Friday, December 10, 2010

Middle School Math Differentiation

I had the pleasure of working with a group of middle school math co-teaching teams recently.  We spent an afternoon reviewing online resources that could be used to help differentiate instruction and then made paperslide videos, to find out if it could be a strategy that students could benefit from. 

Here are some of the websites that the teachers reviewed favorably:

  • Khan Academy.  Teachers thought that this would be great for use at home.  Pre-algebra resources are weak at this time.

  • Math TV.  This resource is available in English and Spanish.  Teachers like it because the videos can be embedded on teacher web sites.  Extra practice worksheets are available with a $20 premium membership.

  • Hippocampus.  Teachers liked the fact that this is interactive and available in English and Spanish.

  • Algebasics.  Tutorials can be used on occasion for review purposes.

  • National Library of Virtual Manipulates.  The database of activities is extensive.  The activities are leveled, so they challenge students where they need it. 

Paperslide videos can be used in any subject area.  They are modeled after CommonCraft videos.  I experienced this at the Discovery Educator Network Summer Institute (facilitated by Lodge McCammon).  Teachers worked in teams of three to break down math problems in sequential steps, write their scripts, and record their videos using USB videocams.  The overall consensus of the group was that the process of creating the videos would be helpful for students to solidify learning by teaching others.  See an example created by teachers below.  All of them are posted on our SchoolTube channel.