Knowledgehook's Gameshow Beta Tool is a FREE Gamified Online Assessment Tool that can do what Socrative and Kahoot do, but offering much more!

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]]>Knowledgehook’s Gameshow Beta Tool is a FREE Gamified Online Assessment Tool that does more than what Google Forms, Socrative and Kahoot can do by pushing the bar up with level-up experience (XP) points as well as FREE content teachers can use to run ready-made gameshows or customize their own!

While this is just the beta version, I am impressed with the look, feel and roadmap for this new tool to join the online assessment party.

Let’s have a closer look…

See below for a quick written summary with screenshots of the experience:

Signing up for a free teacher/administrator account was simple and painless. Only a few details including your school email address to avoid the possibility of students signing up as a teacher.

You must pick your province next and unfortunately it only has Canadian provinces listed (so far?). Since this is the beta version, I would assume that other locations outside of Canada simply have not been added (yet). Since this took can be useful for any teacher in any subject area around the world, I’d probably select a province for now and hopefully more locations will be added shortly.

I’m unsure of the different course options available depending on your location. In Ontario, it appears that grades 7-10 math have been covered. If I was in another subject area, I would just select any courses (maybe all) and then move on. There is a custom gameshow creation tool where you can construct your own questions, so this tool will be useful regardless of whether you have selected your correct course.

From here, you can now select your desired course from the pull down menu in the main navigation bar at the top of the screen.

Click on the VIEW button to preview the questions, add them individually to a custom gameshow, or edit the questions directly.

Press PLAY on a ready-made gameshow, or customize your own gameshow by interleaving content or creating your own problem sets.

Students head to playkh.com and enter in your gameshow room PIN to begin. No student accounts necessary – Just a device and a connection!

Using a minimalist and modern approach, the platform is appealing to the eye.

With all of the work that I’ve been doing on Gamifying my assessment practices this year, the experience points seem to fit in nicely with my thinking.

The custom gameshow and question creation tool is really versatile offering the most customization I’ve experienced thus far in the online assessment / clicker quiz market. I’m really excited to dig in and play with all of the options including HTML tags to add links and other great features.

Have you tried this new free online assessment tool? If so, let me know how it went for you!

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]]>Dan Meyer, Buzzmath and a variety of math teachers created a series of Graphing Stories Math Videos that are great! Here they are in 3 act math task format!

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]]>Dan Meyer and BuzzMath worked collaboratively with a group of math teachers to create some really impressive resources for distance-time and many other relationships comparing a dependent variable over time. For the past couple years I have been using the videos on the Graphing Stories website and really enjoying how the videos engage my students in ways I had never considered. However, over time, I have been trying to do a better job developing the question as Dan Meyer and many others discussed here. My thinking was that we could develop the question more effectively if we chunked the Graphing Stories videos into 3 acts.

So that’s what I did and I’d like to share those videos chunked into 3 acts with you below.

Quick Tip: I’d recommend only using a few of these graphing stories each day as anything too repetitive will lose effectiveness. Spacing out your distance-time work with Graphing Stories over a few weeks seems to work well in my own classroom.

In Bum Height off the Ground, Carey Lehner submits a video of a child sliding down a large theme park slide. What does the graphing story look like when you compare bum height and time?

In Act 1, Kenneth Lawler submits a video of a weight lifter bench pressing. What does the graphing story look like when you compare the distance of the bar from the bench and time?

Watch the other acts below:

In Act 1, Adam Poetzel submits a video of a man sitting on the edge of a playground ride. What does the graphing story look like when you compare distance from camera and time?

Watch the other acts below:

In Act 1, Paul Reimer submits a video of a man pumping a football with an air pump. What does the graphing story look like when you compare air pressure and time?

Watch the other acts below:

John Golden submits a video of a man blowing up a balloon. What does the graphing story look like when you compare balloon length and time?

Watch the other acts below:

Adam Poetzel submits a video of a man sitting on the edge of a carousel. What does the graphing story look like when you compare the distance from centre of the carousel and time?

