My students are enrolled in two math courses. Due to low performance (bottom 25%ile) on district benchmark and state performance assessments, they have been identified as needing remediation. It has been my responsibility to spark an interest in the world of mathematics, and provide hope to a small population that has experienced frustration and failure for multiple years, even before the pandemic. They are from a diverse background, mostly Native Americans, from families struggling economically, have varied attendance records (which are improving), about 30% of my students have state mandated accommodation needs, including visual and hearing, and typically have 3 or more years of low performance in math (since grade 4).
I work with small classes (typically around 12 at a time) and slow the pace of instruction, incorporating more relevant and relatable experiences with their current math standards, and with a lot of support from my school, parents, and students themselves, begin to give positive results to their efforts.
I am asking for wall mounted whiteboards to be added to my classroom. My remedial middle school math class is in an older room without whiteboard space for my students. I do have an older model interactive whiteboard, but research has shown that using standing whiteboards facilitates math communication and knowledge by allowing learners to discuss, analyze, and compare/contrast their work. This reflection and analyzing of collaborative work during class time is highly beneficial, after several years of being distanced from each other. Hanging multiple small-framed (3’ by 4’) work spaces allows small groups to collaborate and while developing their learning. With the addition of technology in the last two years, emerging learners are finding themselves drawn to opportunities to close the “lid” of devices and interact. I want to capitalize on this opportunity in a safe manner. My room is large, so finding up to 8 additional wall spaces to put the 3’ x 4’ boards while still supervising learning is very manageable.
The primary learning needs the collaborative space would meet would be math literacy (applying numbers and symbols to real life problems), numeracy, math fluency, enriched problem solving and communication.
My students are struggling to communicate with others appropriately. Students have shown an eagerness to work with partners and even small groups. They need to move their bodies and practice presenting ideas. I would use the boards to give them experiences to express their understanding with others in an engaging, challenging yet comfortable environment. We would have opportunities to work through a real situation with new math skills, collaborating with classmates on applying learning to various situations with multiple solutions.
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