(Nov. 20, 2020) From Dreambox Learning to Khan Academy, local public school math teachers are using digital resources and platforms for in-person and virtual instruction.

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Kirsten Danisavich

Math teachers in the school system explained the approach to the Worcester County Board of Education on Tuesday.

Kirsten Danisavich, coordinator of mathematics instruction, along with Regina Dashiell, instructional math coach for middle and high schools, and Julie Hanenfeld, instructional math coach at Buckingham Elementary School, discussed how the digital programs enhance math instruction during the covid pandemic.

The Worcester County school system’s math vision is that “all students will learn mathematics at a high level with conceptual understanding when afforded powerful learning experiences that encourage engagement and student ownership and when the teacher purposefully uses formative assessments to drive and differentiate instruction.”

To meet this vision, educators use Schoology, a learning management system.

“It is the place where students go each day to find their lessons,” Dashiell said. “The teacher posts the daily agenda so that the students know when they will be working synchronously on their main lessons and when they will be working asynchronously on independent work and individualized work.”

Teachers can ask multiple form, short answer and essay questions on Schoology, Dashiell added.

“Teachers also create questions that ask the students to write on their iPads,” she said. “The teachers can then go back … in Schoology and replay the inking, so that they can see exactly what the students were thinking.”

For the main lesson, math teachers engage students via Zoom.

Bags of hands-on images, such as color tiles, color counters and number lines, have been provided for pre-k to sixth grade students for conceptual understanding.

Virtual “manipulatives” as the movable images are called, are also available for students participating in distance learning.

Worcester County Public Schools purchased another digital tool, Pear Deck, through CARES Act funding.

“It is an interactive PowerPoint that allows the students to write on slides,” Hanenfeld said. As the students write, teachers can watch students’ inking in live time, so they can determine who may need help during the lesson.

Through the CARES Act funding, the county school system was also able to afford more programs that can be adapted for independent work for virtual instruction, including Dreambox Learning, i-Ready, ST Math and Khan Academy.

For more information, contact Danisavich at 410-632-5042.

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