Watch the other acts below:

Liam Johnston submits a video of a man running the bases of a baseball diamond. What does the graphing story look like when you compare distance from home plate and time?

Watch the other acts below:

Arianna Hoshino submits a video of a man rolling down a hill. What does the graphing story look like when you compare elevation and time?

Watch the other acts below:

Jose Luis Ibarra submits a video of a person flying a paper plane from the second floor of a building. What does the graphing story look like when you compare elevation and time?

Watch the other acts below:

Jean Phillipe Choiniere submits a video of a person zip-lining in the rain forrest. What does the graphing story look like when you compare height off ground and time?

Watch the other acts below:

Rachel Falknor submits a video of a person bouncing a ball on the ground. What does the graphing story look like when you compare height and time?

Watch the other acts below:

Mark Sloan submits a video of a person stacking styrofoam cups. What does the graphing story look like when you compare height of stack and time?

Watch the other acts below:

Adam Poetzel submits a video of a person climbing up a slide and then sliding down. What does the graphing story look like when you compare height of waist off ground and time?

Watch the other acts below:

Dan Meyer submits a video of himself swinging on a swing. What does the graphing story look like when you compare height of waist off ground and time?

Watch the other acts below:

Bowen Kerins submits a video of a video game character using a teleport on the screen. What does the graphing story look like when you compare height off ground and time?

Watch the other acts below:

Christopher Danielson submits a video of a person adding pony figurines to the frame. What does the graphing story look like when you compare the number of ponies in the frame and time?

Watch the other acts below:

David Cox submits a video of a person dealing out a deck of cards. What does the graphing story look like when you compare the size of hand and time?

Watch the other acts below:

Mariah Thompson submits a video of a person holding a clock and watching the time go by. What does the graphing story look like when you compare the time on the clock and the time on the timer?

Watch the other acts below:

Esteban Diaz Ibarra submits a video of a person filling a cylinder with water. What does the graphing story look like when you compare the volume of water and time?

Watch the other acts below:

Mark Sloan submits a video of a person stacking cups on a scale. What does the graphing story look like when you compare the weight of the stack and time?

Watch the other acts below:

Mark Sloan submits a video of a person un-stacking cups on a scale. What does the graphing story look like when you compare the weight of the stack and time?

Watch the other acts below:

Mark Sloan submits a video of a person stacking different kinds of cups on a scale. What does the graphing story look like when you compare the weight of the stack and time?

Watch the other acts below:

All of the video content originally licensed CC BY 3.0 US on the Graphing Stories website by Dan Meyer, BuzzMath and a group of excellent teachers.

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]]>How much would it cost to build the Big Nickel in Sudbury, Ontario out of real nickels? A task using volume, proportional reasoning and trigonometry!

The post Big Nickel appeared first on Tap Into Teen Minds.

]]>So earlier this month, I was in Sudbury, Ontario delivering an Apple Professional Development session for the Sudbury Catholic District School Board. I had always heard about the “Big Nickel” monument and thought I should search it out. On my way, Justin Levack sent me a text saying I should see what kind of 3 Act Math Task I could think of. This time, rather than trying to develop a question on my own, I tossed it out to the Twitterverse:

Thoughts on what to do with this one? @ddmeyer @mathycathy @robertkaplinsky @mr_stadel @Ryan7Read #maths #mathchat pic.twitter.com/qQlh8oTW3p

— Kyle Pearce (@MathletePearce) September 19, 2014

As expected, I had some ideas coming to me within minutes including these:

@MathletePearce @ddmeyer Get the roasted red pepper soup, whatever you do! And..how many nickels would have to be rendered to make THIS one?

— Cheryl Geoghegan (@mathsuds) September 19, 2014

@MathletePearce If that was made of nickel how much would it be worth? How many nickels?

— Dan Meyer (@ddmeyer) September 19, 2014

@mr_stadel My favorite question so far, Andrew! No rest for me until I know the answer @MathletePearce @ddmeyer @robertkaplinsky @Ryan7Read

— Cathy Yenca (@mathycathy) September 20, 2014

So, just like that, Cathy Yenca went and solved Dan Meyer and Andrew Stadel‘s question and was kind enough to share her work with us so we can all use this task when a related learning goal comes up.

