To summarize my learning for EC&I 834, I decided to create a video presentation with Canva! Although I have started using Canva frequently (thanks to EC&I 832), I have not yet made a video presentation using the platform. Overall, I found Canva to be very user friendly, and I was easily able to convert my presentation to a video. I do wish that I was able to do voice recording directly on Canva without recording the entire presentation at once! I decided to record my audio on an app and upload it to Canva after so I could edit the audio as needed.
I appreciate all the knowledge that has been shared by my professor, Katia, and all my classmates. The skills and tools I have developed throughout this course will help to create more valuable learning experiences for my students.
Click on the link below to watch my summary of learning project for EC&I 834! The final course for my degree!
Although you will find this information in the video at the end, I just wanted to remind everyone of the course, target audience, and goals of the course prototype I have created.
Course Prototype Reflection
I have always enjoyed exploring new educational tools and planning lessons for students. I guess that’s why I am a teacher! I really enjoyed making this course prototype and can see me using it next school year. The content creation was very time consuming, so I would have to build up the content for this course over the next few years. Hopefully, I can find some teachers who would like to collaborate in making this course (HINT, HINT)! I also am mindful that this is a blended course and therefore there is flexibility in completing online and offline work. With this blended course, students will be completing all work, online and offline, in the classroom.
Selecting an Idea
When presented with the project, I immediately knew that I wanted to develop a resource for my grade 9 math students. After completing the analysis portion of the ADDIE model, I could see that the need for the course was better suited for other students in the class. That is what led me to the final course idea!
Choosing an LMS
Choosing an LMS was the most difficult part of the process. The school division where I teach uses Google Classroom which should make that platform the obvious choice.
Aside from wanting a challenge and to explore a new platform, I found that integrating the content I wanted to create into the same Google Classroom as the rest of the students would be a logistical nightmare (for me). Additionally, students often become confused about which content is for them in the Google Classroom. Therefore, I had the idea of creating a link, for identified students, in the Google Classroom that would take them to the Canvas course. I think the use of a different, more user friendly platform will allow for more positive experiences for students.
Experiences with Canvas
Overall, I have to say that I have really enjoyed using Canvas. The interface appears to be very user friendly, and the pages of content are easy to create. I will be interested to use the grading and feedback tools once students have completed the work. Additionally, I have embedded several webpages and Google Apps that may or may not integrate well with Canvas. Although it was easy to embed the pages, I would like to see if the students can easily access the pages and if I can view progress through Canvas.
Lastly, I created two concept checks (using the quiz feature) on Canvas. Although I like the feature of adding a range to numerical answers, I was disappointed in the quiz tool. I found that creating the quiz was tedious, and the question types did not always display nicely. Even though creating math assignments through Google Forms is not ideal, I did not find that Canvas offered many more features.
I really enjoyed the opportunity to experiment and explore new tools in this course. The discovery of Lumi led me to also try EdPuzzle, Screencastify, formative, and Quizziz. Classmates have also shared many other tools that I hope to explore in the future. In the course prototype, I was able to try out and utilize several new (to me) tools like Lumi, EdPuzzle, SplashLearn, and Jamboard.
Application of Learning
Through reading the blogs of my classmates, and engaging with EC&I 834 course content, I was able to make several improvements to my course prototype. The following is a list of upgrades I made to the course based on my interactions with this course:
Checked and updated accessibility features on Canvas and embedded platforms
Integrated interactive videos and content using Lumi and H5P
Differentiated learning opportunities for a more equitable experience.
Created and shared goals with students through Canvas
Created a poster for expectations around interactions
Purposely integrated peer engagement opportunities through the discussion feature on Canvas, Jamboards, and Desmos
I found the content creation for the course prototype to be the most overwhelming part of the experience. I found that I was often changing what I made as I gained new knowledge. Additionally, not only did I challenge myself to try a new LMS, but I also strived to try new tech tools while creating content. Although I am very proud of the content that I have created, I most likely will search for some pre-made resources in the future. Once my course is established, I will continue to develop my own content in the future.
I am extrememly proud with the end result of my course prototype. I feel like my choices for set-up, content, and assessment were extremely strategic and intentional. In the past, I have been disappointed with the educational experiences that I have been providing for students who will receive alternative programming in Grade 10. Although I have always differentiated, these students did not have the same opportunities for engagement as the rest of their class. I believe that the resource I have created is a step in the right direction to creating a more equitable learning experience. The blended design will allow for flexibility for both me and students. Additionally, this resource may be valuable to other students who just need some additional practice to help boost their confidence and understanding in math!
