Connecting math to other subject contents may be difficult and time-consuming; however, the benefits of honing students’ 21st century skills outweighs the obstacles. With Wipebook, students found creative ways to connect their math when they commented on each other’s work during Gallery Walk.
After almost two years of online distance learning, many students needed to relearn how to interact with one another. The transition back to in-person learning demanded more effort. Interactions from greeting at the door to talking with their Shoulder Partners in small groups takes more energy than ever before.
Getting students to talk to one another about math was the most challenging. I made it my focus this year to engage students with math by talking about the steps of solving the problems together with each other. I found success when I used the eco-friendly Wipebook Flipchart. I saw students collaborating on learning and heard students explaining how to solve problems using math academic languages.
Learning and Teaching Strategies Mixer
I introduced one learning strategy at a time until students are familiar with what to do. As we approach the end of the school year, students are routinely using these learning and teaching strategies that we have been practicing. Why not mix up the strategies using the Wipebook?
Instead of only working on the problems on paper or electronically, my students enjoyed writing on the Wipebook Flipchart with dry erase markers. I mixed up the learning strategies of Think, Write, Pair, Share with Rally Coach and Gallery Walk.
Figure 1: Algebra 1 students collaborating with their respective Shoulder Partners to show their work on factoring degree two polynomials.
Students have a minute to think, another 30 seconds to a minute to write down their work in their own math notebook. Then, they pair up at the Wipebook Flipchart, where Partner A writes and Partner B coaches, cheers, and learns as seen in Figure 1. Students taught each other via Wipebook Flipchart and shared their learning together. Then, you can ask students to move three to five problem spaces to the left from the current problem they have worked on.
Students can read through the work of previous problem solvers, add additional work, draw arrows to link ideas, correct any portions that are off-track, and cheer each other on with positive comments and drawings. In Figure 2, you will find some of my Algebra 1 students’ collaboration on the transformation of a function as well as arrows linking individual translation, reflection and dilation from the Gallery Walk.
Figure 2: Think, Write, Pair, Gallery Walk: After Algebra 1 students worked on identifying all the possible function transformations together in pairs, they move left three work spaces, read through the work of previous problem solvers, add additional work, draw arrows to link ideas, correct any portions that are off-track, and cheer each other on with positive comments and drawings!
Getting up from their seats helps students boost their memories and engagement. Movements help my students stay more focused and accomplish more in their learning. From these learning and teaching strategies mixers, I saw an increase in students’ energy levels and improvements in students’ social-emotional well-being when they get up and problem-solve together at the Wipebook Flipchart as seen in this video and this video.
App-Smash Wipebook with FlipGrid and PearDeck
After I saw an increase in student engagement from mixing up learning and teaching strategies, I thought why not combine Wipebook with other EdTech as a means for students to review for their tests and finals. Students completed their review as a practice before the test. We then jigsawed the review questions for each partner to show their work on Wipebook Flipchart and whiteboards around the classroom.
In Figure 3, each partner takes turns explaining how they solve the math problems step-by-step while the other partner helps record the explanation using FlipGrid video, as seen in this video. At the end of their presentation recording, students returned to their seats to watch and comment on two other FlipGrid videos before completing their learning reflection on PearDeck.
App-smashing Wipebook with FlipGrid and PearDeck is a great end-of-the-school-year teaching and learning strategy when students are already familiar with how each EdTech program functions. It is a creative method that builds students’ mathematics knowledge as well as 21st-century skills.
Figure 3: App-Smash With Wipebook: Algebra 2 students reviewed for their Conic Section Exam by first using Wipebook to show how to find the equation of conic sections given a center, a vertex, and a co-vertex. Second, each pair within the group helps the other pair record their verbal explanation using FlipGrid to practice their presentation skills. Then, at the end, each student completes individual reflection on PearDeck in self-paced mode. Students can then go home and review by watching each other’s videos on FlipGrid!
Creative Way to Connect Math with Art and English
Connecting math to other subject contents may be difficult and time-consuming; however, the benefits of honing students’ 21st century skills outweighs the obstacles. With Wipebook, students found creative ways to connect their math when they commented on each other’s work during Gallery Walk. In Figure 2, students use words and pictures of encouragement to help build each other’s confidence in their math skills.
Figure 4: Algebra 1 students working in their collaborative group solving and explaining to each other how to tell the different types of function transformation from just looking at the equation.
Figure 5: Algebra 2 student is extremely proud of his work on finding the equation of the hyperbola given a graph. He explained step-by-step in words (top right), drew arrows to indicate where the given information is located on the hyperbolic equation, and cited his sources (bottom right)!
By learning how to explain to each other while problem-solving on the reusable Wipebook Flipchart, students become better speakers who know how to communicate effectively as seen in Figure 4.
As students learn how to app-smash for their presentations, I found students explaining their work using both written and verbal methods. In Figure 5, a student used English’s APA citation to give credit where credits are due. Students practice their English and math knowledge when they show their work step-by-step and hone their videography and speaking skills when they explain their problem-solving method.
Students conclude the activity with a reflection using complete sentences and examples to illustrate what they have learned and reviewed. By providing opportunities for students to connect math with other subject contents, we can help students make sense of the world, create wonder, and promote a growth mindset.
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