Monday, 13 January 2014

Personalizing by Readiness - A Grade 9 Math Approach

Personalizing by readiness can take many forms and have many functions. During the "Solving Equations" unit in Grade 9 math, students were given a chance to self-pace through a series of two lessons. Some students grasp how to solve equations quite readily, while others take more time and practice. Allowing students to self-pace in this topic gave us the ability to stretch some and support others.

During these lessons, students in my class worked through the following learning cycle:
  1. Watched a video created by Greenwood teachers and took notes as they followed the examples given. Students were able to pause and replay as desired.
  2. Completed several practice problems from the textbook. 
  3. Completed a Check for Understanding.
  4. Showed the Check for Understanding to me for feedback. Students used this feedback to correct their work.

Next, students moved on to a second video teaching a slightly more challenging concept within the unit, and then followed the same cycle of notes, practice, and a Check for Understanding.

This whole process spanned two classes. Students who finished before the end of the two classes were given extension problems. Students who needed more time to complete the tasks were identified and supported throughout the process, allowing them to finish within the two-lesson time period.

In speaking with the students about this process, there were several common reactions. Some of the stronger students expressed how they really liked being able to race ahead and work on more challenging questions after the basics were covered. Other students expressed how they liked being able to pause and replay the videos, as well as receive more one-on-one attention from me throughout the process.

Using self-paced lessons to teach solving equations allowed me to meet the needs of individual students within my class.

Megan Clark
Teacher, Mathematics and French

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