Peer Feedback Reflection
I was extremely appreciative to have the opportunity to share my course prototype with my classmates. Who better to provide feedback than other educators?! I also enjoyed listening and viewing my classmates’ courses, especially given such a diverse group of people. Listening to others gave me other ideas of how I might utilize other tech tools and course formats in the future!
Overall, my classmates were extremely kind and provided several pieces of positive feedback. They seemed to think the progression and layout of the content was well planned, and the diversity of activities would aide in the learning of my target audience. One question that was asked was about the navigation of activities from day-to-day.
With varying attendance, independence, and abilities of learners, would they be able to find the place that they ended the previous class? This was a good question that I thought about before problem solving. The original home page that I designed had the list of modules and announcements. It was not very visually appealing to students, and navigation could pose a problem. Since the module’s content is designed for easy funtionality and navigation during work time, viewing the overall module is less user friendly. As a teacher, the strategic indents and labels are all very satisfying, but may be hard for the target demographic to navigate. To fix this, I added modules as a tab that students could access in the navigation bar along the side and I redesigned the home page. The new and improved home page contains buttons that allow students to choose their destination. This creates more work for me since I will have to adjust the destination for the “Current Work” button, but with a small population of students using this course I do not feel this will be an issue. The homepage also now contains a poster of shared expectations, and some math prompts for math discussions. Below you will find a comparison of the old vs. new homepage!
Course Prototype Walkthrough
Please follow the link to my Course Prototype Walkthrough. Let me know if you are interesting in collaborating on this course, or if you have any suggestions!
The primary form of interactions for the online portion of my blended course will be between students and teacher. Since the target population will most likely be small (approximately six students), and the start time of participation may vary, I do not want to rely on student-student interactions for creating an online community. In saying this, I have still incorporated flexible opportunities for student-student interactions into the course incase there are more students than I am anticipating. Considering the 6 strategies outlined by The K. Patricia Cross Academy, I have strived to incorporate a variety of opportunities to interact with students. Below you will find a summary of my ideas along with my justification for my choices:
Forms of Interaction
On the home page of Canvas, students can see the latest three announcements. Announcements will consistently be posted on Mondays and Wednesdays. Announcements will be my main form for communication and will allow me to develop a social presence on the LMS.
Students have access to the Chat feature in Canvas. Students may use this to ask me questions, or I may use this to check in with students. Since I will be in the classroom while students are working online, students also have the option to talk to me directly. Additionally, I will also be checking in with students in person.
Short questions are posted throughout the module to allow students to share their understanding of the topics that they have learned about. Later in the course, I plan to incorporate opportunities for students to create their own questions about what they have learned and answer their classmates questions. I chose to use Canvas because it is integrated into the LMS that students are already using, and it allows me to participate and monitor students’ interactions.
Jamboard Answer Sharing
Jamboard allows students an opportunity to interact beyond words. I have tried to create interactive activities that allow students to interact with the Jamboard and view their classmates answers as well. This is an example of one Jamboard I am using.
Activities and Task Feedback
Through apps such as Desmos and Mathletics, I am able to monitor students’ progress and provide individualized feedback. Additionally, the apps can provide instant feedback to students based on correct or incorrect answers. Desmos also has a feature that allows students to share their thinking with classmates and view one anothers thoughts. Mathletics allows me to easily adjust the level of assigned student work ensuring that students feel appropriately challenged by the math.
Through apps like Desmos, I can organize students to play relevant games I have created on the topics they are learning. If students would prefer, I have also included games that are one player or versus the computer. I have tried to incorporate student choice into the module to increase student engagement.
Students will still have several opportunities to interact with their peers in an offline setting in the classroom. When appropriate, students will participate in whole class activities or be given opportunities to work with a peer. Students may also have opportunities to work with students in other Math 9 classrooms if student supports allow it.
Guidelines for Interactions
As outlined by Bates (2019), there are many aspects that need to be considered when creating an online learning environment. I have tried to incorporate a social, teaching, and cognitive presence through the activities and assessments I have included in the prototype. Using the design principles, as outlined by Bates, the following are some other considerations I have made while designing the online portion of my blended course:
appropriate technology – using Canvas as an LMS will allow for a separate space for my target students
clear guidelines on student online behaviour – I have created a short, one page outline of expectations for online interactions that I will include on the LMS (found below this list)
clear goals – goals for learning goals are clearly laid out at the start of each learning target and can be found throughout each unit
choice of appropriate topics – topics have been chosen based on Math 9 outcomes and pre-requisite knowledge required for Math 18
monitoring the participation of individual learners, and responding accordingly – a variety of formative assessments are integrated throughout the module to allow for instant feedback from teacher or the given math website
regular, ongoing instructor ‘presence’ – given the small target demographic (approximately 3 students per teacher), monitoring student progress should be and is important to make students feel like that are part of a community
Below is the poster I have made to share with students on Canvas. The goal of this poster is to communicate expectations around social interactions with classmates through the LMS.