Show your students this video or the photo below:

The approach you choose to have your students answer whether constructing the Big Nickel with actual Canadian Nickels vs. using the material they actually used to build the monument would be more cost effective will depend on the level of your mathematics students. Here, I’ll give two approaches to make this task accessible by more students.

All students would benefit from these two photos:

**Diameter of the Big Nickel in Sudbury, Ontario**

**Big Nickel Divided into 12 Triangles**

**Thickness of the Big Nickel**

The thickness of the Big Nickel will serve as the height of the prism in order to calculate the volume. By taking the area of the base and multiplying by the thickness (height), students will know how much space the Big Nickel occupies:

**Thickness of a 1951 Canadian Nickel**

The thickness of a 1951 Canadian Nickel will serve as the “height” in the volume formula when calculating how much space is occupied by an actual nickel:

If your students have not covered trigonometry or primary trigonometric ratios yet, you’ll want to give the students a little more information. Here are some details you can give your students:

**Base and Height of One (1) Triangular Section of Big Nickel**

Students can use these dimensions to determine the area of one triangular section of Big Nickel, then multiply by 12 to get the **area of the base** in order to help them find the total volume:

**Base and Height of One (1) Triangular Section of a 1951 Canadian Nickel**

Students can use these dimensions to determine the area of one triangular section of a 1951 Canadian Nickel as they work towards finding the volume:

If your students have covered the **primary trigonometric ratios**, you can opt to use the following images that force students to use trig ratios to find a working solution:

**Height of a Right Angle Triangle in Big Nickel**

Students know that the diameter of Big Nickel is 9.1 m and thus the height of the right angle triangle we can form in one of the 12 triangular sections

is 4.55 m. From here, students must use their knowledge of primary trigonometric ratios to find the base of the triangular section:

Using a similar approach to the above image, students must also use their knowledge of primary trigonometric ratios to find the base of a triangular section of a 1951 Canadian Nickel shown below:

Once students determine the volume of Big Nickel and a 1951 Canadian Nickel, they can determine how many nickels it would take to build the monument as well as the total cost to do so.

The Big Nickel was completed in 1964 for approximately $35,000 according to Wikipedia. Information about the 1951 Canadian Nickel also according to Wikipedia.

My assumption is that the nickels would be melted down to create the monument, but some students may assume you’re just “dropping the nickels in” or something along those lines. Great discussion to be had there.

Here are some additional extensions and images that are included in the slide deck available for download:

- The City of Windsor wants to build a “Double Big Nickel” where the total volume is doubled. Can you just double the dimensions?
- The WFCU Arena in Windsor cost a total of $71 Million to build. What percentage of that cost would it take to construct the Big Nickel?
- When constructing the Big Nickel, construction workers need to know the interior angle measures in order to build it. What are they?
- If the Big Nickel needs to be taken off-side for repair, what would the interior angles be for the supports needed?
- If resurfacing the entire Big Nickel, how much would it cost?

Cathy Yenca was the first to answer Dan Meyer and Andrew Stadel’s question(s) and she was kind enough to share her work via a TACKK! Click here or on the image below to see the full solution:

Cathy also blogged about our co-creation of this task from a great distance over a very short period of time! Read about it here!

- Act 1 [VIDEO]
- Slide Deck Images [JPG FILES]
- Slide Deck Presentation [KEYNOTE FILE]

Be sure to share your experience in the COMMENTS!

Click on the button below to grab all the media files for use in your own classroom:

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]]>Gas Guzzler shows Mr. Pearce filling his gas tank. Act 1 shows the price of gas covered up. Students must find the rate of change using the cost for 20 L.

The post Gas Guzzler appeared first on Tap Into Teen Minds.

]]>This 3 Act Math Task focuses on the rate of change for proportional reasoning / linear patterning / direct variation linear relations problem.

In the first act, students watch a 30 second video that shows someone pre-paying for gas, selecting the grade of fuel and start pumping. You’ll notice in the video that the cost per litre (rate of change) is blanked out on the pump.

