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In EdSurge Case Studies, educators share their real-life experiences with edtech in their schools and classrooms.
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Laura , @laura_wagenman
Staff Development Assessment Specialist, 5th Grade Teacher last year, Osseo Area Schools , Minnesota
1:1 devices

When I look at math strands separated on standardized testing, number sense is typically the lowest strand. Woot Math provides my 5th graders a place to target the lagging skills, reinforce new skills, and really love doing math.

In general, I have found in 5th grade, students have huge gaps in learning regarding fractions. Our 3rd grade teachers introduce fractions but because the concept is so abstract, many students still don’t have a conceptual model of fractions.

About 5 years ago, many 3rd through 5th grade teachers attended Rational Number Project (RNP) training and it completely changed how we taught math. We saw the need for visual models, representing in multiple ways, and the importance of number lines. The RNP curriculum was wonderful but we needed more to help fill in the gaps. Our school had bought a different online math program but it didn’t reinforce conceptual understanding, the placement test put students in the wrong spot, and students disliked it.

Last November at NCTM Minneapolis, I was introduced to Woot Math, which partners with the researchers from the Rational Number Project and immediately signed up for a free account. I also shared it with my 3 math classes, and they were instantly hooked. Since our school is 1-to-1 with iPads, students were able to use Woot Math at school and at home to reinforce skills taught in the classroom.

Product Use: As a teacher Woot Math is a wonderful tool for many reasons. I need to differentiate a lot with the variety of levels in my classes. I use Woot Math to reinforce the skills we are learning in class so I could work with a small group. Because students loved doing Woot Math, they were engaged and practicing concepts. In fact, I’d often hear “woot, woot!” from students as they were practicing.

I also love that Woot Math pushes students to show their thinking with multiple representations so I know students really understood the why. The way Woot Math deals with mistakes by giving students extra problems and the video lessons are invaluable especially when students take it home and share with parents. Many parents appreciated being able to learn along with their child so they could better help if there were questions.

What Worked and What Didn't: The reports in Woot Math teacher dashboard allowed me to check in on student progress and really target student misconceptions. From the dashboard, I can see screenshots of my students work. This gives me insight into my students’ exact mistakes from their practice and assess whether they were able to correct their mistake. I can also see how much time they spent watching the instructional videos and the tasks, and then use that data to guide my instruction.

Our whole district bought Woot Math for 4th and 5th graders this year, and I was fortunate to present Woot Math at our October staff development training. Teachers were excited about the engaging way it taught number sense and the fun they knew students would have. Many have contacted me and shared how much students are enjoying Woot Math, and how helpful it is for differentiating in the classroom.

Age Group: Elementary school students

Nov 18, 2016 Provide Feedback
Beth, @bethwycoff
5-8 Math Teacher and Interventionist, ELC Community School District, Iowa
Special education students, High ELL population, and Low income population

I struggled watching students trying to memorize rules to work with fractions when it was obvious that so many had no idea what the fractions actually meant. Very few could show a simple fraction such as 1/3 using a model. Even fewer could explain WHY 1/3 is equivalent to 3/9. Performing the operations with fractions could only be done by students who could memorize the algorithms, but rarely would these students explain why the algorithm worked. We don't have the time in our curriculum to go back and start from scratch to develop that understanding.

Product Use: I used Woot Math with all students in 5th-grade once a week for 25 minutes. I also used Woot Math with my 6th- and 7th-grade intervention pull-out students for ~1 hour a week. Woot Math works extremely well in each of these situations as every student can progress through the concepts at their own pace. The graphics are appealing to all of my students which is refreshing. My older students who struggle in math don't appreciate the elementary themes of other math programs we have tried. Woot Math’s short lessons keep students interested yet still give the opportunity to demonstrate mastery.

What Worked and What Didn't: Woot Math has given me a practical and efficient way to take students
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individually from concrete to abstract understanding of fraction concepts. Students are able to construct fractions and visualize the problems they are solving. My students are much more comfortable discussing fraction story problems as they feel more confident in describing the problem that they can now see in their heads.
Honestly, I am most surprised at the reaction my "non-achievers" have to Woot Math. They might move more slowly through the books, but they are just as proud of their progress. That said, I rarely have to remind any student to be on task on Woot Math days. Most students race into the room to get started. Hands are flying in the air, kids are "wooting”, and I am excitedly running from student to student praising their efforts and their success. I have students record their progress on a record sheet they can easily show to their parents or other teachers. I give a signature each time they get three stars on a chapter.

Another facet of Woot Math that I so appreciate is that kids are able to move at their own pace. Slower students are never compared to faster students as each student is praised for progress in understanding, not for speed. Students for whom learning comes more easily are thrilled at the opportunity to fly ahead. Either way, I don't have to worry about creating lessons that are accessible to all. Woot Math does that for me.
I am most grateful for the opportunity to be able to interact with kids who struggle in math in a way that makes them see math can be a good experience! Implementing Woot Math has been great for both the kids and myself.

Every student is accountable in Woot Math. I can monitor student activity through the reports on the teacher dashboard reports, and I can provide extra encouragement when needed without the student feeling like he or she is behind. My motto is that slow progress is better than no progress! No child is left behind even if he or she doesn't move as quickly as classmates.

Age Group: Middle school students

Oct 5, 2016 Provide Feedback
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