Math can be tough for students to talk about, especially since confidence is an issue for many students. Below is a poster I found with some talking points to help students get started when engaging with others about topics in math!
Final Thoughts and Questions
Creating a safe and accepting community for learners who struggle with math feels like a daunting task. I do feel that the program I am using allows for me to more effectively engage with my target students in comparison to my past work.
Are there any apps or programs, that I have not included, that you enjoy using with your students?
How do you help students to effectively engage online?
What guidelines or expectations do you feel are important to communicate with students?
Forewarning that this is a post of many lists! I struggled to organize and interpret my reflections from last class, which has led me to creating a variety of lists throughout this post.
Professional Experiences with Accessibility
I found the class discussion around accessibility to be somewhat overwhelming. Differentiation and meeting student needs are areas that I strive to focus on when teaching, yet there are areas of accessibility that I feel that I have not considered. I do believe that part of this oversight is due to my own experiences and context. I have only taught in rural settings, so often issues of accessibility have been related to access to WiFi or devices. I also consider accessibility for students with intellectual or learning disabilities and adapt content accordingly.
In terms of daily adaptations, I use a microphone in my classroom which meets a variety of needs for students. Additionally, I am always cognizant of colours, fonts, and font size used on the SMART Board and on assignments to accommodate any mild visual impairments. At this point in my career, students I have taught have been able-bodied which limits my experience with adapting lessons to meet the needs of students with physical disabilities. Accessible learning is always an area where I am looking to improve my teaching practice!
Accessibility in Math
Since my module is based around math, I wanted to share a few apps, plug-ins, or extensions that I have found useful over the years and that I will incorporate into my course when necessary:
EquatIO – EquatIO allows students to type, speak, or write a math equation on their device. Additionally, EquatIO’s Screenshot Reader will properly read aloud math equations for students instead of describing equations as “alternate text”. The free version has some good features, but the paid version provides full accessibility features.
Microsoft OneNote – Microsoft OneNote has a math assistant built into the program which allows students to write, solve, and see the steps to solve a math equation. Additionally, OneNote will effectively read aloud math equations to students! If your school division uses Microsoft programs, then you and your students most likely have access to OneNote. If you want to learn more, here is a link to to solving math equations in OneNote.
Desmos – Desmos is a platform that contains interactive lessons, assignments, graphs, and calculators. Desmos also strives to create a platform that is accessible to all students, and has a read aloud feature for students.
NCTM – National Council of Teachers of Mathematics has many great free resources for teachers to use in their classroom. A document that I have been referring to while making my course prototype is the Accessibility Strategies for Mathematics document.
Mote – Mote is an extension which allows students to add voice recording to assignments. Addtionally, teachers can provide audio feedback on assignments. I have found that it is easy to integrate with Google Classroom and Google assignments.
Kami – Kami is an annotation app (text, drawing, audio, video) that allows students and teachers to interact with digital documents. Kami has several accessibility features and easily integrates into several LMSs. The accessibility features on Kami include: open dyslexic and lexend fonts, navigations using only keyboard controls, voice typing and comments, and increase readability with dark mode.
Course Prototype and Accessibility
Based on my own context and understanding of the students I may have next year, I believe I have considered many aspects of accessibility. In saying this, last class has made me revisit and change a few aspects of my course to make it more accessible to students. After reading “Best Practices and Accessibility Considerations” (Brokop, 2008), I believe the following are the current aspects of success and misses in terms of accessibility that my course offers.
Current Successes With Accessibility
Course and Class Outlines – Course outline is provided on Canvas in addition to on paper. This outlines course goals, timelines, etc., as well as rules and expectations.
Materials – Students have options to access materials through Canvas or material can be printed if requested.
Orientation of Activities – An outline summarizing the outcome is provided at the start of each unit and learning goals are provided before each learning objective. Short introductions are given before each activity and lesson.
Navigation for Improved Access – Canvas is very user friendly for students! Instead of having to navigate a variety of different pages to find their assigned work, students can easily work through a lesson by simply clicking the “Next” button.
Layout – In my course, I strived to use a consistent layout and format between each lesson.
Font – I consistently use Arial font to allow for easier reading, except for the titles of “Mild”, “Medium” and “Spicy”.
Complexity of Language – Based on my target audience, use of language will be an important piece of the module. I have been very congnizant of building from mathematical language that is presented in early elementary and to using more complex terms. Language for tasks is also direct and simplistic.