Students will then be asked:

What is the price of gas?

Here are a few images in the case you don’t want to load a video / have a slow connection:

We then watch the gas being pumped in fast-forward and then at about the $20 mark, we see an image showing the price for a specific amount of fuel in Litres.

Students can then use the given information to determine the cost of fuel.

At this point, you can also ask the students to determine:

How much will it cost to pump _____ litres of fuel into the tank?

In this video, the total number of litres is 38.264 L. Suggesting they find the cost for exactly 38 L might lead to a good discussion about why the video doesn’t stop at exactly 38 L to fill the tank, etc.

This video shows both the cost of gas on the pump and on the Petro Canada sign.

The video also show how much gas was pumped into my 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan.

- Did the 38.264 L fill the tank from empty? If not, what fraction or percent of the tank did it fill?
- Is this scenario a direct or partial variation? How do you know?
- Will you ever encounter a partial variation when filling up your vehicle like we viewed in this video?
- What other 2-variable relationship could we explore in this situation other than Volume of Gas and Time?

Grab them all here or, individually below:

Act 1 [VIDEO]

Act 2 [VIDEO]

Act 3 [VIDEO]

Presentation [KEYNOTE SLIDE DECK]

Here’s a quick look at what the slide deck looks like:

Click on the button below to grab all the media files for use in your own classroom:

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]]>Get your Twitter account ready to join in the #OAMEchat that will be going on throughout (and after) the OAME Annual Conference with questions Tweeted daily

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]]>A couple weeks ago, Jim Pai tossed out the idea of creating a Twitter Chat that will run in the style of #slowmathchat by Michael Fenton. A group of Ontario Math Educators including Jon Orr, Matthew Oldridge, Amy Lin, Mary Bourassa and myself jumped on-board.

If you are unfamiliar with #slowmathchat, be sure to check out Michael Fenton’s post outlining how it works.

As mentioned, we will be following the #slowmathchat model by Tweeting out questions throughout the OAME Annual Conference to encourage:

- People sharing their experiences from OAME
- People sharing their thoughts on their experiences from OAME
- People sharing their reflections on their thoughts on their experiences from OAME
- People not attending sharing their reflections on the thoughts of the experiences of others from OAME

While the intent was to connect mathematics educators during the conference, it is possible that we continue with the same format after the conference comes to an end.

Use the hashtag #OAMEchat to engage in conversation related to the four (4) questions that will be tweeted out from Tuesday to Saturday during the OAME 2015 conference. The hashtag #OAME2015 is for general conversation about the conference that is not specific to the chat.

However, consider using **BOTH** hashtags when participating in the chat to inspire others following the #OAME2015 hashtag to join in!

#OAMEchat will consist of four (4) questions that will be tweeted out throughout the OAME 2015 Annual Conference. Here’s the schedule:

- Tuesday May 5th & Wednesday May 6th – Question #1 (Q1)
- Thursday May 7th – Question #2 (Q2)
- Friday May 8th – Question #3 (Q3)
- Saturday May 9th – Question #4 (Q4) & Question Summary

Each question tweet will begin with the letter “Q” and the question number (e.g.: Q1 for question #1). In order to help those in the chat understand which question your tweet corresponds to, we suggest that you begin your tweets with the letter “A” and the question number (e.g.: A1 for answer #1).

Many grew up writing notes in a binder that would get tucked away – often never to be read again.

Recently, I began using Twitter as a way to document some of my learning at conferences by quoting speakers and sharing big ideas acquired from sessions. Not only does this provide me with a digital filing system that I can go back through to refresh on some key learnings, but it also prompts interaction from my Twitter Professional Learning Network.

Here is a recent (short) conversation prompted by a reflective Tweet:

I *try* to include my direct instruction during consolidation rather than prior to the task, building on strategies observed. #springsimk12

— Kyle Pearce (@MathletePearce) April 23, 2015

@MathletePearce #springsimk12 letting students construct their own understanding and struggle if necessary rather than telling/over scaffold

— LMS-Campbell (@lstrangway) April 23, 2015

@lstrangway exactly – then, that leaves little for the teacher to clarify/extend throughout.

