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Supporting Math learning through AT & activity centres - Northlea E.M.S. spotlight Math & AT project

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Supporting Math learning through AT & activity centres - Northlea E.M.S. spotlight Math & AT project

With such a wide variety of grade level and abilities in her Home School Program, Denise Reiken, who teaches the grade 2-8 HSP at Northlea Elementary and Middle School wanted to explore activity centres with her students as part of the "I've got Assistive Technology in my Classroom, How do I use it in Mathematics." Ms Reiken and itinerant teacher Valia Reinsalu went about planning a way for students to not only have hands-on experiences using technology to solidify their understanding of money concepts, but also to have a fun, practical way to meet all learners needs in the model of differentiated learning.

The class was able to share space with the Library Learning Commons. All three stations or activity centres were set up in designated spaces around the room. Students rotated through the three centres during the morning. Even though they were organized into multiple ability groupings, when they arrived at each centre, each student was given a task that met their readiness and comprehension level. The activities were so engaging that Ms Reiken's students were focused and on-task throughout the morning even though two other classrooms were in and out of the room,

Ms. Reiken stands by the tablet centre. The Adding or Trading Game and IWB were the two other centres which students rotated through during the morning of money value exploration.

The morning's lesson started off with a whole-group Minds-On using the SMART interactive whiteboard.
Students had the opportunity to review what they knew about the values of Canadian coins through the IWB activity.

Then students rotated through each centre spending time to explore their individualized web site or activity.

Tablet Centre
At the tablet centre students were connected to their specific link from the Ontario Education Resource Bank (OERB). The Ministry-licensed site provides multimedia activities which are curriculum links for student uses. (Each school board has student and staff passwords available for use.)
Since the tablets used by the students were touch capable, students went through the activities as if they had their individualized IWB.

Students used a variety of means to go through their specific OERB activity. 
IWB Centre (Northlea's Nutrition Nook)
At the interactive whiteboard students worked in pairs to build menus using digital manipulatives including digital coins and the pen tool to calculate the value of   specific orders.

Students work together to calculate the value of specific orders.
Games Centre
Students used coins, number cubes and game pieces along with addition skills to navigate around a game board.
Students play the Adding or Trading game using different game boards and manipulatives.
Ms. Reiken consolidated the lesson as the whole group gathered to discuss their favourite activity as well as what they had learned about money. To end the lesson, each student completed an exit slip to complete their morning's money exploration journey.

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