Short Pages – Each page is limited to one task or idea.
Communication – Communication will consistently be made using Canvas Announcements. I have organized the LMS so the three latest announcements appear on the home page. This communication is separate from the Google Classroom communication that is used with the rest of the class. I have found in the past that families become confused about which work/ announcements are for their child if their child is completing alternative work.
Extensions – I will be incorporating appropriate extensions into Canvas as outlined above. I believe that extensions such as EquatIO and Kami will be useful for many students. Only drawback is that I am unsure if students will need to consistently use the same laptop in order to access these extensions.
Current Misses With Accessibility
Screen Reader – Since this is my first time implementing an alternative resource, I am unsure of the functionality of some of the resources I have chosen to use with Canvas. I believe this will be partly trial and error with students. Additionally, some screen readers that the school division uses does not interpret math equations.
Colour – I often use Canva to create graphics and I do not know if I effectively chose colours and graphics that were accessible to all students. Moving forward, I plan to be more strategic about my graphics and colour choices.
PDF Files – I did not realize how inaccessible PDF files were with screen readers! Many of the documents I create I change to PDF files for compatible viewing on all devices.
Additional Platforms – Througout my module, I have tried to incorporate a variety of resources and websites. Although I had in mind that this would allow for differentiation and variety in instruction, I can now see that the use of these platforms will not necessarily be accessible for all students.
Charts and Graphs – I did not realize that charts and graphs were not always correctly interpreted and read by screen readers. I am unsure how I will address this problem, however I will look for tools to help make this more accessible.
Grade Reporting – Since students will not be completing grade level work, the only grade that may be reported on their report cards and in Edsby are Insufficient Evidence (IE), Individualized Goals (IG), or Beginning (BE). None of these grades allow for grade reporting that reflects their progress and understanding of the work being completed through the modules.
Other Ethical and Social Considerations
Given the range and complexity of accessibility and equity, it is impossible to anticipate and plan for every students’ needs. Reflecting on my own course development thus far, there are several other considerations that may be relevant to future students.
EAL Students – Currently, all students that I am teaching have English as a first language. To make my course more accessible, I need to consider other ways that English as an additional language (EAL) learners can access my course. My original idea was to incorporate Google Translate, but other resources would be beneficial.
Peer Interactions – Creating a positive and inclusive classroom environment will be an important aspect of blended learning for students. Given that not all students will be using the computer for the alternative blended programming, students may feel vulnerable and singled out due to the difference in work.
Student Mental Health – The mental health of each student may vary on a daily basis. Work output, engagement, home supports, etc., could be inconsistent.
Socio-economic Status – Students may not have access to devices beyond the classroom, or learning may not be a priority for students if other needs have not been met.
Consistency Within School – Collaboration and flexibility with other teachers will be important. Students with higher needs would benefit from using the same LMS in all classes. Consistency of an LMS may or may not be possible.
Student Supports – Some students may be given the opportunity to work with education assistants (EAs) or learning support teachers. These supports may prefer alternative methods to support students learning.
Addressing Accessibility and Equity
As evident throughout this post, I have tried to comprehensively consider ways to make the Alternative Math 9 course that I am creating accessible and equitable. I am aware that I will never be able to create a course that addresses every single need of every single student I teach. However, by keeping areas of accessibility and equity in mind, I can begin to meet the needs of more students. One resource that I have started to use since last class is the “Checklist for Accessibility” (Coolidge et al., 2018) from BCcampus. I also will have students complete a survey at the beginning of the course so I can efficiently gain insight into the learning interests, wants, and needs of my students. The first step to creating an inclusive and differentiated classroom is listening to the needs of my students.
Final Thoughts and Questions
In what ways do you make your math classroom more accessible to your students?
Are there any apps or extensions that you believe have positively impacted accessibility and equity in your classroom?
What do you think is the largest barrier to creating accessible and equitable eduaction for all students?
The focus of this specific lesson is to introduce students to various types of graphs. Just a reminder that my module is targetted towards students in my Mathematics 9 class who will be entering alternative programming in grade ten (Mathematics 18).
In order to activate students’ prior knowledge on graphing, I have created a Lumi video that reviews the various forms of graphs that would have been introduced to students in elementary school. Students may or may not remember these types of graphs. When possible, I will give students the option of completing “Mild”, “Medium”, or “Spicy” work which increases in diffuculty from easy to hard. This will allow choice, and will allow for some differentiation.
