Math Inventory and overall math average, Xiaoning was recommended for this challenge. He will take both Regents Integrated Algebra and Regents Geometry at the same time. Participation in this double accelerated math will allow him to take additional math classes in high school or begin dual credit courses at an earlier date. Mrs. Dionisio, Mrs. Gross, and Mrs. Obrien have been working with Xiaoning to provide him with a successful and enriching math experience.
We are proud of Xiaoning accomplishments in mathematics and willingness to undertake this challenge.
Authentic Assessment for Logic
Mrs. Gross used Xtranormal.com to create an authentic assessment for her students. Xtranormal is a free website that allows its users to create their own animated videos. A user simply types the dialogue between two characters and the website does the rest. Mrs. Gross used this concept to assess her Geometry students on the topic of logic. The task given to the students was to complete a logic movie that displays knowledge of the various topics of logic. Her students were very creative in their projects and demonstrated their understanding of logical reasoning in a fun and different way.
According to the Xtranormal website, teachers can:
 Enhance their lessons with a movie
 Have students create their own movie
 Get access to an entire library of characters and sets
The rubric that was used to grade the assignment is below:

Poor 
Fair 
Good 
Complete 
The movie is not complete. 
The movie has 1 example of logic statements. 
The movie has at least 2 examples of logic statements. 
Descriptive 
The movie is not descriptive. 
The movie gives fair examples and explanations of the logic topics. 
The movie gives clear examples and explanations of the logic topics. 
Accuracy 
The work in this movie has many errors. 
Most of the work in this movie is correct. 
All work in this movie is correct. 
Click on the links below to see some sample Logic projects from Mrs. Gross’ class:
www.xtranormal.com/watch/12852613/logicmovie
www.xtranormal.com/watch/12830732/chuchuzmovie
Using the ENGAGING Framework, this lesson demonstrates the use of Active Learning and Authentic Assessment. Students in Mrs. Gross’ class were engaged in an activity that allowed them to demonstrate their knowledge of logic by a performance of understanding. They participated in creating an authentic video to help them explain the concepts of converse, inverse, and contrapositive.
Students are Learning Math in Different Languages
Mrs. Gross and Mrs. Davis are meeting the needs of their English as a Second Language (ESL) students in their Algebra/Geometry Connections classes by translating their notes, assignments, and assessments into different languages. The teachers took the assignments that they currently use in the class and translated the languages to Spanish and Russian using Google Translate. This free, online service is very easy to use and can be an effective tool to use for ESL students. The students commented that the translations were accurate and helpful. When asked if they wanted the teachers to continue to translate their work, they said “Yes definitively.”
To view an assessment sample, click here for the Spanish Version and here for the Russian Version.
Aleks Adventurers
Athena High School teachers Lisa Gross and Kelly Davis have pushed themselves outside of their comfort zone in order to maximize student engagement and achievement. These teachers continue to impress others with the way that they can interact and connect with students of all ability levels. Although Mrs. Gross and Mrs. Davis have achieved great success with a variety of teaching methods, they have challenged themselves to increase the use of technology in their classrooms. Understanding that all students learn differently, they began using the Aleks computer program to differentiate and meet the needs of their wide range of learners in their Algebra/Geometry Connections.
Hagerty and Smith (2005) found that students who used Aleks showed significant improvement in algebra, both shortterm and longterm. This program preassesses students to determine their present level of mathematical competency, finds their learning patterns, and helps students to build upon their knowledge base at their own pace. By using technology in the classroom, the goal is that all students will demonstrate higher achievement on class assessments and be able to discover and discuss mathematics more effectively.
Practical Strategy: Integrate computer software, such as Aleks, into your math instruction.
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Reference: Hagerty, G., & Smith S. (2005). Using the webbased interactive software Aleks to enhance college algebra. Mathematics and Computer Education, 39(3), 183194.