EDMA 658: Assisting Math Students Across Multiple Grade Levels

Purpose:The purpose of the EDMA 658 Wednesday night diffimooc page is:1) To discover and use accessible technology that will in turn assist students to assess, track, analyze, and manage their own learning.2) In order to provide a successful environment for students in any classroom or grade they should be able to track their progress against a set of standards and adjust their learning path as necessary.3) Once students are comfortable knowing they can refer to what is required of them they may require different forms of technology as a medium to perform their tasks.4) Analysis of the tool or tools used is then an important piece of creating a classroom for all learners, and must be done to conclude the effectiveness of the those tools.5) And finally a summative assessment is required to evaluate student learning, allowing opportunity for teacher and student to evaluate what learning has taken place, reteach, and finally move on.

Student Standards:
Alaska Content Standards: Technology
  • A student should be able to operate technology-based tools.
  • A student should be able to use technology to locate, select, and manage information.
  • A student should be able to use technology to explore ideas, solve problems, and derive meaning.
  • A student should be able to use technology to express ideas and exchange information.
  • A student should be able to use technology responsibly and understand its impact on individuals and society.
  • Present requirements of the lesson, and provide a technologically accessible resource which students can refer and assess how their learning is progressing so they can make adjustments prior to final scores are assigned.
  • Provide students with differentiated resources that allow them to set and track their goals.
  • Review and analyze the effectiveness of the tools used, discuss, and provide feedback to students.
  • Provide formative assessments and feedback in a timely manner so students can adjust their learning path prior to summative assessments.
  • Allow students to choose from a variety of styles to provide summative feedback for final scoring of the learning path chosen.

1) Accessible Technology for students to self-assess their own learning:

This portion of the wiki will focus on two pieces of technology that students can use to keep track of their own learning and self assess. The first tool is Zangle, the Anchorage School District's primary means to web based grading. Teachers will use Zangle for record keeping to include graded assignments, attendance, student profiles and a variety of things that students do not have access to. What students do have access to is their graded assignments, current grade, and missing work. With a password secured log in, parents and students who have web access will have access to their grades. After the teacher teaches a lesson and students are given an assignment, students are to finish the assignment and have it graded. Most of the time, I have students grade each other's work during class and I record those grades in Zangle. Students and parents can view those assignments via the web on their home computer. At this point, students can either use Classzone or Khanacademy to get extra practice while at home. If they choose not to do this (and most won't do this), they can get extra practice with Successmaker during the following class period.

Regular class periods are 45 minutes long, barely long enough to teach a math concept and let students practice that concept through guided practice. On block days, students get 90 minute classes, so supplimenting the teaching of math concepts with a math program such as SuccessMaker will keep students engaged by giving immediate feedback as to whether the student is solving the problem correctly. Students should spend twenty minutes on SuccessMaker per class period to practice the concept, either as a warm up the following class period, or as guided practice before they leave so they understand how to do the homework.

None of the work at home that requires the use of technology should be a requirement because not all students will have access to that technology. That is why their participation at school during class is vital. Homework should be graded as well as classwork and participation points should be made available to give students the maximum amount of resources for their success. This will be a powerful tool at student-led conferences or parent-teacher conferences when explaining to parents why their student is succeeding (or failing) when, in the past, that student might not have been successful.

2) Accessible Technology to Allow Students to Set and Track Goals:

Math online notebook
Purpose: to help students keep track of goals, work, notes, videos, etc.… and to assist students in their learning of mathematical concepts

Student involvement: to create an account on Khan Academy using one of the three logins: Facebook, Google or email and use it to improve their mathematics skills by setting and tracking their goals.

Teacher (and/or parent) involvement: track students learning, guide students to lessons and units to help them achieve their goals

Assessment tool: Khan Academy
Teachers: create your account on Khan Academy and get to know the site and how it works. Watch the videos about how this tool can help you and your classroom. Know what your district guidelines are for technology use and make sure all forms are signed before you start lesson one.
Time: 30 minutes each lesson

Lesson 1: Make sure that your students have an email account (most students 3-12 have email accounts at school) or Facebook account or Google account. Again know your school technology policy.
Guide students to Khan Academy website and login. Wait for all your students to get logged in. This process may take up the entire class period; it all depends on your school Internet and computers. Please tell your students to be passionate. Once all students are logged in, have them add you as a coach. Show video to class. If their parent(s)/guardian(s) as email or Facebook they can add them as a coach too. Teachers and parents should be added as coaches so they can hold students accountable, track their progress, and help support learning.

Lesson 2: Have all students start at the top of the knowledge map. This will help build their confidence and help refresh their memory. Since all of our students are at different levels this will help you know where each student’s strength and weaknesses are.

Lesson 3: Setting goals
Click profile
Click goals
Under here you have three options, Start small
Click complete any 5 videos and any 5 skills
“Setting goals helps students take ownership of their learning and facilitates self-pacing, since students can set goals appropriate to their level. Students can practice making data-driven decisions by basing their goals on their KA data.”

Effect on learning
  • Students will gain confidence in their ability to do mathematics.
  • Parents can be involved in their child’s learning.
  • Students have the ability to do peer tutoring.
  • Students will build their active listening skills through watch the videos and doing the problems assigned.
  • Students are in control of their learning.

Other sources:
This website list other sources for goal setting and tracking. Yahoo Voices
I am going to use Khan Academy for my children and students.

