Monday, October 22, 2012

Khan Academy - Math Enrichment and/or Remediation

It has been a few years since I have had to teach math, but this year I am once again teaching all subject areas to my fifth graders. I am quickly becoming reacquainted with a variety of mathematical struggles my students face every day.

I have been trying to take a closer look at the individual student difficulties. Some days it seems my brain is on repeat with a constant inner dialogue. "Why can't they get it? What is holding them back? Why does it seem they understand it one day, but the next day they have to start all over again?"

The underlying causes often seem to be a crack in the foundation so to speak. A student will struggle with long division if they did not master multiplication, subtraction, and place value. Some students might be able to mask their struggles by memorizing algorithms, however, if they don't understand why the standard algorithm works, they will not be able to identify if their calculations look wrong, and frequent mistakes are made. Their problem solving skills are hampered by their lack of understanding "why".

Once I identify the problem, the inner dialogue loop begins again. "How can I address their individual needs? There is only one of me, and 24 of them. How can I teach them what they need, and what is required at their grade level?"

I have recently begun to use as a Remediation Tool. During the 30 minutes of morning time, I have assigned several of my students to the laptops. They log in to Khan Academy using their Google accounts. This gives them individualized instruction on a remediation level appropriate for them . I plan to implement an enrichment plan as well for students who just fly through the math. I highly recommend checking out Khan Academy.



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