by Maureen McCaffery, Community Manager, TenMarks:
Introducing new Edtech tools to students can be challenging. Keeping students engaged while providing them with instructions and an overview of key features is a delicate balance. Wondering how to get your students started with TenMarks Math this year? Here are 6 tips from fellow teachers who use TenMarks Math:
1. Work on an Assignment Together
Teachers can log in to a student demo account and model how to click through questions, view hints and videos for support, and submit the answer.
According to Douglas Stokes, Math Interventionist in New Jersey, “It is important to take the time to actually show students the right way to complete assignments if they are to get the full benefits of this resource. At the beginning of the school year, I model the right way to complete a TenMarks Math assignment in a student demo account. I model when to use the hints and videos, and how to use the online scratch paper to work through the problems."
Douglas also emphasizes the importance of growth mindset using the tools available in TenMarks Math. "I explain the purpose of Amplifiers and the right way to complete them," he says. "Then I demonstrate how to approach a Do-Over and talk about what an awesome opportunity it is to try again. I explain that students with a fixed mindset want to complete their work quickly while students with a growth mindset take their time, use all their resources, and learn from their mistakes.”
2. Assign an Assignment from the Previous Grade Level
By assigning concepts that require less effort, students can focus on becoming comfortable with the new interface rather than being distracted by challenging content.
Michelle Rudolph, Grade 5 Teacher in Washington, explains, "I would do a couple of assignments as a group from the grade level below so that students can build up their confidence. By selecting the option to assign students the same questions in the same order, you can complete the assignment together with students following along while you are logged into a student demo account. I make a point to model how to use the hints and videos throughout the assignment. Then allow them to work on an assignment from the grade level below on their own. The first day after the assignment, I review the usage reports so that they see what the teachers see and understand the importance of taking their time and using hints and videos when they need support."
3. Explore in Small Groups
Providing students time to explore in groups allows them to become familiar with features before working individually on assignments.
Crystal Dozier, Grade 3 Teacher in Ohio, explains how she will set up her classroom to get her students started on TenMarks Math. "I'm going to set up centers around my room with demo accounts," says Crystal. "Each center will guide small group of students to explore one of the following: assignments, Jam Sessions, the TenMarket, and Amplifiers. Following center time, I will model each activity and encourage students to share things they learned about these activities while working during the center. I will also point out any features that they may have missed. This will culminate with students logging into their individual accounts and completing their first class assignment."
4. Design a Scavenger Hunt
Call out embedded supports and unique features in TenMarks Math in a fun and engaging way!
"I am planning to implement a TenMarks Math scavenger hunt this year," says Katie Kayastha, Math Interventionist in Illinois. "Students will be asked to find the helpful resources in TenMarks Math assignments and on the student dashboard. Students will also be charged with figuring out the new features in the product, like Jam Session badges or accessorized monsters, without me telling them."
5. Try Jam Sessions
Students can practice core skills in Jam Sessions, the fluency component of TenMarks Math, and see their mastery awarded with badges.
For Scott Newcomb, who teaches grade 4 students in Ohio, adding a bit of healthy competition into the mix gets students excited about using TenMarks Math. He explains, "I held contests with Jam Sessions. The students absolutely loved this! I set the timer and allowed the students to pick a math concept. The students then completed as many problems as they could within the allotted time. The students were rewarded based on how many questions they answered correctly within the allotted time."
6. Set Up Partner Activities
By assigning partners, teachers can enable students to work together to figure out the new tools while also completing math practice.
"I use TenMarks Math during partnering activities," says Regina Carroll, Grade 5 Teacher in North Carolina. "Students have their own assignment pulled up on the screen, but they have to help their partner work out problems as well. I distribute paper and students fold the paper into sixths. The first square is where students write the assignment name. For problems 1 to 5, students jot down each question and answer in the next five squares. On the back of the paper, students list the question and answer for the last five problems. Students put their score in the last square. This way, students can review their partner's work and the teacher can see where students are making mistakes."
Teachers also suggest celebrating small successes as students become comfortable with TenMarks Math. In doing so, students will gain confidence and be more engaged while completing their work. Some teachers suggest recognizing students who use the hints and videos and showing the growth mindset they demonstrate by using available resources to persevere. We’ve also heard that teachers display the TenMarks Math certificates students receive when they score 80% or above around the classroom. For more ideas like these, read Jamie Lang’s blog post, “5 Tips for Building Student Engagement During TenMarks Math.”
Maureen McCaffery is a member of the TenMarks marketing team. Maureen taught early elementary students in the greater San Francisco Bay Area for three years. Before her time in the classroom, she worked for a number of years in marketing, business development, and finance at education-focused organizations. Maureen is passionate about supporting teachers to ensure that all students have access to the right resources and tools to reach their full potential.