Yesterday was a trying day. The skills assessed was expressing fractions in a set. The assessment included students demonstrating a task using EduCreations, answering questions using ActivExpressions, and then they worked an extended response problem. The entire class seemed off. We started the assessment after lunch. Students had been off for three days due to the weekend and Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. They were having trouble getting back into learning mode. The students struggled with the extended response question. This was a completely independent activity. Again, it is difficult for them to attempt challenging task. This is going to be a work in progress. They also seemed to struggle with the responder questions. The classroom teacher and I decided that we needed use the responders the next class period to clarify misunderstandings with the entire class. So I created a new flipchart with similar questions. (I will talk about the students’ performance later in this blog.) So needless to say, I left the classroom somewhat disappointed.
After I ate dinner with my family, I decided to login to EduCreations and watch the students’ lessons. My disappointment faded and was replaced with hope and optimism. The majority of the students provided a correct explanation of the task.
Two students in particular provided extraordinary explanations and drawings, given their pre-assessment data. The students scored a 50% and a 33% on the pre-assessment. The student who scored a 50% provided an explanation but most importantly discovered a mistake. While the student was explaining the drawing and the fraction, she discovered her mistake. She did not stop the lesson and fix the mistake. EduCreations or similar whiteboard apps can provide students a platform to visually and orally explain their thinking. Students are more likely to discover their own misconceptions why explaining their thinking out loud, like the student in my project.
The picture on the left is the student explaining the picture and finding the mistake. The picture below is fixing the picture by adding two more houses without garages.
The second student that provided a stellar description is a student who typically performs poorly. This student scored a 33% on the pre-test. When comparing descriptions between student 1 and 2, one may consider student 2’s description poor. As a teacher, I must consider the progress this student has made in just two weeks. The academic growth is significant but the student’s confidence is his ability is the most astounding part. This student has experienced poor academic results in the past but now is feeling success. This is evident through his lesson on EduCreations. Why is the student feeling success? In my professional opinion, he is engaged in learning math for 60 minutes a day through small group lesson, video tutorials, and interactive games enforcing the topics. Both students are learning but also having fun in a safe environment. While this type of fun is not the same as going to party, playing kickball, or playing video games; it is still enjoyable.
If you have never tried EduCreations, I urge you to give it a try. You might find some surprises and create positive learning experiences for your students.
To end today’s blog, I leave you with the students’ performance on the responder quiz. Yesterday, the students were off but today they truly had their game on. They were focused, participating, and answering the majority of the questions correctly. The classroom teacher led the class discussion while I observed. She asked higher order thinking questions and had the students explain why an answer was correct. It was awesome.