So I saw this awesome idea on a blog of a kind of “low tech” Khan Academy. Of course, this blogger actually stole the idea from another blogger (the teacher blogging universe is so awesome!), and I immediately realized that my class could use one of these. So today I went to the empty blue-felt-covered-cork-board that was left over from another teacher, and put one of these up.
I haven’t tried it yet, but I think going to be really helpful. A big thanks to Valerie for also posting many of the worksheets she used, which saved a ton of time and let me do this in one afternoon. If you want, 90% of the worksheets came from her blog, so go there. If you’re wondering on why it looks like it’s leaning on the floor, it’s because it is for now: our janitor is also our handyman and has to put the board up since I’m a little worried about drilling holes in a concrete wall.
I’m going to incorporate this into my participation points scheme, although I’m really trying to encourage students to use Khan Academy because of the instant feedback they receive (I don’t have time to grade 4,000 worksheets) as well as the helpful hints and the videos that are immediately available. However, so many of my students ask for worksheets of problems, even though Khan Academy requires fewer problems, and I give more points to them for doing that instead. Oh well, I hope to use itfrequently and I hope it helps students really get some of these skills, even though it’s kill-and-drill, and I generally don’t like that. Just today I actually gave my talk about how math is like soccer practice without a ball–the students really focused afterwards! Now it’s my turn to give them other opportunities to learn how to think and problem solve!
PS–Oh, and I’m also looking for some good ACT Prep materials to put in here if anyone would like to point me in the right direction, thanks!
PPS–The 3 top folders on the right are blank because they’re actually for my Chemistry class–they’re the ones really clamoring for kill-and-drill worksheets, so they might be upset that 85% of the board is devoted to my Precalculus class. (That’s right, there are many students who need to learn how to add fractions in Precalculus, because “that was 4 years ago Mr. Newman”. Le sigh.)