I’m not sure if you know this about me or not, but at my school, I currently have 2nd-5th graders in my classroom. For more on that, read the about me page. Anyway, I have had to learn how to differentiate like never before! This blog mini-series is about my top three websites that have literally saved my sanity this year as I try to juggle all the grade levels at once. The best part? They are all FREE! Website number one…
This year, I have been using Khan Academy as one of my math centers during math workshop. Why did I pick it at the beginning of the year? No planning needed. Well, I am just being honest here. However, whatever my initial motivation, I love this website/ app. If you have never used it, you are in for a treat!
The Basics of Khan Academy
- The teacher creates an account and then adds classes and students.
- Students can be added from Google Classroom, with an email address, or without an email address.
- You can start the class on a “mission” for whatever grade you are in. It has all the concepts taught in that grade.
- The students can earn badges and energy points.
- The teacher can track the amount of time spent, questions correct and incorrect, and progress either on the site or in an email.
Benefits for Differentiation
- There is a pretest that determines what concepts a child should work on.
- Each child can work on different concepts (or different grade levels) at the same time.
- You could easily give out prizes or have competitions for time spent or badges earned, even if your students are working on completely different concepts or grade levels.
- For each question, there are hints available or a teaching video (which are extremely helpful)!
(Here an example video about making equivalent fractions. They are very easy to follow and are great for the students to follow along.)
- Students can also work out the problem using a “scratchpad” directly on the page.
- Students must get a certain number of problems correct to reach “mastery.”
- The student dashboard has a list of concepts that the student needs to work on, but the teacher can select any concepts and move them to the top of the list.
Ways to Use it in the Differentiated Classroom
- Math center during math workshop
- Homework (if your students would all have access to the internet)
- Summer review (we require our students to complete a certain number of hours over the summer)
- Early finisher work
- As the “at home” part of a flipped classroom
- Substitute activity (no planning or prep)
- For those 30 minutes where you thought your class would have art, but the art teacher is sick (Haven’t we all been there?)
Have you ever used Khan Academy in your classroom? How did you use it? Leave me a comment below and let me know!