TIPS TO LEVERAGE CLASSROOM TIME

With limited staffing resources, here are teacher observations on best practices to maintain effectiveness and efficiency while reducing demands on teacher time.

• Identify Starting Points

By identifying the level in which gaps begin, you can set students up for immediate success. Starting at the level in which students are ready to learn eliminates the need for student frustration as a program scaffolds down when material is too difficult.  Starting at the lowest level of need allows students to build confidence early, provides social and emotional supports and results in happier students and teachers.

• Remove Standards Students Know

Students’ gaps differ and a scripted program may only reach a handful of students at the time they need it wasting time of the others in the class. A program that truly differentiates instruction for each student at the standard level builds their engagement because students don’t feel they are wasting time on lessons they already know.

In addition, by using technology to prescribe and deliver an individualized study plan, teachers can spend less time grading papers and more time working with students. 

• Employ Blended Learning Strategies

Blended Learning allows teachers to provide small group instruction to 6 to 10 students while others are fully engaged in one-to-one learning or project-based activities.  Utilizing real time data to group students working on similar standards across grade level allows teachers to reach students in their zone of proximal development. This blended learning strategy also leverages the teacher student ratio.  A class of 30 students can be divided into 3 groups of 10 and dynamically address each group’s needs.

Teachers may also use a flipped learning strategy technology based blended learning classroom to pre teach upcoming lessons which will also shorten lesson time.

• Motivate and Reward

Bring students into the planning and goal setting process.  Providing students an opportunity to set and track their own goals reduces the time burden on teachers having to track individual progress.  Set mini-targets for students each week and recognize small accomplishments with rewards such as free class time, music or games. 

Many teachers utilize tools such as virtual tracking charts or punch cards

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March Mathness 2021

march mathness

This year we’ll kick off our fun related blog, March Mathness, with an activity created by the Ascend Math Team!

Use the Ascend Math Graph Exploration to plot the distribution of team colors and mascots by referring to: Why you should always pick blue and orange teams in the NCAA tournament and How to pick your NCAA tournament bracket based on team mascots.

Here are two awesome examples of past March math problems! But first, we would like to challenge your classes to create and submit your own NCAA tournament related math problems! You could use the graphing exploration, another Ascend Math resource, or simply submit a problem. Every class submitting a problem will be eligible. All entries will be featured on the Ascend Math blog with the name of your school and class. We will even include a picture or logo from your school with the posting.

The winning classroom will receive a $50 Visa gift card for their March Madness party. Use the gift card to purchase pizzas, cupcakes, juice, or whatever you like for your class party. Drawings will be held on April 9, 2021.

Problem 1:

A college basketball court is 94 ft by 50 ft (4,700 square feet). There are 68 teams competing in this year’s NCAA Tournament. If the court is divided into 68ths so each team can practice, how many square feet will each team get to practice?

Problem 2:

College players use a basketball that is 9.4 inches in diameter.  The hoop is 18 inches in diameter.  If a ball passes exactly through the center of the net, how much space will there be between the edge of the ball and the hoop?

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Change the Paradigm

Most programs put kids into three categories, the lows, the middles, and the highs. I’m so proud that Ascend Math architecture allows kids to work at their own pace. So often, the kids that started at the lowest will end up at the highest.

Many students in Ms. Kathryn King’s ELL class at South Cobb High School in Cobb County, GA began at a third or fourth grade proficiency in 2018. By the end of the 2018-19 school year, all of these students passed their algebra End of Course test. Several students went on to be placed in Honors Geometry, leapfrogging many of the students in other math classes.

As Ken Williams says so eloquently the process of sorting students is detrimental to a student’s psyche.

Let’s change the paradigm and give students a chance to soar!

Marjorie Briley

 

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Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal

2020 not only marks a new decade, it also marks the 20th year I have had the privilege of working in education. Every day I have the opportunity to work with amazing people that make a difference in students’ lives. When Kevin and I founded Ascend Education, our vision, our big, hairy audacious goal (BHAG), was to help 10 million students graduate high school. That vision is still in clear focus. We have come a long way on this journey, and I am proud of all the inspiring stories of student success and accomplishments in math equity we have to share. One student at Marietta Sixth Grade Academy said recently “Ascend Math helps me because it makes me have confidence in myself. The stuff I couldn’t do before, I can do now.”

There is more work to be done, and, as I set off into the new decade, I am inspired to become more intentional in sharing stories and building learning communities so that we can all learn from one another and continue on our mission!!

#mathequity #studentspotlight

Stay tuned.

Marjorie Briley

Equity Begins with Awareness

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Teach Your Kids To Fail

I read a great article by Jessica Grose this morning that I had to share with you. It’s not a new story, but with all the dissonance on the subject I think these ideas are important to anchor.

A teacher, mentor, coach, or parent’s beliefs about failure probably influences the way our students, athletes and children handle, rebound, and learn from their own set-backs.

Here are four tips about getting children (and young adults) comfortable with their failures.

