Tuesday, July 21, 2015

What do you do?

Due to budget cuts, many teachers end up having to double up and teach two different classes in the same period.  I'm having to do it.  I asked to put my Pre-calc class with my Pre-algebra class because I figure the older students will be a bit more independent.

I've used Hippocampus in the past but I quit using it because it didn't work well on the iPads which is all I have easy access too.   I just revisited it and it now works much better on the iPad.  Too see how it now works, I selected a developmental math and clicked on adding integers.  It showed a short 4 to 5 min video for the students to watch.

I was thinking that I could easily have students begin the new topic the day before and have them watch it just before class ends so they have an introduction.  The video component allows students to watch the material as many times as needed.

If you look at the bottom half of the page, there is a blog that provides the lesson plan for the material. It includes the assessment, learning objectives, assignment and even a rubric for grading.  In addition there is a link for the actual reading itself.

The material is like any textbook with a reading, practice problems, vocabulary and examples.  The only issue is that some of the java based applets do not work on the Mac but there are other ways to provide those applets.  One way would be to download the applet so it works off line and show it via the teacher's computer.

There are even practice problems which will allow the student to check their answer.  What I like about the practice problem is that there is an explanation for each answer and why it is right or wrong.  This is immediate feedback so students know what is going on.

So with this in mind, I think I'm going to follow the suggestion of a math teacher from Honolulu I met.  She taught two different classes in one period and arranged it so she taught one class while the other worked on the assignment, switched the next day and on Friday's the students would get a quiz and time to get caught up.

One other thing about this site is that I can sign in and customize the material for the students so I can pick and choose what to use.

Last year, I was trying to do a combined Pre-Algebra and Algebra I.  I tried to teach a lesson each day to both groups but it was hard to manage since I felt like I wasn't doing a good job.  This new idea sounds like it will work much better and if I have students watch and rewatch the videos on days that I am teaching the other class.  I hope to have one to two helpers to work with the Pre-Algebra class.

I don't know if it will work but I think I have a better plan this year than I had last year. Yeah!!!