I've been thinking a lot about how to give my students choice in meaningful practice opportunities while we are learning from home. While there are some really awesome online tools, I want to limit the need to use technology for all the things.
Why math packs?
a) We are fully remote for the first quarter of this year. I want our synchronous online time to be engaging and hope that my students do not feel the same level of screen fatigue that I have been experiencing since spring;
b) Many of the tech apps are isolated practice, and do not offer great feedback, so I would prefer that students do some open-ended tasks and games that will allow them to be flexible in their thinking and get feedback from family members who may play with them, and peers when we debrief together;
c) Our school has purchased a subscription to Dreambox (huzzah!), and I feel that platform offers what I'm looking for in independent practice, so adding in many other apps is neither necessary nor effective for what I hope to accomplish through independent practice.
What's in the packs?
- Needed tools for the games: mini dice, paper clips, dry erase marker, and pompom eraser
- Some extra tools that will be helpful in class: pencil, sharpener, glue stick
- Dry erase pocket with 4 games from Donna Boucher and Laney Sammons' book Guided Math Workstations, YouCubed's How Close to 100?, and base ten blocks to cut out as well as multiplication fill-in puzzles from this set of blackline masters.
- Multiplication Math Flips from Berkeley Everett.
Students are expected to spend 45 minutes daily on asynchronous math learning (this is per our district). They will spend some of that time on Dreambox and the for rest they will have choice from their math packs. I am considering whether to do it by day or by minutes (i.e. MWF on Dreambox, TuTh on math packs). They will log their activity on a Google Doc each week so that I can monitor progress and offer feedback.
This is new to us all, and as I stated at the start of the post, it is my hope that incorporating some choice in offline activities to offset the time we are spending online. I'll let you know how it goes in a later post once school starts and we get some practice in! Please comment your thoughts and ideas!