Math & Science
Brody Middle School
Due to the wide range in math scores according to previous SMI, Iowa Assessment, initial MAP testing, and individual learning preferences, I am trying to individualize math and science instruction to meet the needs of each child according to their current academic ability.
Instructional time- 60 minutes per day for math and science. To make the most of this time, small group rotation/individual rotation can be a struggle without adaptive software that includes --- reading text to students to support students with reading and/or ELL needs, visual aids/manipulatives, ability to adjust per strand as high/low as needed, and includes reports that allow me to adjust instruction on a day to day basis. Currently, Aleks has not been effective with reaching many of my children due to lack of reading text, engagement, and visual/re-teaching/adjusting to meet kids' needs. Engagement with the online program has been significantly lower than the last two years. (It is a struggle to get many of them to use the program.)
Testing, student reports, and observations demonstrate a discrepancy between students' ability to compute a math problem and apply it to a real-life situation/word problem. Also students need an audience, a WHY they are doing things. When I was able to give them an audience for a science activity, engagement increased dramatically as did their critical thinking.
Within the 60 minutes, it can be difficult to explain new stations/activities and instruction small group effectively. I need to film and upload instructions for activities/lessons that kids could access during and after school for re-teaching and/or extending ideas. Currently I use my iPhone to record the videos because of ease of size but would prefer not to use my personal technology. Students often are lacking in background knowledge/experience- virtual reality can help close this gap.
My years as a Trailblazer have helped me to develop a Blended learning environment in my class. Blended Learning allows all students to experience personalized instruction in both reading and math and make gains at their independent pace. I am able to take the information from Lexia and Dreambox and develop stronger math and reading lessons for small groups. I look forward to how I can continue to improve my design to further student gains and celebrate their success.
Reflection & Findings:
What is the data telling you?
February: As I started working through my data I had several moments of ah-ha. The kids are learning but we still have a way to go. The MAP assessment covers all math concepts for my grade, but the current curriculum is very linear so students were presented with questions that they were not familiar with at all. What does this mean for me? I need to start previewing geometry and statistics. I need to incorporate math concepts, especially data analysis, in more meaningful ways instead of in isolation. I need to find a way to make 6th grade math concepts flow through the year.
What steps have you taken in your implementation?
February: After reviewing my data, I immediately discovered the wealth of information available on their reports page. I dug in and looked at skills students need to build in order be able to access 6th grade curriculum. I started creating small groups within my small groups so I can personalize warm ups and skill practice.
What are your roadblocks and what support do you need to overcome them?
February: Time is never on my side when it comes to completing all that I need to do. Reading the reports and making the groups require an extensive amount of time and prep so I am trying to figure that out still. I also still need invent the machine that can allow me to be duplicated so that I can really run all the small groups needed each math day.
What successes are you seeing?
February: I see gains in student confidence and perseverance. More students want to tackle the hard breakout box questions. They are making connections with robots and coding. Students are sharing their answers and asking clarifying questions. They are seeing their scores increase and set goals. I feel the students and I are working as a team and I can't wait to see what else they can accomplish before the year ends.