Monday, July 29, 2013

Growing the "Khan" Project

Place Value Poster Exemplar
Just think it was only a couple of years ago that Kahn's math videos spread like wildfire throughout the Internet. In many ways, the number, variety, and depth of the films were a first. That was before flipping your class and the blended learning approach were commonplace.

Now Kahn's videos are a mainstay, a resource many turn to for a quick reminder, introduction, or review of a math concept.  Kahn Academy has an independent, grow-at-your-own pace system of math learning too--a place that students can turn to in an effort to develop their math repertoire with strength.

Two years ago, I had students create Kahn-like movies to demonstrate their knowledge of fractions. The project was a success because it fostered tremendous discussion, problem solving, and share of mathematical language, concept, and skill. Now with the advent of the common core and SMP's (Standards for Mathematical Practice), I am developing this approach with greater effort as one way to build students' ability to present and teach mathematical arguments, understanding, and questions with precision, use of models, and connections.

To do this, I am employing a four-step process:
  1. Identify Standards.
  2. Plan the Unit of Instruction (I adapted the standard unit template to include SMPs)
  3. Teach.
  4. Assess and revise as needed.
I tried out the Math Unit Design Template while updating my start-of-the-year place value unit. While a bit cumbersome to complete, I found that the template forced me to make the considerations that ensure the unit is standards-based, engaging, relevant, and responsive to students' needs. In the next few days I'll add a few more tech links and models of the unit projects. Then, I'm sure that once I begin to teach this unit, I will find myself refining and enriching each lesson and activity to best meet my students' needs. 

While the new standards for professional work and student learning are complex, they do serve to structure our work in ways that ensure quality, student-centered learning, and design.  

As always, please feel free to comment with suggestions, questions, or revisions. This is a work in progress--the first unit for which I've woven the Standards of Mathematical Practice and the new Massachusetts' Educator Evaluation standards into the design.

There are many ways that students can create short films or screencasts of their math thinking.  I will continue to add examples below.  For starters this example was made using Quicktime screencast, then uploaded to iMovie, edited and published via YouTube.

This is an example using VoiceThread

ThingLink is another option. Click each image and find a link to more information.

This video was made with Garageband.

Another option is to make a PowerPoint movie:

Note: One the students evaluate my examples, their work will be much better.