Schechter Shavua: May 26, 2020

Engaging our Math Students Throughout Distance Learning

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Our teachers are finding inventive ways to engage Schechter students in math, even from a distance!

For Parparim math (grades K and 1), students break into small groups (6-7 kids per group) to Zoom; together with their teacher Gavi, they work on “skip counting” using their classmates’ fingers on the screen! This increases students’  feeling of being connected. Before distance learning began, Gavi was already planning ahead, and sent them home with beads and tens frames to work on addition and subtraction. They also work on solving story problems, differentiated for ability level, spending one Zoom meeting each week sharing their math thinking about how the students solved each story problem. You can see samples of more basic and more challenging story problems HERE.

The Rimonim (grades 2 and 3) teacher, Kate uses screencasts and video for daily instruction. After viewing the instruction, students complete their work independently. When a student needs extra assistance, Kate sets up meetings and works one-on-one until they feel comfortable with the material. Currently, second graders are exploring geometry and finding 3D shapes in their house; third graders are working on data collection and graphing.

In Gesher (grades 4 and 5), Mrs. Spector's students complete math work in a variety of ways. The students access their assignments from Google Classroom and then proceed to Google Meet to meet a teacher for office hours, attend a mini-lesson with their class, or show and explain their work to her. To review some recent material in a fun way, some groups played a game of Kahoot through Google Meet! One group of students is working on operations with addition and subtraction of large numbers, understanding fractions and decimals, multiplying and dividing with fractions and decimals, using prime factorization to find the Greatest Common Factor and Lowest Common Multiple of a set of numbers, and exponents. The “Balancing a Budget” project was a favorite for one group, in which they were given a life scenario and had to manage their money while paying for a house, car, insurance, utilities, and groceries. Their goal: to avoid going into debt!

A different Gesher math group has also risen to the challenge of distance learning! Their current focus: ratio and rates (ratio tables; comparing and graphing ratios; percents; solving percent problems & converting measures) and integers (comparing and ordering; fractions and decimals on the number line; absolute value; the coordinate plane). Continuing to work in a self-paced mode, with Rabbi Chatinover and Trish Dabney providing support when needed, they exhibit resilience and take full responsibility for their learning. They work, they push themselves, and they are always eager to progress as much as they can. They are never bashful about asking for help- one sure sign of a confident learner; and every day they demonstrate their collective growth mindset.

Stay tuned next week to learn about Schechter’s Middle School Distance Learning for Math!