Wednesday, February 27, 2013

itslearning - Systems of Equations - Systems of Equations
Any math teacher knows the struggle teaching Systems of Equations can be.  And, that's where I am in Algebra and with my first journey through itslearning - so far, though, it's been a pretty positive go of it.

Update - my students are about 6 weeks into the itslearning journey and are finally beginning to "catch on".
Students are diving into the videos . . . pausing them to make notes . . . copying down helpful information.  Then, they are looking back at the notes and using them as a resource.  Discussions between the students is a daily occurrence now!  And, I am able to give the attention to those who truly need it . . . while my stronger students continue to roll on and gain even more confidence in the ability/independence.

The one thing I love about itslearning is the ease that I can make changes on the fly . . . student comments help control the direction of my lessons and this is such a great option for me when using itslearning.

Now does that equal understanding?  The material is still difficult but I have been pleased with the overall effort/focus level this week.  The itslearning LMS seems to give students a feeling of "extra support" so very few are completely giving up and shutting down.  For some, this is a huge step in the right direction.

I have been looking a lot at lesson set up and have found that an intro video / practice problem / assignment set all being one page eliminates issues of what link to click and where to find this and that. Also, because Systems of Equations covers a lot of ideas I have broken them down into Levels.  The Levels are tabs on the main page so it's really easy for students to go to Level 2 when they complete Level 1.

I am still trying to "control" the speed at which the classes are going which I know is still hindering my stronger students and is something that I need to look at more in the future.  The opportunity for my strong students to take off and do amazing things is there.  But, I'm not sure what the best way to go about that is . . . without losing touch with them and them feeling like they have no support.

As I move forward:
The adaptability as I move forward is something that excites me and opens up the idea of differentiated lessons . . . different levels in regards to difficulty so those that are stronger take the upper level work and the average student will work on the lower level.  This is something I plan to look at as I move forward in the semester . . . creating lessons that fit better with my individual student groups within my classes . . . right now I am trying to fit all my students into one style of set up (which is working for the majority but . . .).

1 comment:

  1. Students struggled when asked to solve the systems using each of the 3 types we had worked on in class - graphing, substitution, and elimination. There is a disconnect and I'm not sure how to build a more concrete understanding of this material . . . and there are so many other levels that we could work on that we don't get to . . . frustrating and disappointing at the same time.