It’s been said that teachers make more than 3,000 decisions per day, which is reportedly second only to the number of decisions air traffic controllers make in a day!
Not only do teachers have to make constant minute-by-minute decisions throughout the day based upon students’ intellectual, physical, social, and emotional needs and development, they must also plan and provide instruction, monitor and evaluate student performance, develop and implement plans to improve student performance, and maintain required records and adhere to required procedures, policies, and practices. If they let their guard down for one minute, chaos ensues.
As if that’s not enough to think about, teachers often find themselves implementing updated standards and curriculum, which can result in the search for instructional materials and resources, and attending required training to address curricular changes and shifts within their course or grade. And all of this takes more time and requires even more decisions.
That’s where many teachers are right now with the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (CCSSM).
While teachers embrace the CCSSM and its focus on coherently linked topics within and across grades, as well as its emphasis on the study of fewer topics with the intent of developing conceptual understanding, they find themselves feeling overwhelmed as they search for instructional materials, resources, and relevant training that addresses the specific curricular content shifts and practice changes.
And that’s where many 5th and 6th grade teachers are. The increased and shifted focus on multiplication and division of whole numbers and fractions in 5th grade, the increased focus on algebraic expressions and equations and shifted focus of ratios and proportional reasoning in 6th grade, and the emphasis on teaching for conceptual understanding at all levels has left many teachers searching for quality instructional and assessment resources.
These content and practice shifts are at the heart of LearnBop. Our program is informed by the CCSSM along with relevant research about problem solving and how students learn best. We’ve harnessed the expertise of some of the best math educators in the U.S. to develop our automated tutorials, which are specifically aligned to the Common Core content and practice standards.
The spirit and intent of the CCSSM and meaningful connections of the content and practice standards are conveyed throughout our program. And the graphics, diagrams, questions, and hints in our program support the conceptual understanding of mathematics and clarify CCSSM content and practices for both students and teachers. The adaptive step-by-step guided tutorials that simulate working with a one-on-on tutor communicate perseverance in problem solving and productive struggle, while at the same time connecting important math concepts and skills within and across grades.
LearnBop simultaneously assesses, diagnoses, and tracks student mastery at the same time. As students solve the problem step-by-step, LearnBop acts as a formative assessment, collecting data at every step and providing it to the teacher, pinpointing Common Core concepts and skills that students have not mastered going all the way back to elementary school.
Individual student progress on each concept is provided in immediately-available detailed reports, which include all responses to the initial problem and each and every step of the problem that a student has responded to. The report shows all problems aligned to a specific concept that a student has completed, so that a teacher can monitor work progress.
Students can complete assigned Bops anywhere they have internet access, including during class time, in computer labs, during before/after school programs, or at home. Teachers can print our recently updated Workbook for each Bop they assign to students that includes workspace for students to show their work on each step. So LearnBop can be used in a variety of ways both in the classroom and during extended learning time to assist students in learning important concepts and skills outlined in the curriculum.
In a traditional classroom setting, as described in our whole class instruction blog, LearnBop is an effective tool to introduce a lesson and guide students through problems with hints and prompts as each individual learner needs them. The instructor can assign students Bops aligned to the lesson concepts to check for understanding and mastery that students can complete during computer lab, on classroom laptops, or at home.
LearnBop is also applicable for the “flipped classroom” approach where the instructor first assigns the Bop(s) for students to complete in the classroom, in the computer lab, at home, etc. and later presents a lesson addressing the concept that students have learned about in the previously assigned Bop(s).
Our program serves as a great intervention tool. The LearnBop data reports pinpoint a students’ knowledge gap and provides recommended intervention Bops and videos that can be assigned to individual students, small groups of students, or the entire class to support them in learning the concepts and skills they have not mastered.
The flexibility that LearnBop provides in offering differentiated instruction through the assignment of concepts based upon individual student learning needs also makes it a valuable acceleration tool. The step-by-step guide, complete with instructional videos, supports curriculum acceleration and allows students to learn concepts beyond their grade or level.
We value your feedback so we invite you to share your questions, comments, and suggestions about teaching and learning mathematics. Thanks!
Have you seen our Building a Strong Math Program: A Back to School Guide for Teachers and Administrators?