My Remote Learning Story

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Danielle Boggs, Champaign, IL

In my district, we were only doing asynchronous learning activities that reviewed past concepts, and offering optional extension activities that might include new content. I ran into lots of hurdles. I tried what felt like everything under the sun to try to hook students, including having students watch videos, make videos, and use Flipgrid, Quizizz, EdPuzzle, Pear Deck, and Google Forms just to try to find something that would engage everyone.

I would say my two biggest success stories were the use of Pear Deck and Google Forms, with the use of Quizizz as a not so distant third place.

My first success story includes one of my all time favorite lessons in CC3, 9.2.1, where students are introduced to the types of triangles you can make from squares. It took me a good amount of time to make a student-self paced Pear Deck (gdoc) that helped students explore that small, medium, and large squares could make no triangle, an acute, right, or obtuse triangle. I could not figure out how to make it more hands on for students to manipulate the squares, so this activity was more guided than I want it to be. I had the majority of my students engaged in the activity, however, which was very different from other activities! (Note: If you want to make a Pear Deck you must have the Pear Deck add-on.)

Second, my grade level created a Weekly Check-in Google Form (gdoc) that allowed us to get a read on how students were doing both social-emotionally and academically with remote learning, and I used this form each week to reach out to students and families, answer their questions, and inform them of the types of activities or assignments that might be my focus the following week.

With regard to engaging students, the majority also participated in almost every Quizizz assignment. Thankfully, they recently incorporated a lot of new features beyond just multiple choice, such as open ended questions (great for solving equations), poll questions (great for self-assessment), and more! With my Quizizz assignments I was able to analyze student’s answers and use them to make videos and slides demonstrating my favorite mistakes. Then I had students do a similar Quizizz in order to show their growth in understanding. Believe it or not, it worked. At least it worked better than all the other things I tried! This way I still got to provide students feedback and still be their teacher!

But overall, students missed their friends, they missed their teachers, and they needed that human contact for their middle school developing selves. I tried to incorporate more of their social-emotional needs, as much as I could anyway. My student teacher and I put together a series of tasks on Flipgrid that included saying “hello,” sharing what you are grateful for, show & tell, learning sign language, sharing jokes, talent show, interview a family member, and magic. The videos that we created were tremendously popular, including our “Pet Padlet,” where students posted pictures of their pets, and “Inspirations and Advice Padlet,” where students posted pictures of inspirational quotes, tips, and advice to help other students get through Remote Learning.

So, the moral of my story is, if you can do synchronous, do it. But if asynchronous is all you can do, Pear Deck, Google Forms, and Quizizz were my more successful go-tos.

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Algebra Tiles Blue Icon

Algebra Tiles Session

  • Used throughout CPM middle and high school courses
  • Concrete, geometric representation of algebraic concepts.
  • Two-hour virtual session,
  •  Learn how students build their conceptual understanding of simplifying algebraic expressions
  • Solving equations using these tools.  
  • Determining perimeter,
  • Combining like terms,
  • Comparing expressions,
  • Solving equations
  • Use an area model to multiply polynomials,
  • Factor quadratics and other polynomials, and
  • Complete the square.
  • Support the transition from a concrete (manipulative) representation to an abstract model of mathematics..

Foundations for Implementation

This professional learning is designed for teachers as they begin their implementation of CPM. This series contains multiple components and is grounded in multiple active experiences delivered over the first year. This learning experience will encourage teachers to adjust their instructional practices, expand their content knowledge, and challenge their beliefs about teaching and learning. Teachers and leaders will gain first-hand experience with CPM with emphasis on what they will be teaching. Throughout this series educators will experience the mathematics, consider instructional practices, and learn about the classroom environment necessary for a successful implementation of CPM curriculum resources.

Page 2 of the Professional Learning Progression (PDF) describes all of the components of this learning event and the additional support available. Teachers new to a course, but have previously attended Foundations for Implementation, can choose to engage in the course Content Modules in the Professional Learning Portal rather than attending the entire series of learning events again.

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Building on Instructional Practice Series

The Building on Instructional Practice Series consists of three different events – Building on Discourse, Building on Assessment, Building on Equity – that are designed for teachers with a minimum of one year of experience teaching with CPM instructional materials and who have completed the Foundations for Implementation Series.

Building on Equity

In Building on Equity, participants will learn how to include equitable practices in their classroom and support traditionally underserved students in becoming leaders of their own learning. Essential questions include: How do I shift dependent learners into independent learners? How does my own math identity and cultural background impact my classroom? The focus of day one is equitable classroom culture. Participants will reflect on how their math identity and mindsets impact student learning. They will begin working on a plan for Chapter 1 that creates an equitable classroom culture. The focus of day two and three is implementing equitable tasks. Participants will develop their use of the 5 Practices for Orchestrating Meaningful Mathematical Discussions and curate strategies for supporting all students in becoming leaders of their own learning. Participants will use an equity lens to reflect on and revise their Chapter 1 lesson plans.

Building on Assessment

In Building on Assessment, participants will apply assessment research and develop methods to provide feedback to students and inform equitable assessment decisions. On day one, participants will align assessment practices with learning progressions and the principle of mastery over time as well as write assessment items. During day two, participants will develop rubrics, explore alternate types of assessment, and plan for implementation that supports student ownership. On the third day, participants will develop strategies to monitor progress and provide evidence of proficiency with identified mathematics content and practices. Participants will develop assessment action plans that will encourage continued collaboration within their learning community.

Building on Discourse

In Building on Discourse, participants will improve their ability to facilitate meaningful mathematical discourse. This learning experience will encourage participants to adjust their instructional practices in the areas of sharing math authority, developing independent learners, and the creation of equitable classroom environments. Participants will plan for student learning by using teaching practices such as posing purposeful questioning, supporting productive struggle, and facilitating meaningful mathematical discourse. In doing so, participants learn to support students collaboratively engaged with rich tasks with all elements of the Effective Mathematics Teaching Practices incorporated through intentional and reflective planning.