From the Principal's Office: Learning Math Should be Fun and Engaging
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February 11, 2013 By: Eric Sheninger
Kanchan Chellani, currently a math teacher at New Milford High School
, is a strong believer in making the learning process fun,
interactive, and meaningful for students. To engage students in her classroom, Mrs. Chellani has
utilized a variety of tools to help her develop an interactive,
student-centered learning environment.
Through the use of technology, collaborative learning exercises, and
teaching mathematical concepts in the real-world and interdisciplinary context,
she has managed to successfully work towards creating this desired positive and
energetic blended learning environment.
Some of the many methods Mrs. Chellani has employed in her daily
instruction include integrating Smart Board interactive review games and videos
to reinforce prior learning, case studies performed in the computer lab so
students understand the significance of the material taught, and team
assignments to foster a collaborative working environment.
Since the “flipped” approach to instruction is proving to be
a key asset in modern education, one of Mrs. Chellani’s recent initiatives has
been to provide students with a means to learn independently utilizing digital
content. Starting in December 2011, she
began using Edmodo, an online platform that enables innovative and social
learning, as a way to share online videos and content on the relevant topic for
her students to view and assign online polls to complete in order to foster
discussion on the topic the next day.
Although enabling the “flipped” approach to instruction using Edmodo has
transformed the way material is taught and comprehended by students, it has
been difficult to find resources that combine curriculum delivery, real-world
examples, and assessments in a cohesive manner.
As a result, she has started to create her own online learning modules,
using the software Adobe Captivate.
Adobe Captivate is a highly, user-friendly digital content
creation software that fosters interactive eLearning content. Mrs. Chellani has made use of the tool by
creating learning modules that teach the basic mathematical concepts, as well
as, provide practice problems, real-world examples, and assessments that allow
for better comprehension of the material in an organized fashion. In these learning modules, instruction is
provided using digital content, simulations, videos, screen captures,
voice-overs, etc. to meet the visual, auditory, and tactile needs of the
diverse student population. Once the instruction has been provided, guided
practice problems and real-world examples are then discussed to reinforce the
learning of the mathematical concept and to illustrate its’ significance. A variety of prompts and formal assessments
are also embedded within the project in order to ensure that the learning has
taken place, to develop higher-order thinking skills, and to facilitate
discussion in the classroom.
go onto www.learnmatheasily.com
and select the assigned video for homework.
view the instructional portion of the video (both mathematical content and
real-world applications) and complete guided practice problems, prompts,
and formal assessments embedded within the video.
come into class the next day with a solid foundation on the mathematical
topic. The teacher utilizes the aforementioned
prompts to facilitate class discussion and assigns polls via Edmodo to
ensure that the learning has taken place.
Board interactive review games, case studies, collaborative learning
exercises, group projects, quizzes, and tests are assigned in class to
reinforce the learning in a differentiated fashion and probe deeper into
key mathematical topics.
Using Adobe Captivate, Mrs. Chellani has been able to create
an engaging and interactive learning experience for her students that not only
helps them understand complex mathematical concepts, but also helps them
understand the real-world significance of those concepts.
cross-posted on A Principal's Reflections
Eric Sheninger is a NASSP Digital Principal Award winner (2012), PDK Emerging Leader Award recipient (2012), winner of Learning Forward's Excellence in Professional Practice Award (20 12), Google Certified Teacher, Adobe Education Leader, ASCD 2011 Conference Scholar, co-author of Communicating and Connecting With Social Media: Essentials for Principals and What Principals Need to Know About Teaching and Learning Science, writer on education for the Huffington Post, co-creator of the Edscape Conference, sits on the FEA Board of Directors, and was named to the NSBA "20 to Watch" list in 2010 for technology leadership. He now presents and speaks nationally to assist other school leaders embrace and effectively utilize technology. His blog, A Principal's Reflections, was selected as Best School Administrator Blog in 2011 by Edublogs.