— Kyle Pearce (@MathletePearce) April 23, 2015

@MathletePearce we have a BINGO!

— Alex Overwijk (@AlexOverwijk) April 23, 2015

During the OAME Annual Conference, we will:

- Post four (4) questions throughout the conference;
- OAME Attendees and those following via Twitter can share their experiences from the conference, while sharing their responses to the questions; and,
- At the end of the conference, we will archive the conversation for future reference.

Disclaimer: These ideas are stolen from Michael Fenton’s post:

- Add a #OAMEchat column to your Twitter client. I’ve been a fan of Tweetdeck for quite some time, but there are others that will allow you to do the same. If on a mobile device, be sure that you continue checking the hashtag via the search field in the Twitter app.
- Spread the word about #OAMEchat by retweeting questions, answers, and any other interesting Tweets with the hashtag.
- Toss out some interesting questions during the conference to keep the chat lively!

Do you have ideas to make the chat awesome? Please let us know in the comments! Looking forward to your Tweets at the conference!

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]]>An Education Officer from EQAO has confirmed that the new Desmos Test Mode app can be used on the Grade 9 Assessment of Mathematics in Ontario Classrooms.

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]]>Recently, I came across a post by Carl Hooker explaining how the Eanes Independent School District managed to get Desmos Test Mode approved for students writing the Texas State math tests (also check out Cathy Yenca’s post here). I’ll be honest and say I never really read too deeply into these posts until I heard from Jon Orr that a school district near Toronto was approved by the Educational Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) to use this brand new app on the upcoming Grade 9 Assessment of Mathematics in June. I immediately made a phone call and also sent off an email to EQAO in order to learn more about the possibility of allowing my district to do the same.

A representative from EQAO responded to my email today and stated:

…Students can use calculator applications on iPads, as long as the calculator applications have the same functionality as a regular scientific or graphing calculator, with or without computer algebra systems. For example, it must not contain a glossary or be instructional in nature (e.g. provide tutorials or definitions), as scientific/graphing calculators do not have glossaries or provide instructions. Students can also choose to use the virtual manipulatives on the iPad. However, any applications and software which require internet connectivity in order to function are not permitted during the assessment. As well, they should not have access to other applications or the internet during the assessment.

All provisions outlined in the Administration and Accommodation Guides must be adhered to. Any instructional materials, including applications of an instructional nature, that facilitate responses to questions cannot be used. We rely on the professional judgment of educators to administer the assessments in accordance with EQAO guidelines…

With Jon cc’ed on the email, we were both very excited to be able to share this news with our colleagues and Twitter PLN from other parts of Ontario.

**PLEASE NOTE – THERE IS NO APPLICATION OR REQUIREMENT TO CONTACT EQAO TO USE DESMOS TEST MODE APP ON THE GRADE 9 ASSESSMENT OF MATHEMATICS; FOLLOW THE STEPS BELOW AND YOU WILL BE COMPLYING WITH THE RULES/REGULATIONS SET OUT BY EQAO.**

If you plan on allowing students writing the Grade 9 Assessment of Mathematics to use the Desmos Test Mode iOS App on an iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch, the EQAO provisions state that students must not be able to access the internet and must not be able to access other apps on the device.

My suggestion is that you:

- Put the device in How to use AIRPLANE MODE in ioS to ensure WiFi/Cell Data is OFF;
- Launch Desmos Test Mode; and,
- Use the What is Guided Access in iOS on iPad and iPhone accessibility feature included in iOS to restrict students to the Desmos Test Mode app.

By following the three steps above, you will ensure that you are following all of the EQAO Guidelines for the Grade 9 Assessment of Mathematics.

Personally, I believe that the free Desmos Test Mode app offers students a more intuitive way to leverage the features of a typical graphing calculator. I know that most of my students in grade 9 applied are hesitant to use the TI-83, simply because it is difficult to remember the series of steps necessary to achieve the graphical representation they are looking for. This can be more of a burden for struggling students than an asset.

