Woot Math Summer Academy

Did you know that on average, kids lose over 2 ½ months of their hard-earned math skills over the summer? If you have a kid in elementary, middle, or high school in need of some extra support with math, we can help. Woot Math Summer Academy was specifically designed to help your kid crush the summer slide, and start the next school year off right.

Woot Math Summer Academy has specialized programs for kids entering grades 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9. Designed in conjunction with leading math-education researchers, let us show you how we can help to bring joy and confidence back to mathematics. (We work with leading researchers, but we also have a lot of fun. We promise. After all, Woot is in our name!)

Your kid will work 1:1 with a classroom math teacher anytime, anywhere. All sessions are online, and leverage Woot Math’s web-based learning platform, which includes video and chat, an interactive whiteboard, custom materials, and proven adaptive practice, as well as one of the best math teachers available!

Woot Math has been working with leading classroom teachers and researchers for years. With grants from the National Science Foundation and the Department of Education, we know where students most often struggle, and how to help them move forward quickly and effectively. For the first time ever, we’re now offering this proven, research-backed solution directly to your family. Woot Math Summer Academy will help build the confidence and support your kid needs to be ready for anything. Including Algebra. Woot!

Get started today, as spots are limited for the summer session. https://www.wootmath.com/summer-academy

Multiple Select Task Type

What is a Multiple Select Question?

A Multiple Select question allows you to set more than one correct answer, and requires that students select all of the correct answers in order to get the question entirely correct.

In the following example, there are two correct answers set (A and C). 

– Task Creation Interface for Multiple Select –

How Is a Multiple Select Question Scored?

For Multiple Select, each correct answer gets an equal fraction of the points available, and each incorrect answer deducts an equal fraction of the points available. The equal fraction of available points is determined by the total number of correct responses.

equal fraction points avail = 1total number of correct responses

To provide an example, imagine that there are 6 questions, with 4 correct responses, and 2 incorrect responses. Therefore the equal fraction of the points available is  ¼  (25%) and each correct response is worth 25%, and each incorrect response is worth -25%. The maximum score a student can receive is a 100%, and the minimum score a student can receive is 0%. 

The rubric used to score a Multiple Select question is:

  • Students earn a percentage of points for each correct answer selected
  • When all correct answers are selected, students earn 100%
  • An equal yet negative percentage is earned for each incorrect answer
  • The minimum score is 0%

How Do I Create a Multiple Select Question?

You can create a Multiple Select question in two ways.

If you have an existing Multiple Choice question, and you select more than one answer, you can change the drop-down from “Students may choose any of the correct answers.” to “Students must select all of the correct answers.” Setting the option to must select all will result in a Multiple Select question type, and setting the option to may choose any will result in a Multiple Choice question.

– Creation Interface for Multiple Select Tasks –

The second option is to select the new Multiple Select task while you are creating a new question.

– Choose a Task Type –

My assignments are not showing up for my students

My assignments are not showing up for my students

If your classroom assignments do not show up for your students, you can use these steps to resolve the issue:

Step 1

Make sure your students are logging into Woot Math via the student dashboard.  https://www.wootmath.com/student/login

Step 2

Your students should see all of their assignments after they login. Their dashboard should look something like this:

Sample Student Dashboard with Assignments

Step 3

If your student dashboard looks like the above image, but the new assignment isn’t appearing, check the Assignments tab on your teacher dashboard. The assignments tab will show all of your active assignments (you can also view ended assignments, archived assignments, manage your assignments, and more). It should look something like this:
Sample Teacher Assignment Dashboard

Step 4

If your new assignment is listed on this page, next make sure that the student(s) in question have been assignment the new assignment. Since it is possible to make an assignment only to individual students, sometimes not all students will have the same assignments. To check this, click on the down arrow next to the assignment name:

Sample Assignment Details

In this case, we see that 8 students have not been given that assignment yet.

