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How I Use CK-12 in my Algebra 1 Classroom


Lea Ann Smith STEMToday'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  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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Yea! Great job and a lot of work! 
Keep it up!
Posted @ Wednesday, October 09, 2013 2:05 PM by John Brishcar
I am also an Alg. teacher. Ques. Is there a way to go quickly to a given page in a CK-12 flexbook?
Posted @ Thursday, October 10, 2013 10:22 AM by joe pacelli
If the book is downloaded as a pdf, Adobe Acrobat allows you to quickly to go a given page. The Kindle and iPad options also have quick navigation buttons.
Posted @ Friday, October 11, 2013 7:57 AM by Lea Ann Smith
Joe - No. Currently you cannot automatically jump to a page of a Flexbook. The best/quickest way is to go through the table of contents to a chapter and go straight to the section you are looking for.
Posted @ Friday, October 11, 2013 11:09 AM by Laura Ringer
Nice blog. Thanks for providing such a wonderful info. 
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Posted @ Monday, January 13, 2014 6:34 AM by Justin
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