I’m excited to see whether Desmos Test Mode has an impact on our EQAO Success Rates and to hear what the students have to say about the experience.

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]]>A bunch of candies spill out on the table. Students will explore solving systems of equations to determine how many of each colour there are.

The post Counting Candy Sequel appeared first on Tap Into Teen Minds.

]]>Previously, the Counting Candy 3 Act Math Task that had students problem solving with fractions to determine how many candies each of four people should receive given the number of candies in 2/3 of the container. The Sequel extends this idea and asks students to determine how many of each colour are there using a **system of linear equations**.

While the original Counting Candy task may seem below the level of students who are expected to solve a system of equations, but I’d recommend doing the original task to add to the development of the question.

Supporting images:

**Act 2 – Solving a Single Linear Equation Version**

Not solving systems? Use this version for a single linear equation.

**Supporting image for Single Linear Equation**

**Act 3 – Solving a Single Linear Equation Version**

Not solving systems? Use this version for a single linear equation.

**Supporting Images:**

When I deliver the Counting Candies Sequel, I typically do the Counting Candies task first. It is a very low floor task that hooks students in and gives all learners a feeling of success prior to diving into solving Systems of Linear Equations. Once that is complete, we get the kids using inquiry and prior knowledge to solve the Counting Candies Sequel. When I give this task to teachers, they typically jump straight to algebra and start building a system of equations. However, when we leave students to their own devices, you’re likely to get something simple (and likely more efficient) than a system.

Here’s an exemplar of what a student might come up with prior to the introduction of systems of equations. This is a **GOOD** thing! We want students to build their confidence in math by proving that they can solve problems given their prior knowledge and intuition!

After discussing a solution like this, you might want to start making connections to algebra and consolidating by formalizing the idea of a system of equations and what must be done to solve it. Students have done this intuitively here, so now it could be easier for them to make that connection in the algebraic world.

Most teachers who have taught systems of equations will immediately recognize that a system will do the trick. However, in this case, it seems almost redundant to solve the problem with a system:

WOW. That was a lot of work when a student could solve it in 3 pretty basic steps.

So why would a teacher jump to a system when it could be done more efficiently using simple arithmetic/logic? Could it be that we have built the automaticity to quickly identify problems and match them with the procedural solution?

I don’t know about you, but I would much rather a ___________ (fill in with: student, employee, etc.) to select the most efficient solution for the task. Surprisingly, math doesn’t ALWAYS make things easier. However, a task like this makes it so much easier to then move to a situation where maybe the solution isn’t so easy to do without an algebraic system of equations.

Funny enough, following a procedure like in exemplar #2 can also make things more complex if we don’t stand back and think about the most efficient place to begin. Because we have two equations with an expression of *x + y*, we could skip some steps and immediately isolate *z*:

I hope that you find this task as well as the exemplars useful when you are trying to help your students begin working with systems of linear equations. I find it very helpful and even get students solving this task in younger grades just because they can!

You can access all the resources in a shared Google Drive folder here.

Or, download files individually here:

- Act 1 [VIDEO]
- Act 2 [VIDEO]
- Act 3 [VIDEO]
- Counting Candies & Sequel Slide Deck [KEYNOTE]
- Images [SHARED FOLDER]
- All Resources [SHARED FOLDER]

Click on the button below to grab all the media files for use in your own classroom:

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]]>There are candies on the table. How many candies should each of four people receive if you know how many there are in two thirds of the whole?

The post Counting Candies appeared first on Tap Into Teen Minds.

]]>In this task, students see a bunch of candies poured on the table. How many candies should each of four people receive if you know how many there are in two thirds of the whole?

What’s the question?

In this case, we’re looking at:

How many candies should you receive if they are divided evenly amongst 4 people?

Students now know how many candies there are in 2/3 of the total. How many should each person get if the total is split amongst 4 people evenly?

Click on the button below to grab all the media files for use in your own classroom:

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]]>This is just the beginning of what we believe to be an exciting project to redefine what it means to assess students in the 21st century - JOIN US!

The post Let’s Make An Online Assessment Tool That Rocks! appeared first on Tap Into Teen Minds.