Step 5

If you want to add those additional students, simply press the “Add Students” button and select the additional students that you want to send the assignment to:
Add additional students to a running assignment

Step 6

Now the next time that student logs into Woot Math, they should see the new assignment!
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Weekly Math Task: Daylight Savings Time Trivia

We created an activity to help your students learn about Daylight Savings Time. Students work on connected devices to answer Daylight Savings Time trivia and math questions. With all 7 questions this would be a great 25-30 minute activity. If that’s too long, you could cut the 5th and 7th problems and make it a 10 minute warm-up.

The activity starts with a simple question to remind them what Daylight Savings Time is. Students estimate how the spring time change will affect when the sun sets. This seemingly simple problem might be harder for some students than you think. You can always remind them that they are about to “spring forwards” because daylight savings time is about to begin.

Spring Forward

– Task 1: Spring Forward Fall Back –

The next task tells students that Daylight Savings Time lasts for 34 weeks. It asks them what percentage of the year this is. Some of your students may need a reminder that there are 52 weeks in the year. As a challenge, you could ask them how many days in the year and make them compute the number of weeks with the scratchpad calculator. It is always good to show your work; students make fewer errors and teachers can see their thought process. That’s why we encourage use of the scratchpad (plus, it is fun to share the student work with the class, and even ask for volunteers).

Task 3 presents some trivia relating to Daylight Savings Time. According to Wikipedia, it was first started as a way to save energy used on lighting. If the sun sets later in the day, people do not need to turn the lights on until later. The goal was to best align when people would be awake with when the sun would be up.

Daylight Savings Time History

– Task 3: Daylight Savings Time History –

Did you know that Arizona and Hawaii do not observe Daylight Savings Time? If you did then you could correctly answer the next task. Students are asked to tap one of the two states on the map that do not observe Daylight Savings Time. When you review this task, feel free to add in a fun anecdote about why Hawaii does not change their clocks. (Hint: they are closer to the equator, making their winter and summer sunset times more similar than in other states. Interesting!) So why not Arizona? You’ll have to read on because task 7 is about why Arizona doesn’t observe Daylight Savings Time.

The next task asks students to compare sunset times between Colorado and Arizona during daylight savings time. You may need to remind students that Daylight Savings Time happens during the summer. In the Winter, Colorado and Arizona both have the same time.

Task 6 explores the interesting fact that the Navajo Nation recognizes Daylight Savings Time while Arizona does not. During Daylight Savings Time, (spring through fall) the Navajo Nation has the same time as Utah, New Mexico and Colorado but a different time from Arizona. For this task, students are asked to sketch a route on the map to show where they would have to change the clock 5 times without turning around. To get 2 clock changes, students draw a line that goes from Arizona to the Navajo Nation (or one of the other states) and back to Arizona. They then need to do this again, ending with one final trip to the Navajo Nation. In the winter, the entire map is on Western Standard Time so there would not be any clock changes necessary.

map of the Navajo Nation

– Task 6: The Navajo Nation –

The final task encourages students to think critically about energy savings, climate and Daylight Savings Time. A fun piece of Daylight Savings Time trivia is that Arizona does not change their clocks in an effort to save energy. “Whoa? In task 3 we said Daylight Savings Time helped save energy, now you’re saying the opposite!” In Arizona, having an earlier sunset means natural cooling happens faster. This reduces the need for air conditioning in the evening. Since Arizona is so hot, lots of their energy goes towards cooling homes and businesses. This is less true in other places where it is not so hot in the day and cool at night.
Home Energy Use By Sector

– Task 7: Home Energy Use by Sector –

This task gets students thinking critically about how the timing of the sunset relates to home energy use. Students share ideas with a partner and one of them writes their answer on the scratchpad. There are also hints on the scratchpad.

We recommend this activity as a review of Daylight Savings Time or as a fun warm-up just before or after we change the clocks. To preview the activity, click the link below. Or, login to wootmath.com and search for “Daylight Savings Time” in the Shared Gallery.

Preview Daylight Savings Time Trivia

Visit our page on Formative Assessment for more on how to use this free tool in your classroom.

