In this series, teachers working with students in the Connected Learning 1:1 program share how they use the tools to impact student learning.
Though new math curriculum and adoption has been the focus of his department this year, 6th grade math teacher Lucas Denman has adopted the use of chromebooks in his 6th grade Common Core Math classes in several interesting ways. He reports that
“The chromebooks have been great for student engagement. Before we do a math talk, I want all my students thinking critically about the question I provide. By giving them some think time to write down their response, every student is engaged in the student talk whether they participate in the discussion vocally or not.”
Denman uses a web-based service called Socrative to collect student reflections before discussions, and use them to inform class discussions and his lesson plans. By submitting responses online instead of in a math journal, he gets an instant pulse on all of his students – not just the ones who raise their hands or participate in class discussions. Using this data he can better differentiate and meet the needs of students.
Denman also reports that “Students love to see each other’s answers!” so he will display the collected reflections from the class anonymously on his projector. Then he can the class electronically vote on the best answer, or discuss the answers. He adds, “this offers great intrinsic motivation for students to make their best effort answering the question.” Some folks may worry that laptops discourage student interaction, but in Denman’s classes the Chromebooks are used to provide voice to all students and enrich the dialogue.