Lesson Learning Objective
The module being created for the Canvas course assignment is focused on one part of the Math 9 Linear Relations unit. The portions of the lesson I will be sharing today are focused on one part of the graphing learning objective:
The remainder of the module will focus on other portions of the graphing learning objective which are:
Identify the x and y axis on a coordinate plane
Sort a set of graphs by their characteristics
Graph points on a coordinate plane
Collect and analyze data
Creation of Module
To introduce the graphing portion of the unit, I plan to create an introduction page which summarizes the learning goals for the learning objective. On this page, I will provide students with an optional “Graphing Word Search” that I created using Lumi. This word search gives students an opportunity to explore words related to graphing, and may help to engage their mind for the section.
The first section in the series of graphing lessons will focus on analyzing and viewing various types of graph. To introduce these graphs, I will give students the option of viewing one of the three following videos that were created using Lumi: “Mild”, “Medium”, or “Spicy”. Students hopefully will make a decision of which video to watch based on their interaction with the word search and ideas presented on the introduction page. All videos are designed to take a similar amount of time for students to complete, contain similar content, and allow me the opportunity to collect data on their answers through the Canvas LMS.
Lumi is a great way to introduce students to a new (or perhaps familiar) concept. The interactive video allows students to independently review and test their understanding of types of graphs through an interactive interface. Since I am trying to create a platform that is flexible for students who are learning below grade level, I want to make sure that I make students are engaged, feel that they have autonomy in their learning, and that their learning experience is similar to their classmates. The “Mild”, “Medium”, and “Spicy” option is something that is used with the entire classroom and help students to build autonomy in their learning. Additionally, I hope that students who are working AT or SLIGHTLY BELOW grade level in math can use the “Spicy” video to fill gaps and boost confidence in their own learning and understanding of graphs.
Experience with Lumi
I have to admit, Lumi has not been as easy to use as I thought it would be. I find that creating questions without being able to view the video to be a flaw in the software. However, I really like the variety in assessments, tools, and the database that Lumi provides. It is a really great program and I look forward to working with it more now that I am over the peak of the learning curve! I look forward to my students trying out the interactive videos as well!
This course will cover themes from the outcome P9.1 Linear Relations from the Saskatchewan Mathematics 9 curriculum. This outcome can be found in the Patterns and Relations Strand of the Math 9 curriculum. Since there is not an alternative program for students in grade nine, all students are expected to learn outcomes outlined in the Math 9 curriculum. It is important to note that the information being covered in this course is meant to provide supplementary material to this Math 9 learning outcome, and the material and resources shared are not meant to reflect a grade 9’s level of understanding of math. Instead the modules will focus on ideas that are related to the big idea of linear relations, and will build skills that are required for Mathematics 18. Math 18 is the course that the target demographic will be taking in grade 10.
The course shell will also contain the title of other units that are presented in semester two of Math 9 based on my year plan. Outcomes covered in semester one will not be included since students can only fully participate in this type of learning once they have been approved. This process for approval is lengthy, and students typically aren’t fully approved for future programming until the end of February or beginning of March.
The content will be offered as a blended learning course with both face-to-face and online components. The LMS platform that students will engage with is Canvas. Additionally, students will participate in activities that are synchronous, and may have opportunities to work with other students asynchronously. Synchronous and asynchronous components will also depend on student attendance and class complexity.
Target Student Population and Demographics
My target audience will be students in my Mathematics 9 class who will be entering alternative programming in grade ten (Mathematics 18). I am teaching three sections of Math 9 next year, and there is typically one or two students (per section) who will be taking Math 18 in grade 10. Below is a summary of considerations for alternative programming for students.
I am also considering and welcoming participation from the identified students who are in the other five sections of Math 9 in my school.
Although the target audience for this supplemental blended course are students who will be taking Mathematics 18, there will be resources that are appropriate for ALL students. Some students may require scaffolding and gap filling of elementary level content in order to build skills to complete grade level content. These students would be entering modified and regular programming in grade 10.
*Note: Functionally integrated students may find some success with aspects of this module, but these are not the students that are considered the target audience.
In my context, all grade nine students receive the same programming and are graded using the same 4-point rubric (Beginning – BE, Approaching – AP, Meeting – ME, Exemplary – EX). Unfortunately, with eight classes of grade nine students, there is a high volume of students who are only ever able to demonstrate a beginner level of understanding in math. The low grades received by students help to support decisions on programming for the grade ten year. I have seen students feel completely defeated in Math 9, constantly receiving BE grades. In my experience, Math 9 can be difficult for many students since all students are expected to learn the same course content and only modifications of the course can be made. In grade ten, students can enter regular programming, modified programming, or alternative programming. Once students have been approved for certain programming in grade ten, only then can the grade nine course be altered to better reflect student needs. While reading ADDIE Explained, the gap analysis equation stood out to me: “desired status – actual status = need”. Students who will be entering alternative programing in grade ten show the greatest “need” using this equation. This is where the inspiration for the course design I have chosen comes from! I would like to create supplemental and alternative work for students in Math 9 who will be entering alternative programming in Grade 10.
