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Sunday, November 06, 2011

Guiding Math Education with a Content Website

My next-door colleague and I are sharing strategies related to research, tech-integration and 21st century skills to develop student learning. Tenacious Team 15 Math Center website is the product of those conversations.

The website supports our weekly math pattern:
  • Concept introduction on Monday; weekly online and paper/pencil assignments introduced.
  • Concept roll-out Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday through a variety of differentiated activities.
  • Assignment review and formative assessment on Friday.
Each math unit has a separate page on the website.  Each page includes a copy of the paper/pencil assignment, concept introduction notes (created with class), and links to videos, games and online tests that build students' concept, knowledge and skill as well as their independent learning habits.

The content website has many advantages:
  • Student, parents and teachers are able to access the information 24-7 to develop content mastery.
  • Students watch and/or interact with content links repeatedly.
  • Students who are absent have the ability to access the information from near and far.
  • Teachers can access online grades to check-in on students' efforts related to online tests.
  • If a student loses the paper/pencil packet, he/she can simply print another copy.
  • This is a nice way to introduce students to blended learning behavior and information.
I am starting to use content websites to support all classroom learning.  Creating these content websites also provides students with modeling for optimal website use and creation.  Students are able to replicate these behaviors in their ePortfolios or other websites they create.

Also, rather than running to the file cabinet, next year I will refer back to this content website and simply modify, refine and enrich each page as I teach the units.  I can also easily share the information I've deemed most useful and responsive with colleagues.

I've never been able to teach using one math book or program as I always try to match the activities, strategies and learning events to the students which means I end up pulling from many, many resources online and off.  The content website gives me a wonderful vehicle for blending those resources to best support student learning.

Take a look at our math website.  How would you revise it to best meet your students' needs?  What would you add?  Do you notice any need for language change?  Are you building content websites?  If so, what's important related to the creation and use of these sites?  I look forward to your response.