  1. Ask questions about the process.
  2. Observe them closely.
  3. Model persistence
  4. Create safe spaces for learning

Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/08/parenting/teach-your-kids-to-fail.html

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Earth Day Math!

Earth day 3
We’ve shared fun Earth Day math problems from our Ascend Math Partners over the years. Here are a few of our favorites to share with your class.

  1. If a tree grows 5 branches and each of those branches grows an additional 5 branches and each of those grow another 5 branches, how many branches are on the tree? (Submitted by Johnsburg Junior High School in Johnsburg, IL)
  2. Five recycled plastic bottles provide enough fiber to create one square foot of carpet. If the carpet in your classroom is 50 square feet how many plastic bottles would need to be recycled to make it.
  3. Recycling a stack of newspaper just 3 feet high saves one tree. How many trees are saved if our school collected and recycled 20 stacks of newspapers 6 feet high? (Submitted by Haughton High School, Haughton, LA)
  4. Americans use 2.5 million plastic bottles every hour! Most of them are thrown away! Only around 27% of plastic bottles are recycled. How many bottles are recycled an hour? How many more would be recycled if the percentage rose to 30%
  5. Almost 97% of the world’s water is salty or undrinkable, another 2% is locked away in the ice cap or glaciers. What percent is drinkable? (Submitted by Southfield School in Shreveport, LA)
  6. The mean radius of Earth is approximately 3,963 miles. The mean radius of Mercury is 1,509 miles. Find the volume of both Earth and Mercury. About how many times larger is Earth than Mercury? Keep answers in terms of π.

 

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Celebrate Earth Day 2019 and receive a pack of Earth Day Pencils!

Earth Day 2Monday, April 22nd is Earth Day! This year’s Earth Day theme is to Protect Our Species. We hope you have lots of Earth Day fun planned for your classrooms. Share your class’ earth day activities with us on Twitter or Facebook by tagging @AscendEducation to receive a packet of Earth Day pencils made from recycled newspaper for your entire class! Here are some links to fun Earth Day activity ideas to help your class celebrate.

Check back with us later this week for fun Earth Day math problems!

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More March Mathness Problems!

We’re continuing our series of fun March Mathness problems this week. Here are a few more problems that your class is sure to enjoy.

Auburn and Virginia will play each other in the Semi-Final on Saturday. In the last round Auburn beat Kentucky 77 to 71. Virginia beat Purdue 80 to 75. Determine how many points each team won by. Which team won by the greatest margin?

In Michigan State’s thrilling 68-67 win over Duke on Saturday, Michigan State made 30 out of 70 field goals. Duke made 26 out of 57 field goals. Determine the field goal percentage for each by dividing 30 by 70 and 26 by 57. Who had the better field goal percentage? A. While Duke outshot Michigan State 45.6% to 42.9% the Spartans took 13 more shots to overcome the Blue Devils.

NBA games have 4 12-minute quarters. College games have 2 20-minute halves. Which games are longer, NBA or College, and by how much?

In Gonzaga’s loss to Texas Tech last Saturday they scored 69 points while Texas Tech scored 75. If Gonzaga led by 2 points at half time, by how many points were they outscored in the second half?

Although Duke was defeated by Michigan State on Saturday, The Blue Devils were picked to win the championship in 39.2 percent of all brackets that picked a champion. Use the Ascend Math Graph Exploration to plot the percent of brackets that picked the teams in the upcoming final four tournament to win the championship by referring to: Duke is the team the world picked to win the NCAA tournament. Scroll down to the middle of the article to see the percentages of brackets in which each team was picked to win.

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March Mathness VI

march mathnessHere are two awesome examples of past march math problems! But first we would like to challenge your classes to create and submit your own NCAA tournament related math problems! You could use the graphing exploration, another Ascend Math resource or simply submit a problem. Every class submitting a problem will be eligible.  All entries will be featured on the Ascend Math blog with the name of your school and class.  We will even include a picture or logo from your school with the posting.

The winning classroom will receive a $50 March Madness party gift card (VISA gift cards are the same as cash anywhere VISA is accepted).  Use the gift card to purchase pizzas, cupcakes, juice or whatever you like for your class party. Drawings will be held on April 1, 2019. The Winner will receive their gift card in time for the National Championship.

Problem 1:

A college basketball court is 94 ft by 50 ft (4,700 square feet). There are 68 teams competing in this year’s NCAA Tournament. If the court is divided into 68ths so each team can practice, how many square feet will each team get to practice?

Problem 2:

College players use a basketball that is 9.4 inches in diameter.  The hoop is 18 inches in diameter.  If a ball passes exactly through the center of the net, how much space will there be between the edge of the ball and the hoop?

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March Madness is here!

This year we’ll kick off our fun related blog, March Mathness, with an activity created by the Ascend Math Team!

Use the Ascend Math Graph Exploration to plot the distribution of team colors and mascots by referring to: Why you should always pick blue and orange teams in the NCAA tournament and How to pick your NCAA tournament bracket based on team mascots.

exploration

Check back with us later this week for more fun math problems and an exciting contest!

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