How to Use Woot Math to Prep Students for PARCC and CMAS

Of all topics in mathematics, students struggle the most with making sense of fractions and operating with them flexibly. Woot Math’s Adaptive Learning Content provides instructional (grades 3-7) and remediation support to help students conceptually understand and master key mathematics ideas. Students learn how to make connections among the various representations of rational numbers and use this thinking to solve problems involving fractions, decimals, rates, ratios, proportional thinking, as well as operations involving integers.

PRACTICE + VISIBILITY INTO STUDENT WORK

Woot Math provides full practice tests that are aligned to PARCC and CMAS. These interactive modules are designed to mimic the testing environments students will experience. If you want to use this resource as a practice exam, we recommend assigning it as self-paced so you can formatively assess your students’ knowledge.

Click below to demo a practice test as a student. From Woot Math’s gallery of content, search for PARCC and CMAS to view a complete list of modules available.

Alternatively, you can use this content in a teacher-led mode to monitor the strategies used by all of your students and use this information to facilitate a classroom discussion. If you want to make changes or additions to the tasks, Woot Math makes it easy for teachers to edit the content directly.

These tools are available on Woot Math at no cost, and are designed to support authentic formative assessment and give visibility into student’s understanding.

For an overview on the positive impact that authentic formative assessment has on student learning, see this article by Dr. David C. Webb, an Associate Professor of Mathematics Education at the University of Colorado Boulder and the Executive Director of the Freudenthal Institute USA.

ADAPTIVE PREP + FOUNDATION MATH SKILLS

For your elementary and middle school students who struggle with fractions, rational numbers and rate and proportion, Woot Math’s adaptive learning modules can help increase their confidence, improve conceptual understanding, and procedural fluency. Adaptive Learning has both free and premium content, and you can use the free content today with no time or student limit.

Click on the Number Line Demo to experience a sample adaptive unit about number lines as a student.

To learn more about how Woot Math is being effectively used in the classroom, here are two helpful guest posts that were written by teachers:

RESEARCH & EFFICACY

Woot Math is a research-backed platform; our research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Education, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. This funding has enabled us to develop a program that has demonstrated efficacy and effectiveness in many different schools from across the country, including schools in Colorado. Our research and development work has resulted in a product that is proven to help students develop confidence and fluency with rational numbers.

In addition to our own research, Woot Math leverages decades of research and synthesis about how students learn mathematics and how certain topics (like rational numbers) might best be taught. We work closely with the Rational Number Project (a multi-university, 30+ year effort that has thoroughly studied how students might best learn rational numbers), other leading researchers, and a bevy of classroom teachers. Our tools help to bring the best available practices to every classroom and do so with a unique focus on hands-on modeling.

Questions? Comments? We would value hearing from you.

Differentiated Formative Assessments

Differentiated Formative Assessments

Do some of your students finish early while others struggle to start the problem? If you’re a teacher then the answer is probably, YES!

We have teamed up with some of our teacher partners to help support teachers with the age old task of differentiation. We co-designed formative assessments to support learners of any pace. Look for the tag #differentiated to find these assessments. They incorporate language supports, bonus problems and hints. Best of all, there are custom legends to identify if a student is emerging, demonstrating or exceeding in their fluency of a standard.

Sometimes students struggle to answer math problems because of the language demands, not the math content. We don’t want these students to miss out. We also want to make sure they can participate in doing the classroom math. This is where language supports and sentence starters come in. If a task asks students to explain their thinking, a sentence starter will help get them going on the mathematically juicy part of the sentence without having to worry about all of the writing demands.

tap an image prompt

– Tap an Image Prompt –

For the above task, students need to identify where on the line represents the greatest velocity and then explain their thinking. Some students will have trouble getting started with the writing so we included some sentence starters in the scratchpad.
sentence starters

– Sentence Starters –

Now, students can focus on the mathematics without getting bogged down in the writing. If you have learners who don’t need the sentence starters, encourage them start their sentences in other ways.

In addition to the challenge of writing, assessments can contain new vocabulary that trip students up. For example, a student may forget what velocity means. With the language support below, they get a gentle reminder that lets them focus on relating the graph to the motion of an object. This makes the assessment about the math instead of their vocabulary.

