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Afterschool Curriculum Choice: Mathematics Resources
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Curriculum Details for
Interactivate

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Program
Description
Practitioner Expert
Review
Content Expert
Review
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Practitioner Expert Background

Two practitioners contributed to this review of Interactivate.  One practitioner has been teaching for 20 years, and has an undergraduate degree in mathematics and a masters’ degree in educational technology.  She has been using Interactivate in her elementary school classroom for the past several months.  She uses the program on a daily basis, and at least two thirds of her lessons use Interactivate.  Her students are a diverse mix of White, African American, Latino, and Asian students from a range of income backgrounds. The second practitioner has been teaching for two years, and using Interactivate for the past year in her fourth grade classroom.  Students are primarily middle income, with a wide range of racial backgrounds. She uses Interactivate a few times per week.

Logistics

Training
  • There is training offered.
Set-up/preparation
  • Takes about 20 minutes to prepare for a lesson; picking vocabulary words, concepts to discuss with students, and what activities to use.
  • If it is being used as practice, no preparation is needed.
  • Some more complicated lessons may require more time to prepare.
  • Students can work independently or with a partner. One or two students per computer would be effective.

Student Engagement

  • Students ranked the Interactivate activities toward the top of their favorite activities of the year.
  • Students are willing to engage in multiple problems on the computer
  • Activities that involve modeling, such as the “factorize” activity, are popular.
  • Immediate feedback from the program seemed to be motivating for students.
  • Students rarely seemed bored and didn’t complain about using the curriculum. They also enjoyed the wide variety of activities.
  • Visual representations of mathematical concepts were effective teaching tools.
  • One practitioner has encouraged parents to use particular Interactivate activities for student practice at home.

Content

Adaptability to instructor needs
  • Activities have varying difficulty levels.
  • Wide variety of activities. Students can continue on to challenging activities or return to ones they particularly enjoyed.
  • Complicated activities are taught effectively using computer technology.
General skills taught
  • Social skills such as waiting your turn and respecting others’ learning.
  • Basic coordination and fine motor skills.
  • Can add elements that promote cooperation and teamwork skills.
Addressing diverse student needs
  • Content is age-appropriate, some may need to be altered to reach the youngest students.
  • Students of all backgrounds have enjoyed and benefited from the curriculum.
  • Reaches visual learners.

Strengths and Challenges

Strengths
  • Offers a breadth of activities.
  • Teacher can choose parameters and difficulty levels
  • Graphic and geometric modeling.
  • Effective tool for helping students practice skills.
  • Engaging; allows students to play, explore, and learn math. 
Challenges
  • Few activities for first and second grade students, or that model percentages.
  • Activities are not labeled by grade level.
  • There are no worksheets to guide the students through a specific activity.


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