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Intermediate Algebra Castle Learning Review Activity

Mrs. Magin, Mrs. Lagana, Mrs. O’Brien, Mrs. DiVirgilio, and Mrs. Benz engaged their Intermediate Algebra students in a review lesson on Castle Learning.  Students worked hard on finishing 12 multiple choice and 3 short answer problems that helped them to prepare for their final exams.  For more information on Castle Learning, visit

Well done teachers and students!


Algebra Teachers Differentiate

For the past two weeks, algebra teachers have been teaching their students the concepts of greatest common factor (GCF), difference between two perfect squares, and factoring trinomials using the grouping method.  Recognizing that these topics tend to be difficult for students to master, they tailored the design of their unit to accommodate for these multiple levels of understanding.  They accomplished this by using the computer program Castle Learning.

Most days of this seven day unit, students went down to the library and worked on several Castle Learning Problems.  This worked well for students because they were given instant feedback and explanations for any incorrect answers by Castle Learning.  Teachers examined the data from Castle Learning after every lesson.  A sample of a data analysis is shown below.  A check means that the student was correct on his or her first attempt, a check with an X means that the student was correct on his or her second attempt, and an X means that the student was incorrect for two attempts.  Based on those results, some students were pulled into a small group for a reteach lesson.  Student learning was increased as a result of teachers ensuring that what a student learns, how he/she learns it, and how the student demonstrates what he/she has learned matched that student’s readiness level (Tomlinson).  If a student was not ready to move on to the next lesson, immediate intervention took place until he or she was ready, and then he or she was able to continue with the rest of the class.

Little Things Matter

At Athena Middle and High School, we support PBIS (Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports).  PBIS is a decision making framework that guides selection, integration, and implementation of the best evidence-based academic and behavioral practices for improving important academic and behavior outcomes for all students.

One of these practices is sending home to parents/guardians Good News cards.  Mrs. Lagana believes in positive reinforcement and family involvement in education.  She sent home multiple cards praising her math students for good attendance, a good test grade, or an improved behavior.

At Athena High, once a teacher fills out the student name and information, the PBIS team addresses the cards and sends them to the parents/guardians.  Thank you Athena community for your help in creating a positive environment for our students.

Click here for a sample PBIS Good News Card.

Algebra Students are Engaged in Castle Learning

Although a highly effective math teacher, Mrs. Lagana has always tiptoed around the world of technology–until now.  Mrs. Lagana engaged her students in a review lesson on the online program Castle Learning.  Teachers typically find Castle Learning Online helpful as it supports instruction and assesses students throughout the school year.  Mrs. Lagana and her Integrated Algebra students found that to be true.  After a presentation by the high school media specialist Mrs. Rounding, Mrs. Lagana’s students quietly walked down the hall to the library.  They all logged onto the computers quickly and successfully (which is not always the case with high school students).  Mrs. Lagana’s students worked on 15 polynomial questions in which they had to not only provide the correct answer on the computer, but show detailed work on paper.  If the students imputed the incorrect answer, the program would coach them to the correct response.  Mrs. Lagana and her students will continue working hard and using Castle Learning to support learning.  Well done Mrs. Lagana and her students!

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