Our school uses Computer Associates‘ Ready Math program. This curriculum is made up of printed materials in addition to an online component. Like many programs, it includes some diagnostic assessments to level students create a learning module path.
This learning path needs regular time for students to reach their goals and to provide accurate data for small group support. Making changes in daily routines is difficult and it’s taken me a while to integrate a solution:
Centers is the Solution
There are days where I have all students on their computers at the same time as a weekly 20-minute warmup. I sometimes queue up one lesson aligned with the weekly lesson plan. I incorporate computer time into our Centers time. Generally, students rotate through centers: two 12-minute rotations per day. Over the course of three days, all students will have rotated through all centers. Two of the centers are Computers, and they take up both twelve minute rotations that day, giving them ~45 minutes of computer time per week.
This strategy must be paying off because I met with the field rep this past week and she’s happy with my data. Not only does the aggregate data for the class look good, but students on my watchlist are making sufficient progress in their online instruction measurements.
One good thing about students using online adaptive learning material is that I get a lot of data on what they’re good at, and what they need help with. Some struggle momentarily before moving on, but others get hung up on a specific lesson. With this program, students who don’t get past a lesson have that strand blocked off until I can work with them on that concept before giving them another chance. That’s what my “Purple” center is for. That’s when I sit down with small groups focus on their individual needs. It’s amazing how much of a difference twelve minutes of very specific instruction can help a student. Sometimes it’s just a matter of correcting a misconception, and other times, I just need to see what’s going on so I can follow up with instruction that addresses their struggle.