– Velocity Language Supports –

As the teacher, you can remove any of these supports that don’t fit your class. Simply go to scratchpad settings and tap the text box , then press the orange x. Remember to click “save” when you are done.

While some need extra support, other students will be ready to demonstrate mastery of the standard.  Thus, #differentiated polls have bonus problems in select tasks. Bonus problems in the scratchpad relate to similar content to the original task. For example, the tap an image task from above has the following bonus problem.

Example of a Bonus Prompt
– An Example Bonus Problem –

The bonus problem above goes beyond the comparative nature of the task. It asks students to find the slope of the line when it has the greatest velocity.

Bonus problems also work to assess if students understand the greater context of the problem. Reviewing answers and student responses can ignite productive discussion for everyone. For example, a different bonus problem asks students to write a story, including units, that corresponds to the graph.

– Write a Story Bonus Problem –

The discussion about the responses to this bonus problem will be informative to everyone.  On the next task, all students are asked to pick between potential stories for a similar graph.

distance from home problem
– Distance From Home Problem –

Hearing their peers share how stories connect to the previous graph makes the pathway for success more clear to all students. Search #differentiated in the explore content tab or follow one of the links below to get started with differentiated tasks. Or create your own! 

Visit our page on Formative Assessment for more on how to use these strategies in your classroom.

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Sequences and Modeling Formative Assessment

Sequences and Modeling Formative Assessment

Help students make connections between proportional thinking and sequences. This is a great way to set your students up for success with harder modeling tasks and Algebra. Students often first encounter this content through direct instruction and repeated practice. If this strategy didn't work for them, it's time for something new. In this week’s post we present a sequences and modeling formative assessment task designed to promote classroom conversation and discourse. Use it to get your students learning from each other and wrestling with problems that have multiple right answers.

Unit Conversions Warm Up

This review quiz/activity starts with a quick warm up. It is good to think about units and rates before diving into harder problems. The task asks, “A full gallon is 128 ounces, how many 8 ounce cups are there in a half gallon?”

Unit Conversions Formative Assessment

– Unit Conversions Formative Assessment –

This quick refresher on converting units helps prime students for the next two tasks. Unit conversions will help them model the number of ounces left and then the number of cups left per day.

– Milk Volume Conversion Task –

Evaluate the Reasoning of Others

Students experience how the modeling of the milk differs based on if the unit is ounces or cups. Then, the students are asked to evaluate the reasoning of two hypothetical students, Daria and Amir. Each are modeling the situation correctly but using different units. After doing the task, your student’s responses might look something like this,

– Evaluating Student Reasoning –

This task promotes productive conversations among your students. Ask your students students who answered A or B to elaborate on their good ideas of how to model the situation. It is important to assign competence to students who had some productive thinking. This will help them see they are on track, even if they didn’t recognize both of the correct answers. Hopefully, through a productive conversation, students will come to understand that both Amir and Daria are correct. They are just using different units to model the situation. We recommend you start this discussion with the “reveal answer” button deselected.

– Reveal Answer –

Sequences Formative Assessment

The final task is for the students to convert the recursive formulas into explicit ones.

– Recursive and Explicit Formulas –

Woot Math accepts equivalent answers and the correct answer can be either in the form f(n)=… or y= where n is the position in the sequence just like in the first two tasks. After students answer this question, review the answers to make comparisons. Ask them what they notice and what they wonder. How do the slopes of the two lines compare? If they represent the same situation, why does one have a slope of 8 and the other has a slope of 1? With your support, students can draw connections between the two models and the conversion factor between cups and ounces.
 
Get started by previewing the activity right now, or login to wootmath.com and search for Weekly Woot: Patterns and Sequences Rich Task in the Explore Content Gallery.
 