]]>Back in January, with only a few days until semester 2 was set to begin, I was lucky to have come across a post by Jon Orr and a new idea he was going to implement to improve the assessment process in his classroom based on Alice Keeler’s original work around Levelling Up and Awarding Badges. I was quickly convinced that what Jon was aiming to do with his Google Sheet Skill Evidence Record could mean a huge step in the right direction for grading my own students.

Over the next couple of days, I had spent some serious time adding new features to the sheet for better tracking, opportunities to leave feedback, links to additional tasks for improvement, and functionality to write report card comments in one spot. These features have not only made my life easier, but have also encouraged my students to take responsibility for their own learning and strive for improvement like I have never seen before.

While our students can see a very detailed list of their progress through the course in an organized fashion, understanding how the formula-heavy Google Sheet works can be tricky. There is absolutely no programming or spreadsheet knowledge necessary to implement this assessment strategy, but the Master Assessment Sheet can be intimidating when you are unsure how it all works behind the scenes.

Recently, Jon and I were discussing our experience using the Google Sheet and came to the same conclusions: this assessment strategy has completely changed the way our students are responding in the classroom in a very positive way, however most teachers are overwhelmed when we try to show them how it all works.

Although the hours of planning, researching, and creating this dynamic Google Sheet to transform the way we assess our students has paid off in our own classrooms, we want to stretch this idea to a web-based assessment tool that is accessible for all teachers globally.

**But we can’t do it alone.**

We have a system that is more effective and more complete than anything offered by the assessment tools currently offered on the web. And, we want to do it for free. In order to make this happen, we are actively searching for a web programmer that can dream with us as we create a completely unique online assessment tool that teachers and students will love.

This online assessment platform will allow students and parents to login and clearly understand where they are having success and areas where they are not there yet. View an overview of student progress or view your growth over time related to a specific learning goal – it can all be seen with the click of a button. A student wishes to demonstrate their newly acquired understanding of a concept? They can upload their new work from any device to a specific learning goal for organizational ease and an ability to track growth over time.

Teachers will not only be able to track student progress by individual learning goal, assign mastery badges, provide feedback, and differentiated next steps for every student, while also being able to post resources for students and share course material with other teachers in the community.

This is just the beginning of what we believe to be an exciting project to redefine what it means to assess students in the 21st century.

Be sure to fill out our form below if you are a web programmer who is passionate about transforming assessment in education and are willing to embark on this incredible journey with us.

Check out what Jon has to say about this exciting opportunity on his site, Mr. Orr is a Geek!

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]]>Today, I experienced first-hand why I should not have been teaching math by talking during the first 8 years of my career. Let me explain why...

The post We Can Teach By Talking, But Are They Listening? appeared first on Tap Into Teen Minds.

]]>A few weeks back, I was reading a book called Teaching Minds (Kindle/Hardcover/Paperback or Audible Audiobook) by Roger Schank and really enjoyed it. As a Professor Emeritus at Northwestern University after his faculty experience at Stanford and then Yale, he is known for the quote:

There are only two things wrong with the education system –

- What we teach; and,
- How we teach it.

When I read great books on education, learning, or motivation, I will tweet out quotes that I may want to go back to at a later date. Today, during my grade 9 applied math lesson, I was immediately brought back to the following quote from Teaching Minds:

"Once you move to teaching large groups of 10 or more students, you must teach by talking and hope someone was listening." ~ Teaching Minds

— Kyle Pearce (@MathletePearce) March 25, 2015

It was this book that inspired me to completely break free from note templates that I had been making for my students to complete on their iPad. I consider them pretty nifty and are more interactive than what you’d think of when someone says “worksheet“, but I realized that much of it was me scaffolding them along and that can quickly turn to disengagement and even just “copying” once it goes up on the screen.

