Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Ipad and the split classroom.

I believe I mentioned before that I have one class that is half pre-algebra and half algebra.  This makes it a challenge to teach some days, especially as I sometimes have to test one half of the group while the other half is working.  As the semester progresses I am thrilled to have the ipads.  I find that I can put one group on the ipad to use an app that will strengthen their basic skills or that might give them additional practice on the current topic while I lecture or work with the other group. Part way through the period I switch the groups and lecture the other group.   For pre-algebra, I have to reteach fractions so right now I"m having them work on fractions.  What is nice is that i have at least two apps that have videos that students can watch as much as they want.  In addition, one app has manipulatives they can use to help understand adding and subtracting fractions with unlike denominators.  I have a third fractions app that allows students to use slider bars to calculate the common denominator and then add the numerators, again using a slider bar for the numerator.  This is a free app and students are only allowed 10 problems a day but it still gives them a chance to work on working with unlike denominators.  Finally, I have students go on IXL about 3 days a week to get additional practice with immediate feedback.  IXL also gives me information on how the students are doing.
In Algebra I we are getting ready to begin working with polynomials, more specifically monomials.  I just realized with certain topics I rely more on the internet for websites to send students, rather than apps.  I have one that works well on polynomials but I prefer using either IXL or a couple of web sites such as the Math is Fun or Cool math, both of which introduce the topics and provide some practice with immediate feedback.  This way they also have a chance to have material presented in a couple different ways.  Furthermore, due to a limited internet in the school, I usually show videos on my smart board but it is hard with the mixed classes.
So it is working pretty well.