Visit our page on formative assessment for more on how to use these strategies in your classroom
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New Feature: Active Learning Through Student Volunteers

New Feature: Active Learning Through Student Volunteers

Woot Math has a new feature to help you promote active learning during formative assessment activities in your classroom. You might be thinking, “Wait...doesn’t Woot Math already do that?”. That’s right. Students have always been able to show their work during formative assessments. Now, they can also volunteer to present their work or have the teacher use their work as an exemplar.

Ask for Volunteers

Student work is always saved when running a formative assessment. After students complete the task, in teacher-led mode teachers can review examples of anonymous student work in real-time with the class. Now, the teacher can also ask for volunteers by clicking on the volunteers tab. Once they do, students can now volunteer to share their work with the class.

Students can volunteer

– Students Can Volunteer to Show Their Work –

Select High Quality Student Work

Once students have volunteered, the teacher sees tiles from each of the student volunteers. The teacher can then determine which student volunteer they want to project by simply clicking on the tile.

Teacher sees a list work from student volunteers

– Teacher Sees Work From Student Volunteers –

For this problem, Joelle and Aaron have volunteered their solutions. The green check box indicates that they both have the correct answer. The teacher can turn off revealing the correct answer by deselecting “reveal answer”. Sometimes it is helpful to project student work without the answer revealed – students can then use critical thinking and analytical skills when they have to justify their responses before being told if they are correct.

Promote Active Learning: Have Students Present Their Work

To promote active learning, the teacher can select one of the volunteers to explain their solution. In this case, it appears that Joelle has shown more extensive work than Aaron. Work for this blog post comes from the activity called Pythagoras’ Park. Students apply their understanding of the Pythagorean Theorem to story problems about walking through a park. Check it out here.
Students engage in active learning through presenting their work and solutions

– Projected Volunteer Student's Worked Solution –

We see that Joelle has used the Pythagorean Theorem to solve the question. She also remembered to find the positive and negative solutions to 25=c². This attention to detail makes it a great opportunity for active learning. Joelle can present her thinking to the class while other students can learn from her example. Of course, the teacher can also use this feature to present students’ work on their behalf.

This is a great feature to try out if you are looking to get your students more engaged in active learning. You can also use this feature to encourage students to take risks. Reassure them that it is good to share their thinking, even if they aren’t 100% correct yet.

We recommend you check out the Pythagoras’ Park activity as a review of they Pythagorean Theorem. It would also work well as a quick refresher for students who have already learned it! Previewing the activity now using the link below. Or, login to wootmath.com and search for “Pythagoras” in the Shared Gallery.

Preview Pythagoreas’ Park

Visit our page on Formative Assessment for more on how to use this free tool in your classroom.

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Scratchpad Tutorial: Assess Student Work

This week we talk about a fun new activity that walks you through the features of the scratchpad. This activity orients students to some of the great features of Woot Math for Formative Assessment. Showing your work is important in math and so is formative assessment. With Woot Math you collect and assess student work it digitally saving you time and getting them doing great work! 

It covers content up through fractions, computing radicals, knowing what pi is and computing exponents, all of which is normally covered by 8th grade, sometimes sooner. So if your students haven’t encountered them yet you can make a quick alteration to the activity and it should work for earlier middle-school students.

The first task asks students if the table feature can auto populate results (it can) and then to show their work. This little known feature of the scratchpad can be very helpful for students in using tables to support their work. If the first column has a variable (any letter) and the second column is an expression with that variable, it will automatically compute the values for you. Below is an example of some great work from a student on this task that you can access from the bookmarks tab:

– Task 1: Example of Great Work –

The next task asks students to write an equation on the scratchpad and then select how challenging they found it. The equation intentionally has all of the different components of the expression editor so they get practice with exponents, radicals, rational expressions and pi (typing pi and then space-bar gives you 𝝅).

– Task 2: Writing an Equation on the Scratchpad –

The results to this task will give you student responses to the multiple choice question but the custom legend is coded to see if they got the question right or not. Anyone coded purple wrote the correct equation on their scratchpad. The custom legend allows you to assess student work on the scratchpad as well as their responses. This gives you even more choices for how to design rich assessments.