3) Present the Results of an Analysis of Student Differences Using One of the Tools Explored:

My 3rd grade students took the learning style inventory found here:

Abiator's Online Learning Style Inventory Test 1

This has 30 questions online and then it tells you if you are mainly a visual, auditory, or tactile/kinesthetic learner. When it give you your results, there are links to pages that give suggestions for ways to study depending on what style of learner your are. Explanations were needed as to what the word ‘seldom’ meant. Other than that it was pretty user friendly for most of my third graders.

Half of my students scored as tactile/kinesthetic. I guess it isn’t a surprise that my students that are the most active in class scored as tactile/kinesthetic. These students definitely need more active learning opportunities. The rest of the class split evenly between auditory and visual. I am not so positive on the accuracy of all of the results. For this group of students I think the best idea is to give them all opportunities that would benefit each of the learning styles. After that, they can be given choices and decide which way works best for them. It will be interesting to see what they choose and if it matches the results of this inventory. I am excited to see how it improves their learning.

What this means:

The type of learning style a student leans towards can help us discover ways to help them more effectively. Let’s take for example learning math facts.

I was interested in finding out how learning styles would affect my students in their quest to learn their multiplication facts. Here are some suggestions for each type of learner.

Mnemonics and rhyming are helpful for these learners. Repeating the facts aloud can also be beneficial. Finding musical jingles will help them to remember as well. I found a program that teaches multiplication facts to classical music. It is on its way!

These learners will benefit from making and using flashcards. Using physical objects and color-coding are two more ways to help visual learners. Any time a math fact can be illustrated with a drawing or picture, it will help this type of learner remember. I actually had a program some time ago that had pictures for all the facts. I need to find it again for my visual learners. It was Times Tables the Fun Way from City Creek Press.

You can find it at

These learners need to have hands on whenever possible. They may work better standing up. Incorporating movements with the facts may help them remember them. If highlighting is used (as is recommended with visual learners) bright colors work best.
There is a program called Multiplication March by Can Do Kids. It is a DVD that has movements to do while learning the multiplication tables. It has on it a program for addition, subtraction, and division facts as well. The DVD is about 20 minutes long for all four sections I’m assuming. It is $19.95 plus shipping.

It was relatively easy to find inexpensive programs online to work with students on their math facts using the three different learning styles. Technology is a wonderful thing!

4) Accessible Technology to Manage Formative Assessment:

To provide ongoing feedback to improve learning.

Student involvement:
Student involvement is encouraged so that students can take part in their own learning.

Teacher involvement:
To guide students and provide immediate, specific feedback and instructional guidance.

Assessment tools:
Assessment tools are varied depending on the grade level.
  • IXL is a great tool for all grade levels. Although a paid membership is required, it is appropriate for young children to use. Very kid friendly. Memberships can be on a free month trial basis.
  • Socrative. This is a really neat live student response system. Teachers can give a variety of quick assessments while students access it from any iPhone, iPod, or mobile device, including laptops. Seems like a great tool to use in upper grades, as students can access the assessments using their own mobile devices. Socrative Student Response System
  • Math Mobyis another site that is great for helping kids track their progress. This is another site that requires a school or teacher license.
  • Examples of Formative Assessment: West Virginia

  • EHow

  • Xtra Math

Effect on Learning:
Student learning will be strong, positive, and long-lasting. “Using at least one formative assessment daily enables you to evaluate and assess the quality of the learning that is taking place in your classroom and answer these driving questions: How is this student evolving as a learner? What can I do to assist this learner on his path to mastery?” (Dodge, 2013)


5) Accessible Technology to Manage Summative Assessments:

What is a summative assessment?
A summative assessment is a cumulative evaluation that is used to measure student growth and understanding after instruction. A summative assessment is generally given at the end of a chapter, unit, semester, or school year.

Inform instruction, guide future planning, and/or help organize curricula.


Performance Task – students are asked to complete a task that will test a specific set of skills/abilities and determine what the student knows and is capable of doing.

Written Product – students are asked to write an original selection.

Oral Product – students are asked to prepare an oral piece of work. For example, giving a presentation

Unit/Chapter Test – students are asked to complete a test at the end of a section, unit, theme, semester, or school year.

Standardized Test – students are asked to complete a test that is standardized in terms of the content of the test and the conditions under which the test is written.

    • A rubric, checklist or other form of scoring guide should accompany the following assessments: performance task, written product, oral product.

Student Standards
Alaska Content Standards: Technology
  1. A student should be able to operate technology-based tools.
  2. A student should be able to use technology to locate, select, and manage information.
  3. A student should be able to use technology to explore ideas, solve problems, and derive meaning.
  4. A student should be able to use technology to express ideas and exchange information.
  5. A student should be able to use technology responsibly and understand its impact on individuals and society.

Teacher Involvement
Provide students with guidance, clarity, instruction, and scaffolding.

Student Involvement
Be active participants in the learning process, which includes interaction and collaboration with peers and teacher.


Edmodo - a free, secure social network for classroom use and teacher professional development. Users can collaborate with this tool to share content and idea while having access to announcements and grades.

Evernote – a great note-taking tool that allows students to make a record of anything virtually any time.

Kidblog – a blogging platform suitable for elementary and middle school students.

Voicethread – a web-based, interactive collaboration and sharing tool that enables users to add images, documents, presentations and videos. In addition to adding media, users can add voice, text, audio file, or video comments on the work of each other.

Moodle – (abbreviation for Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment) is a free and open-source e-learning software platform

Dropbox – a cloud storage provider that is used as a file-sharing service

Rubistar – online tool to assist teachers in creation of rubrics for a variety of topics.