Friday, April 17, 2015

Having Fun in Common Core Math with Digital Learning Tools

Who Says You Can Not Have Fun with Common Core Mathematics

The beginning of the school year brought forth many challenges as our district implemented the Common Core Mathematic curriculum. I faced the challenge of a brand new curriculum with no effective training (in my opinion) to effectively implement these new standards.

I began the first semester as I was instructed to. Placing students in groups to complete the investigations, having them complete the Check Your Understanding and Summarize the Mathematics independently or in groups. My students were getting frustrated because of their low reading levels did not give them a fair chance to understand this new math.

As the semester continued, I wanted to find ways to motivate my students to learn the new Common Core Mathematics Standards. Since I had a class set of iPads, I began to research and find ways I could add a little fun into my curriculum with the use of digital learning tools.

From apps such as Socrative, Study Blue, Sonic Pic, and Screen Chomp, my students began to get engage in learning. I saw a difference in their motivation to experience the Common Core journey with me.

By the end of the semester we were beginning to have fun in Integrated Math 1 (the new name given to the course, although now it has changed again). Students completed assignments using their iPads and Macs. It was amazing to see the difference in their attitude to complete Investigations with digital tools versus using their textbook.

I knew I had to give my students the opportunity to experience this math at the beginning of the new semester. I embarked on a new journey to find ways to make Common Core Math fun. I created lessons, assignments, and projects that would integrate Common Core Mathematics and digital learning tools. An integration of standards and digital learning tools that would allow students to understand the standards and do it in an engaging way. Although a long process, I innovatively created the ultimate resource tool for my first unit.

For our new semester, we start with Unit 2, Patterns in Data. I created a Digital Learning Pack filled with activities, strategies, and projects that will capture the essence of the standards in an innovative way. Students will be engaged in learning statistics using animated video software to learn vocabulary (Go Animate), Speed Dating and Gallery Walks to share ideas, graphic organizers to organize notes, blogging (Kid Blog) to answer the Summarize the Mathematics, micro-blogging to participate in conversations from Think About The Situation, and choice boards to summarize the unit using a multiple of digital learning tools. Investigations will include a Skittle project, Height project, and a project of the student’s choice.

I am very excited to give my students an innovative way to learn the new Common Core Math. Whoever says the Common Core Math cannot be fun just hasn’t taken the time to find ways to integrate fun into the curriculum. For the Unit 2 Common Core Pack, visit my Store to get your pack today!

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