Currently, I feel like I do not effectively differentiate for students who will be entering alternative math programming in grade ten. Although I try to use alternative resources to help supplement these students’ learning, the instruction and engagement pieces are lacking. As a grade nine math cohort, we met last year to try to address some of these needs and created a binder of worksheets which could be used to supplement learning. I do not believe that the worksheets are allowing the same opportunities for learning experiences that the other students in the class are receiving. Creating an online platform allows for a variety of learning opportunities, and there is potential to create a learning community with students with similar needs in other grade nine classes in the school. Additionally, there are opportunities to increase student engagement, more effectively prepare students for the math they will take in grade ten (Math 18), provide educational assistants with clear methods to support students, and scaffold and gap fill math concepts for all students in the class.
Although I initially was excited to develop content for Math 9, I believe there is a greater need for alternative/ adpated Math 9 content. Although there is no official curriculum for alternative education in Math 9, there are consequences to ignoring the needs of students who are not finding success with regular programming. Unfortunately, many students whose skills and abilities do not reflect a grade nine level are often left to sit in math class feeling confused, overwhelmed, and disengaged, while the teacher feels frustrated. These effects may lead to negative student behaviours and avoidance in math. Additionally, the quality of learning in Math 9, although equal for all students, is not equitable. Students in the same classroom can all address the same “Big Ideas” while learning content that is aligned with their capabilities.
Benefits of Canvas
Online Concept Checks
Summative assessment tools
Embedded website capabilities
Benefits of Desmos
Custom interactive activities and tasks
Sharing with learning community
Interactive math tools
Formative assessment tool
Benefits of Mathletics
Embedded accessibility tools
Instant feedback tools
Benefits of Mathigon
Interactive tasks, activities, and games
Interactive math tools and manipulatives
Formative assessment tool
Benefits of Lumi
Formative assessment tool
Benefits of Google Workspace
Interactive lessons through Google Slides
Creation of choice boards
Benefits of Flocabulary
Post video quiz that creates music with correct answers
Benefits of Padlet
Formative assessment tool
Interactions with learning community
Benefits of YouTube
Variety of instructional videos
Mathematics 9 Curriculum Contributions
In grade 9, all students are expected to learn the same outcomes. Once approved, student programming in grade 9 may be altered to better meet student needs. The prototype I am creating will be based on the Patterns and Relations Strand, P9.1 Linear Relations. This outcome would be considered one whole unit in Math 9, and would take about 17 class periods to complete. Below is the outcome and indicator for P9.1 as outlined on the Saskatchewan Curriculum website.
Mathematics 18 Curriculum Contributions
Keeping the outcome and indicators for P9.1, the content will help build the skills necessary for students who will be taking Math 18 in grade 10. Outlined below are the foundational objectives and learning objectives, as outlined by Prairie Valley School Division Student Services Procedures for Alternative Education Programs (2009), that cover a similar topic, “Interpreting Data, Reading Schedules and Maps”, in Math 18.
Final Learning Objectives for Adapted Mathematics 9 Course Prototype
Keeping both Mathematics 9 and Mathematics 18 in mind, the goal of the prototype for this course will be for students to demonstrate understanding of linear relations including graphing, analyzing, and solving situational problems. By the end of this course, the goal is for learners will be able to find success with the concepts outlined below. It is important to note that I created these learning objective based on the above curricula, these are not official Mathematics 9 outcomes and indicators.
The course prototype for this assignment will include the shell of the entire unit, but will only contain content for the learning objectives related to the graphing portion of the unit. Below you can find a summary of the initial planning for the entire unit. As mentioned earlier, the synchronous and asynchronous portions of this course need to be flexible since student behaviours and needs are not yet known. Additionally, I am striving to create content for both online and offline learning. Technically, the whole unit can be completed online through Canvas, but I would like to utilize opportunities for students to work offline with me or their peers when possible (see ADDIE Template for details of offline activities).
Disclaimer: Knowing me, these ideas will change before I share the final product!
Below is a summary of the assessment strategies that will be used throughout the unit. These strategies are reflective of the more specific assessment outlined in course content. These assessment strategies will most likely need to be adapted to best reflect students’ needs and abilities.
