It’s math time in Bebhinn Fahy’s fourth grade class at Increase Miller Elementary School, and no-tech and high-tech tools are in use.
Each child has their workbook open, and both a pencil for work and a red pen for making corrections. Ms. Fahy’s workbook is projected on the interactive whiteboard surface, and students follow along as she and the class solve multiplication equations together.
Ms. Fahy talks the students through Explore It! and Explain It! activities, using mathematical modeling as a teaching tool as well as a way of building their mathematical vocabulary.
This is enVisionmath2.0 in action—the new math curriculum used across the district in grades K – 6.
“Who has converted this fraction into mixed number?” asks Ms. Fahy.
“I see lots of hands and even a few more,” she acknowledges. “Mark, would you give us your answer?”
The lesson is reinforced with Practice & Problem Solving.
Matt has the timer today. Ms. Fahy asks him to set it for five minutes. Students work independently. The classroom is warm and peaceful. The door is closed. Serious learning is happening. Students sip from their water bottles. It’s 11:30 a.m. and snacks are allowed.
When the timer rings, the children know what happens next. They leave their seats in anticipation, and gather on the carpet in front of the white board for Visual Learning Animation Plus, an animated visual representation of the day’s concept.
One of enVisionmath2.0’s key strengths is its differentiated resources—teaching tools for different levels of students, and different types of learners. The Visual Learning Animation Plus seems to be universally appealing.
The narrator of the video sounds friendly and fun. Alex, one of the six avatars that accompany students throughout elementary school math, is on the screen, lowering his eyebrows in thought and cheering when the student gets the right answer.
Rebecca is chosen to be at the whiteboard. She clicks on the robot, and the practice activity begins. By touching the whiteboard, Rebecca is able to slide bars in place to represent five groups of 2 1/3. When she does something correct, she is rewarded with a cheery “ding.” When she indicates an answer that is wrong, a bouncy “b-o-o-o-ng” encourages another try.
The last part of the lesson is the most individualized. Students can choose to review the lesson with Ms. Fahy, or work on Today’s Challenge or other enrichment activities alone, or with classmates.
“You’ve been sitting along time,” notices Ms. Fahy. “Stand up and stretch! You can also sit on the carpet or at the back table.”
Three students gather in a nook behind the flip chart in the corner of the room
The murmur of math fills the classroom—a happy, thinking sound.