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Showing Bonnie Lasorsa

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6-8 | Math | Other

Station WGBH in Massachusetts

My Classroom Innovation

We are Nobel 7 Math. As part of our school's iPad Pilot program, we have flipped our class this year. I have approached the pilot program and flipping the class as a team project with my class. Together we designed a way for students to demonstrate their understanding of Common Core standards. We created our "Ladder of Success." For Chapter 3, for example, students have to complete 2 different ladders. One of them demonstrates mastery of all the steps leading to being able to add and subtract fractions, decimals and percentages. How they choose to demonstrate their mastery is a choice they make individually or in groups. There are several apps that allow them to create evidence of their understanding. We use Edmodo as a classroom social network submission process. The joy of that program is that I can immediately review, comment, grade, and suggest changes to their steps. They are able to review, recreate or edit their work before submitting it for a final grade.

How Students were Engaged

This method has changed the entire feel of the class. After completing our Main Course for the day (major activity), students move to their Dessert time when they work on their ladders. At any given moment there are students, individually and in small groups, everywhere - but they are all CREATING. Movies, picture collages, puppet shows, snapshots of written work, cartoons... The options are endless that they can choose from. They ask to stay after class, come after school and are all engaged. Their summative assessment scores are higher than in past years and are higher as compared with other 7th grade classes. Students with low grades last year are being successful. More important than the grades, students are able to explain their understanding in math language, work collaboratively, and are confident in their abilities. They are creating their own situations and then solving them. After we completed this unit, we discussed together what they thought of the "ladders." The students said - almost unanimously - that they enjoy (imagine that - enjoying math?) learning this way but they thought we should have more practice problems as well. So we are planning our ladders for the next unit now.

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