As you can see in the inforgraphic below, I’ve got some students that could benefit from some extra support in the classroom. Here’s the story about a unit that my team and I “mind shifted” in an effort to meet our cuties (and their parents) where they are. We did this in 4 steps. They weren’t easy steps… but they are here as inspiration.

The unit we tweaked focuses on the strategies which help to prepare for multiplication and division. Most parents think that means what they were taught 30 odd years ago– an algorithm that shows 3 x 4 = 12. But things are slightly different nowadays! My job is to teach conceptual math skills and strategical thinking.

Here’s the story…


My 18 little munchkins.

Step 1: Explain to Parents

Instead of sending our usual 800-word blog post that explains the curriculum and expectations, we created a short video to highlight the unit’s objectives and introduce the vocabulary to parents.

Not too difficult… right?

Step 2: Flip the Classroom

Next, we needed to assess, group, and flip! To streamline our teaching time, we organized centers to help aide instruction. At one center, students watched videos that were differentiated for their needs.

Formative practice tasks helped me assess what was just learned (or reviewed). These independent tasks could be done easily by watching my videos again and again. By flipping in this way, my workshop time was freed up so I could meet with small groups or offer direct instruction.


Step 3: Check for Understanding

Using a website called eduCannon I created my own sort of Brain Bop Jr. videos. You’ve seen them, right? They are those adorable videos where Annie and her robotic friend, Moby, teach to a topic in a fun and exciting way.

NB: EduCannon doesn’t make it easy to share with your class. I mean, you can’t just say, “Here’s the link, go and try it out.” But it has some cool features and could work out in some classrooms (especially with older and more independent students!)

Step 4: Students as Teachers–Summative Assessment

Lastly, using the app, “Explain Everything,” kids showcased their understanding of various multiplication or division strategies by solving their self-created number story. The videos could be uploaded and shared with the teacher, other students, or parents. We used the student videos as part of a math celebration we hosted at the end of our unit. Here’s a student’s example.

So… that’s the scoop. It’s wasn’t perfect. I’ve learned A TON! But I’m proud of how far our team has come in regards to sharing our curriculum and student learning in a tangible way. Though I have a long way to go… it’s a pretty good start!