How I Use CK-12 in my Algebra 1 Classroom
Today's guest blog post comes to us from CK-12 user, Lea Ann Smith. Lea has been teaching math for 14 years at Essex High School in Essex Junction, VT. This year, she is teaching Algebra 1 and is the leader of their new STEM Academy. Prior to becoming a teacher, she was a process engineer in the semiconductor industry.
I'm using CK-12 resources extensively in my high school algebra 1 class. I think students should be able to access to educational materials online in the same way that they access so many other things that are important to them. I am combining 24/7 online access with a Standards Based Grading system that gives students control of their own learning in a way that I hope will be powerful. CK-12 is an important piece of this puzzle, I am using several of their products in my class this year.
I wrote an algebra 1 book using the CK-12 modules and I embedded YouTube videos in each section. This book is available for download on my class website as a PDF or for use on Kindle or iPad. I have also given FlexMath and BrainGenie accounts to the students to allow for more independent, targeted practice. I am not giving chapter tests this year, instead I give weekly quizzes that are broken down by concept as outlined by Dan Meyer in this blog post from a while back http://blog.mrmeyer.com/?p=346
. The students have three chances in class to demonstrate mastery on each concept. After that, they can retake algebra 1 concepts outside of class after they have seen me for help or if they demonstrate that they have done additional practice using CK-12 resources.
The other reason I am using is a CK-12 Flexbook (digital textbook) is that my department is transitioning to Common Core in Algebra 1 this year. This meant we changed the overall flow of our class and it was helpful to be able to create my own algebra 1 text that exactly aligned with our plans for the new curriculum. This curriculum is a work in progress and the flexibility and creativity that the CK-12 modules offer is very valuable. It is my hope that math teachers can come together online to create open source math content and I think CK-12 is the perfect platform for that.
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