Task 3 has the students tap on the mistake in the projected problem and then solve it correctly in the scratchpad. This gives the students the choice of using the drawing tool, the text tool or the expression editor.

– Task 3: Tap the Mistake –

We recommend you suggest the text or expression editor if students are using a mouse or touchpad. For tablets, the drawing tool can be an efficient way to show your work.

The fourth and final task has students use the calculator on the scratchpad to compute the value of an expression. If students are having trouble with the calculator, encourage them to try the arrow keys on the calculator (or keyboard) to get the fractions to show up in different places. Parentheses also help if you are unsure about order of operations.

– Task 4: Scratchpad Calculator –

A fun tip: students can type s to write a square root, ^ to make an exponent, / to make a fraction and pi to make 𝝅. These notes are also in the scratchpad of this task as a support for students. Also, for a fun extension problem, you can ask them what other shortcuts they can find.

Analyzing student work lets you learn how students think about solving math problems. Having them show their work with these tools will help you learn how they are thinking and help you better conduct formative assessment.

Get started by previewing the activity right now, or login to wootmath.com and search for Scratchpad Tutorial in the Shared Gallery.

Preview the Activity

Visit our page on Formative Assessment for more information on implementing these strategies in your classroom.

Stay tuned for next week’s post!

Math Misconceptions and Productive Discourse

Assessing Math Misconceptions

The first problem is a tap-on-the-mistake type. Students need to analyze the projected procedure and find the mistake (if there is one). Recognizing math misconceptions is a great exercise. 

Task 1 - Tap on the Mistake

– Task 1: Tap on the Mistake –

With tasks like this, everyone has the opportunity to do productive mathematics. If a student don’t know how to solve an inequality or where to start, they can evaluate the projected work. Everyone gets to apply their prior understandings of mathematics to this problem.
 
The fact is, your students might not catch this mistake. It is a subtle and often forgotten rule that dividing or multiplying an inequality by a negative requires flipping the inequality. If your students ask why this rule is true, you can tell them to think of it as multiplying each side by -1 and then dividing each side by 4. Inequalities are like unbalanced scales. One side is heavier than the other. When you multiply each side by -1, you are changing all negatives to positives and all positives to negatives, this means the scale will reverse. If one side weighed 10lbs and the other weighted 2 lbs the side with 10lbs is lower. Multiplying each side by -1 means the low side now weighs -10lbs (think of it as 10lbs worth of upward force from balloons). The other side is now -2lbs. 10lbs up will pull more than 2lbs so the side with 10lbs up is now higher. The scale has flipped so the inequality needs to flip.

Discussions about Math Misconceptions

Some of your students will likely choose the correct answer, and some will likely “choose no mistake was made. Now is when the sneaky and magical power of Woot Math shines! Deselect the reveal answer button to reveal student responses as a heatmap without revealing who was correct.

– Uncheck Reveal Answer–

Some of your students might no think there is an answer, some (hopefully) got it right, and some may have chosen another place in the work. Those who got it wrong may have been guessing or may be going off of a juicy misconception… aka: a productive learning moment. For more on the value of learning from mistakes, check out Woot Math’s CEO, Krista Marks, Ed Surge article on Aha moments.

After you click show results, your heatmap might look a little something like this:

Task 1: Heatmap of Student Responses

– Task 1: Heatmap of Student Responses –

Small Group Discussions

This is a great opportunity for students to discuss the problem, either as a whole class or in small groups. You can ask the students to come to a consensus as a group. This is where another one of our favorite features comes in handy. With the “assign groups” button, Woot Math automatically groups of 2-6 students. You can choose to generate these groups based on if they put the same answer (homogeneous), a different answer (heterogeneous) or at random
Automatic Student Grouping

– Student Grouping –

With heterogeneous grouping by answer, each group should have someone who got it right (as long as you have enough students getting it right). Now, each of the groups is set up for success. Woot!

Get started by previewing the activity right now with the link below. Or, login to wootmath.com and search for Warm Up: Modeling with Linear Systems in the Shared Gallery.

Visit our page on formative assessment for more on how to use these strategies in your classroom.