Considerations for Common Concerns
No matter if a course is taught online or offline, there are always potential for issues to arise. The following is a list of potential problems that I must consider when designing this course:
Mental Health – Speaking with other educators, I have noticed over the years that teacher burnout is becoming more and more common. With increased diversity with respect to student needs, as well as increased expectations, the world of education can quickly become overwhelming. Creating a supplemental resource in addition to learning new platforms is a large undertaking. I am hoping that this content creation will help myself and other teachers feel a little less overwhelmed.
Student Attendance – Students may also be dealing with issues of mental health, or experiencing other problems which cause lack of attendance. It is important to note that not all students will have access to the course outside of the classroom due to accessibility issues, lack of motivation/ independence, or other external factors. Flexibility in timing, especially given the chosen demographic for this course, is crucial.
Student Background – As demonstrated earlier, there are a variety of reasons that students may be recommended for alternative programming in grade 10. Creating positive relationships with students will play an important role in helping them to engage with math. I must consider students’ cultural backgrounds, interests, home life, socioeconomic status, mental health, and mathematical abilities. Additionally, utilizing accessibility tools into lessons to help meet students’ learning needs will be important.
Technology – Laptops are highly utilized in the school which sometimes makes it hard to book laptops for the entire class. Fortunately, if only one or two laptops are needed for students, this should not be an issue. Laptops are the only accessible technology in the building, unless students have a personal device. Furthermore, students may struggle with learning new apps and platforms when first interacting with the online portion of this course. Students should be prepared to not always have their work save due to the fuctionality of some apps being used, and teachers should be prepared to help students build stamina while working with these apps.
EAL Learners – EAL learners should always be considered when planning a course. Technology has several tools which can support student learning as they work through language barriers (for example, Google Translate). Given the premise of this course design, EAL learners may benefit from working through lower level math concepts while learning the English language. The benefits of this course would depend on individual student need, and most likely would need to be completed outside of class.
When presented with the opportunity to create an online module, I initially felt overwhelmed with ideas. In the various math classrooms at the high school I work at, the use of technology by students is not often seen. This will be my second year at this school, so I am looking forward to breaking the status quo and exploring ways which technology and a blended model can enhance mathematical learning and experiences. More specifically, I would like to focus on course development for Math 9 since I will be teaching three sections of this course in the fall!
Grade nine can be a complex and overwhelming year for many students. In my context, grade nine is the first year that students enter high school and have the opportunity to meet kids from six other elementary schools. Although they are in a high school, grade nine students all receive the same programming and use the same grading system as their elementary school (4-point scale). Once students enter grade ten, student programming can become more individualized to better meet student needs. In my experience, Math 9 can be difficult for many students since all students are expected to learn the same course content and only modifications of the program can be made. Grade nine is also the year that students’ needs are evaluated and individualized programming is determined for their grade ten year. In grade ten, students can enter regular programming, modified programming, or alternative programming.
Initially when choosing a topic for the course development assignment, I wanted to improve and enhance my current Math 9 course. However, while completing the the ADDIE Explained readings, the gap analysis equation in the “analysis section” stood out to me: desired status – actual status = need. Thinking of the grade nine students that I teach, I believe that the greatest need is supplement work for students who will be entering alternative programming in grade 10. Therefore, I plan to create a course module that is representative of Math 9 outcomes, but is suitable for students who will be entering alternative programming in grade 10. Last year, all math nine teachers and student services sat down and attempted to gather worksheets for students with additional learning needs to work on during class. Although this gave these students something to work on that better reflected their capabilities, it did not provide students with the same level of learning opportunities as the other students in their class. Additionally, these students were often left to work independently on this work due to class sizes and other complexities in the classroom.
Major Learning Outcomes
It is important to note that an individualized curriculum for students who are in grade nine does not exist, even though they are entering alternative or modified courses in grade ten. Below is a summary of the learning outcome I will be covering in the course development assignment. The outcome is from the Patterns and Relations Strand of Math 9, and I aligned the outcome with the relevant Math 18 outcome.
Why Blended Learning?
I believe that blended learning will be an excellent way to help ALL students to find success in math. Although the module I am making is geared towards students with additional learning needs, the modules may also benefit students who require additional review of foundational knowledge. Below is a list of reasons that I believe blended learning is appropriate for the content I have chosen!
When teachers have the opportunity to work with students with additional learning needs they can utilize face-to-face learning, and if other classroom needs arise students with increased learning needs have other options to meet their needs.
Offers a cognivist approach to learning allowing greater student agency.
Learning can more easily be individualized to meet student needs using online tools.
An online community of learners can be created with other grade nine classrooms throughout the school.
Potential for increased engagement for students.
Options for caregivers to work with students beyond the classroom.
Hopefully more students will experience some form of success in math which will help them to build confidence in math.
