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LearnBop & Common Core State Standards (CCSS) Alignment

Posted by The LearnBop Team

Aug 25, 2014 9:00:00 AM

Recently, we got asked a question on our Facebook page:

 

"My school doesn't follow the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (CCSSM). Can I use LearnBop?" 

 

When we're chatting with parents, teachers and math administrators, this question often comes up.

It's a great question, one we've given a lot of thought to as we developed our interactive learning system. Though LearnBop is fully aligned with the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (CCSSM), adoption of the Common Core is not essential for the use of LearnBop. Our number one priority is closing the math achievement gap by providing a quality program that supports students in learning mathematics. Our program is informed by the CCSSM along with relevant research about problem solving and how students learn best. 

While we do believe that the CCSSM provides key guidelines for quality math instruction and learning, we have a larger mission than Common Core adoption. LearnBop's interactive system, which simulates the one-on-one experience a student might have with a tutor, is designed to meet every single student where he or she is in the learning process.

We've harnessed the expertise of some of the best math teachers in the U.S. to develop our automated tutorials specifically aligned to the Common Core content and practice standards.  The step-by-step guide that simulates working with a one-on-one tutor conveys perseverance in problem solving and productive struggle. The visuals, hints, and videos support students in learning math concepts and skills they are struggling with to become successful problem solvers throughout their lifetimes.

Download our latest guide to get more of our LearnBop's great content for free, written by Presidential Awardee Cindy Bryant!

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5 Back to School Tips for Building a Strong Math Program

Posted by Cindy Bryant

Aug 19, 2014 6:00:00 AM

For many of you the new school year has already begun, and others of you are in the starting gates just waiting for the bell to sound to begin the 2014 – 2015 school year!  All of you know the importance of the first few weeks of school in setting the tone for the entire year.  So as you begin your school year, I’d like to offer five suggestions that set the tone for maximizing opportunities for all students to learn mathematics throughout the school year.


1. Embrace and
convey a growth mindset to students from day one! 

Research has shown that students’ mindsets have a direct influence on their grades and that teaching students to have a growth mindset raises their grades and achievement test scores significantly (Blackwell, Trzesniewski, & Dweck, 2007; Good, Aronson, & Inzlicht, 2003).  And this is particularly important for students who are laboring under a negative stereotype about their abilities (Blackwell, et al., 2007; Good, et al., 2003; Aronson, Fried, & Good, 2002).

2. Foster and model a "perseverance in problem solving and productive struggle" attitude for students!

Hiebert and Grouws (2007), use the term productive struggle to refer to the “effort to make sense of mathematics, to figure something out that is not immediately apparent.” Teaching that embraces and uses productive struggle leads to long-term benefits, with more students able to apply their learning to new problems and situations. (Kapur, 2010). It is important for teachers to accept that struggle is important to learning mathematics, convey this message to students, and allow time for them to try to work through uncertainties when solving a problem.

 3. Assure that students know the learning goals and expectations set forth for them – what they will be expected to know and be able to do.

Research conducted over the last twenty-five years consistently supports the notion that having high expectations for all, including clear and public standards, is a key to closing the achievement gap between advantaged and less advantaged students. The Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (CCSSM) emphasize the importance of a focus on only the most critical topics in a grade or course, a coherent link within and across grades, and an emphasis on conceptual understanding, procedural skill and fluency, and applications. The Standards for Mathematical Practice identify processes and proficiencies that students use as they engage in problem solving and reasoning that helps them to develop habits of mind that enable them to reason about the world from a quantitative and spatial perspective (Levasseur & Cuoco, 2009).  The CCSSM content and practices should be at the heart of the standards or learning goals that you identify for your students.

4. Employ a variety of engaging strategies and resources within lessons and learning activities.

Shellard and Moyer (2002) identify three critical components of effective mathematics instruction: “Teaching for conceptual understanding, developing children’s procedural literacy, and promoting strategic competence through meaningful problem solving investigations.” Conceptual understanding lessons include purposeful classroom discussions, as well as the use of other forms of verbal, visual, and written communication.  Balka, Hull, and Harbin Miles describe specific ways students demonstrate conceptual understanding in What Is Conceptual Understanding?

5. Monitor instruction and learning regularly and often using a variety of monitoring tools and assessments.

The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics identifies specific things to look for in terms of what the teacher and students are doing in rich engaging mathematics classrooms in the Administrator’s Guide: Interpreting the Common Core State Standards to Improve Mathematics Education (2011).  For additional mathematics classroom observation and monitoring tools check out the Common Core Look-fors (CCL4s) App for purchase, as well as our free Mathematical Practices: The Pathway to Mathematical Literacy webinar materials and resources.

For additional information on how to build a strong math program, check out our latest free guide!

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Topics: Resources, Teaching & Learning

5 Websites to Download Algebra Worksheets

Posted by The LearnBop Team

Aug 7, 2014 2:43:00 PM

Moving on from Pre-Algebra to Algebra I can be just as intimidating as it is exciting.

While folks in support of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) don't advocate a reliance on worksheets, working through problem sets can be good practice for demonstrating Algebra I procedural fluency or skill in carrying out procedures flexibly, accurately, efficiently and appropriately.

While classroom investigations and teaching methods that develop a conceptual understanding of Algebra I core concepts are preferred, if you're looking to download Algebra worksheets for demonstrating procedural fluency,  to better understand how problem sets look, or to use as a supplement in your classroom, then below are five of the more comprehensive resources we could find for quick downloads. We can't vouch for quality but have tested each link to ensure there are a number of different aspects of Algebra I covered amongst the five sites, topics like linear equations, sequences, functions, and polynomials.

 

1) Algebra.Help.com

Algebra.Help provides students and teachers alike with sample lessons, calculators and worksheets to practice problem-solving skills. This site covers a variety areas of Algebra for students in grades 7-11.

download algebra worksheets

Check out Algebra.Help.com 

 

2) Paul's Online Math Notes

This website provides free, downloadable Algebra worksheets. The website could use a user experience refresh, but there's a lot of content.

algebra-worksheets-pauls-online-notes

Check out Paul's Online Math Notes

 

3) Math-Drills

Math-Drills has thousands of free downloadable worksheets on a variety of topics ranging from 1st grade level math to Algebra II. The website is easy to navigate and breaks down each math topic based on categories. 

algebra-worksheets-math-drills

Check out Math-Drills

 

4) Math-Aids.com

Another great website for Algebra worksheets is Math-Aids.com. This site categorizes downloadable worksheets by topics and allows you to see a preview of the worksheet before you decide to download it.

algebra-worksheets-math-aids

Check out Math-Aids.com

 

5) Grade A Math Help

Grade A Math Help provides free Algebra worksheets and math games.

algebra-worksheets-grade-a-free-algebra-worksheets

Check out Grade A Math Help

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Topics: Algebra & Algebra Readiness

About the Community

 

Cindy Bryant, LearnBop Director of Learning The LearnBop Community is an informal PLC for 5th - 9th grade math teachers moderated by Cindy Bryant, veteran teacher, former NCTM Board Director, Presidential Awardee, and former state K–12 Math Director in Missouri. Share ideas, best practices and what works for you with your peers to help every student unleash their potential.  Contact Cindy.


September Webinar!

Topic: Cultivating Intellgience and Talent through a Growth Mindset

Time: Wed, 9/24 at 2 p.m. ET
 

Mindset – a simple idea discovered by world-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck can determine whether a student focuses on improving rather than how smart they are. This session will focus on promoting a growth mindset that fosters student motivation, productivity, and the learning of mathematics.

Register here:

 


Note: Registration closes at noon on Monday, 9/22. 

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