I teach 7th grade math at a high-need, at-risk, predominately Spanish speaking college prep middle/high school. We have students from 6th grade through 12th grade. I have three math classes where I teach 3rd and 4th grade math skills to 7th grade students while teaching them the 7th grade standards. My goal is to have them reach grade level by the end of this school year.
Even though this is a college prep school, most of my students are way below grade level and they need all of the extra help and support possible to bridge the gap so that college can be an attainable dream.
Our seventh grade is comprised of 90 amazing students, many of whom come from bilingual households. Their goal is not only to make it to college but to finish college as well.
My 7th grade students work on an amazing math program on line called Khan Academy. The students are able to work at their own pace and on whatever grade level they need. Many work on 5th and 6th grade math skills in order to learn what they need for 7th grade. It is an amazing program. They will get a Rubik's cube-either a 2x2 or 3x3 or 5x5 once they finish 50%, 75% and 100% of Khan Academy.
I assign Khan Academy for homework but I want the students to do more work on their own and when they have incentives, they work harder and longer to achieve the "prize" of a Rubik's cube.
I don't know why they love them, but they do! I started to give them out this year and I already see students working so much harder so that they can show off how smart they are. They walk around the school playing with their Rubik's Cube and other students see them and want one of their own. It's fascinating to see how a "toy" makes them want to learn more math.
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