If students work with other student supports (EA, student services, substitute teacher, etc.), those people are provided with online tools to support students’ learning. Not all education professionals have a background in high school math.
Online tools can help to create a student profile that records student’s progress.
Online tools may help to provide instant feedback to students.
Integrated technology tools may help support student needs.
A blended classroom allows for additional collaboration between teachers.
Final Thoughts and Questions
How do you help bridge the gaps in students’ learning in your classroom?
Are there any online tools that you use to help support and differentiate student learning?
How do you balance various program modifications in your classroom while still creating an inclusive community of learners?
Feel free to interact with one of the above questions, or share any feedback/ suggestions to the information above!
My name is Kate-Lynn Weisbrod and I am a currently a math teacher at a high school east of Regina, Saskatchewan. This fall I will be entering my tenth year of teaching… that’s right, I can almost say that I have taught for A WHOLE DECADE! I am currently taking my final course in my Master’s program in Teaching, Learning, and Leadership (TLL). My pedagogical beliefs and views are constantly changing and adapting as I develop as a professional. Some of my core values as a teacher are centered around creating an inclusive community of learners who work together to support one another through hands-on learning opportunities. I believe that my role as a teacher is to facilitate learning opportunities that allow all students to experience various forms of success.
When I am not teaching, I enjoy spending time with my friends and family as well as travelling when I can. I recently bought a house that keeps me busy with projects! This summer, I hope to keep fixing up the yard as I enjoy the being outside. My dog, Sullivan, also appreciates all the extra time I am spending at home over the summer and, as you can see, helps out whenever she can.
I am looking forward to learning along side a new group of people in EC&I 834!
Relationship with Technology and Blended Learning
My relationship with technology has also evolved over my career as I strive to effectively integrate it into my daily practice. Some of the technology I use functions as a tool to enhance my instruction, and other technology functions to enhance individual student learning. I am always looking for new tech tools that I can use in the classroom, and I love to learn about new platforms! As for blended learning, I don’t think I can confidently say that I have a clear picture of what blended learning looks like in a face-to-face classroom. Although I frequently try to integrate various tech tools into my classroom, I do not feel that I am consistently effective with my approach with helping students to interact with technology in regards to math. Below is a quick summary I made of a few of my favourite tech tools that I use in the classroom in order to enhance both my own instruction and the learning experiences of students.
Perceptions of Technology and Blended Learning
When referring to technology in this course, I am thinking about plugged tools vs unplugged tools. There are a plethoria of electronics, software, online resources, etc. that I believe have the ability to enhance learning in the classroom. Unfortunately, there are some technologies that students have become too reliant on and need help developing skills to help separate their learning and leisure activities. For example, cellphones have become an increasing issue for many students who struggle to self-regulate their usage.
In saying this, I do believe that there is a place for technology in the classroom and creating a blended learning environment can be extremely beneficial for teachers and students. Although I frequently use technology in my classroom, I do not believe my math classroom can be seen as an example of a blended model. Tucker (2021) emphasizes that a high use of technology does not equate to a blended classroom. Using Bates’ (2019) continuum of technology based learning (pictured below), I have indicated with the blue dot where I believe my current practices are reflected. Although there may not be a correct place to be on this continuum, I do wish I better utilized technology, beyond just classroom aids, in my classroom.
Personal Successes and Challenges with Blended Learning
Below are just a few of the successes and challenges I have experienced while incorporating technology into my classroom.
Increased student agency
Increased student engagement
Increased and timely communication with parents
Dynamic instructional tools and variation in instructional delivery
Increased differentiation and enrichment
Opportunities for instant feedback
Communication with other learning communities beyond the school
Accessibility to technology within school
Accessibility to personal devices for students
Associated costs with platforms, software, and hardware
Classroom management while students use devices
Frustrations from students and parents when learning various platforms for multiple teachers
Future Applications of Online and Blended Learning
I hope that this course will give me the opportunity to develop my understanding of learning management systems (LMSs) and the applications of technology beyond aiding instruction in a classroom. I feel like my focus throughout my career has been to learn about different platforms that increase my own productivity or have a WOW factor for students in the classroom. I would like to better utilize platforms to create an online community with students that supplements the learning in the classroom. In my current school, it is becoming more common for students to join a course remotely, which feels overwhelming! My understanding of online and blended learning has already been challenged as we begin to learn about the correct terminology of the digital education world, and I look forward to strengthening my pedagogical practices.
Some Other Thoughts
What LMS are you thinking of using for your project? Why might you be using this platform over other choices?
Do you have any experience with LMS platforms? If so, what are some pros and cons to these platforms?