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The mission of these junior special education classrooms, it to promote Math talk.

Monday, 2 December 2013

The mission of these junior special education classrooms, it to promote Math talk.

The Math Mission
How do you support Mathematics engagement and achievement? Why not incorporate the use of assistive technology software tools as accommodations in order promote Math talk when solving open problems within the classroom? 

That's the main goal of the A.T. team's Math Mission pilot project this year starting in seven junior Special Education classrooms in the TDSB.
The Math Mission pilot is investigating how supporting students to clearly communicate their thinking and questions in Mathematics learning, will transfer into formulating well-supported detailed written answers (when students solve open problems).
The Math Mission goal.

And another layer is that the teachers and classrooms are accessing lessons and posting solutions via the Ministry-licensed learner management software Desire2Learn. 

Desire2Learn is a software that supports blended learning, where lesson content (including web links, multimedia and other digital resources and reference material) can be posted and accessed on a cloud-based course site - to compliment learning that happens in the classroom setting. But along with posting multimedia solutions to specific lesson activities, Desire2Learn provides a way for teachers to support a discussion thread, for students (and teachers) to share solutions, ask questions, and provide feedback to each other. 

While students and teachers practice 21st century skills of communicating on-line, Desire2Learn is a safe platform - as only those pilot participants have access to the course.

Cloud collaboration and communication
Teachers and students interact weekly on-line on the Math Mission course, the pilot teachers get together three times during the year in their Math Mission Learning Community at Terraview Learning Centre. The in-class sessions are designed for the teachers to use assistive technology to differentiate student learning via an open problem using tools such as: Interactive Whiteboard software, graphic organizer software, and mobile apps, along with concrete manipulates to facilitate learning of Mathematics and support communication. 

During early November's first session, the LC teachers also learned how to navigate and post on the Desire to Learn Math Mission course. Data was also collected as teachers recorded their marker students' initial abilities to communicate in Math.
In order to monitor the growth of students' ability to
communicate, teachers are tracking their marker students.
Assistive Technology to support student learning
The pilot teachers traveled to stations via a modeled lesson. In that way they can transfer their learning when supporting their own students. Here is one solution that was recorded and posted on the Math Mission course, using IWB software and video recording:

The Math Mission continues on-line and the pilot teachers meet again next week for LC2. The A.T. team has initiated a number of pilot projects this 2013-2014 school year. Along with the Math Mission, team members are supporting Read and Write Gold tools to support EQAO, and Microsoft OneNote in Intermediate classrooms to support organization and transitions.

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