Today, my students were working on Dan Meyer’s Hot Coffee 3 Act Math Task to introduce the volume of a cylinder with my goal being that we show the **interconnectivity of math** by connecting this **new knowledge** to **prior knowledge** involving proportional reasoning. What I’ve taken away from Teaching Minds and other books like Make It Stick that discuss interleaving with spaced practice is that **students learn by doing – not by listening**. While this might be difficult to deconstruct in certain subjects that are content heavy like Geography or History, it seems fairly obvious in math class. As I’ve outlined in a recent post called The Two Groups of Math Students I Created In My Classroom, I spent the better part of my career rewarding students who could memorize through mass practice, rather than rewarding them for being good at math.

It can be difficult to convince math teachers that scrapping a formal note that outlines definitions, formulas and an extensive list of examples if I expect them to “get through the curriculum”. After all, many students are successful when lessons are delivered primarily in a lecture format where a note is given and students sit back passively listening to the teacher while copying down the important points. But how many of us have actually engaged in some serious thinking about what made those students successful? Was it because they copied a note and listened to you? Unlikely.

I’ve learned to be pretty honest with myself when it comes to reflecting on my lessons. When my lesson sucks, I know it and am not ashamed to say it. Thinking back to my days delivering a traditional note as mentioned in the previous paragraph, my successful students were those who did their homework and crammed the night before a test. Those who were not successful, likely did neither. Sure, firing off a couple examples would help some make connections, but how did they do when it came to problem solving questions that appeared to be unfamiliar? Not so great.

Listening is tough. It is even tougher when you don’t care about what you’re listening to. When strong students seem engaged in your lesson, it is more likely the need to get the note down and maintain a high average that is motivating them rather than the words coming out of your mouth. For struggling students, they learned long ago that school isn’t so bad when you aren’t paying attention. Many would say that today’s generation has a lot more Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), while I believe they just aren’t afraid of teachers or parents anymore and don’t feel a need to comply. That isn’t a bad thing, either.

I have ensured that each and every class this semester has focused on students solving problems through discovery/inquiry, connecting them to new learning goals, and finding ways to extend them to a variety of other concepts in the course. There is not a whole lot of direct instruction coming from me and the kids are doing great. Now that I’m not up there for 75 minutes talking while oblivious to who is or is not paying attention, I can tell quickly when students are not listening. Only once or twice a class do I ask them for 50 seconds of their time (even though it is for more like 5 minutes) and during that time, I tell students to stop and have their eyes on me. Wow, do they struggle with it. I typically have to individually ask certain students for “eyes up” and by then, the ones who were looking are now looking through me and a few others are now starting to lose focus.

Today, I wanted to clarify an issue that every student in the classroom was having. The question was an extension that Dan Meyer provided with the task:

If you were going to try to triple the Gourmet Gift Basket worlds largest coffee record, what kind of coffee cup would you have to build?

Since the students had to convert the volume of 269.255 cubic-feet to approximately 2010 gallons, every student had substituted 2010 in for V in the volume of a cylinder formula. Usually, I talk with a small group of students who are working collaboratively, however I thought I could save some time and address the whole class.

So I started:

Ladies and Gentlemen,

After circulating the room, it appears that we are all having a similar issue. Can you all stop for 50 seconds and look this way…

I went on to ask students what had gone wrong and when there was nothing, I thought this is a great spot for some direct instruction. I explained why using gallons was not possible and that they should use their measurement in cubic-feet and sent them on their way.

I then began walking around again to each group and quickly realized that none of the students had made the adjustment. So, I discussed it with the first group and they were off. Went to the next group and explained it again. The third… and so on. It actually took a matter of 10-15 seconds talking with groups individually and they were off to the races.

What I realized rather quickly today was that speaking to a large group appears to be the most efficient method, but it actually hurts more than it helps. After taking about 3 minutes to explain the gallons/cubic-feet issue, there were literally **zero** students who had absorbed what I had said at the front of the room and yet each student understood in under 20 seconds when I spoke to them directly.

Today, the lesson I learned about learning by doing instead of listening was much more important than the lesson my students learned about volume of a cylinder. In order for me to ensure that I won’t forget it, I thought I should probably apply my own advice of “learning by doing” somehow.

And now, you’re reading it.

The post We Can Teach By Talking, But Are They Listening? appeared first on Tap Into Teen Minds.

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