Overall Satisfaction with Renaissance Accelerated Math
Personalizing education is the most successful thing I have done for
not only my classroom as a group, but my students individually, as well. I have
taught the traditional way with whole group instruction followed by an assignment
from the text book. I tested and assessed at the end of each chapter and unit.
Then, we moved on. That worked to an extent, however, I found myself doing a
lot of re-teaching and my intervention groups large in numbers. I was
pressuring myself to move on in order to cover the needed content for the year.
I didn’t feel like the students had complete mastery of the objectives. Then, I
started using the Renaissance Learning Accelerated Math and STAR Math
assessment programs. Wow! I was amazed at how this allowed me to focus on each
individual student and their needs plus successes. I found my students
mastering content within a more time efficient manner and it allowed me to have
continual daily dialogue with all of my students. This approach paved the way
for me to be able to establish a relationship with each of my students. It
didn’t depend on their learning ability either. I was conversing with every
student daily and multiple times. I became more engaged with each step of their
learning. I was able to see exactly what part of the learning objective they were
struggling with and which ones they were mastering easily. Catching the
“mistake” immediately, therefore, re-teaching immediately was allowing my
strategies to be more effective. The students became more involved with their
learning, nevertheless, it contributed to highly effective learning. We push
the idea of “highly effective” teachers. What about pushing for “highly
effective” learners? Don’t they go hand-in-hand?
We use it school-wide to some degree.
- “Kids don’t care what you know until they know that you care.”
- One of the very first things I learned my first five years of teaching, except that student teaching does not really prepare you, is that it is my job to help my students succeed, not to just give them a grade. In the beginning, I taught the lesson, assigned work, administered tests, and took grades. I did that because that is how we are supposed to determine efficiency. Right? No, Wrong. I learned this the hard way and, sadly and regrettably, at the expense of my students at that time. Over time, I noticed how sometimes it took re-teaching along with small group instruction and interventions for students to understand and master the concepts. Since then, I have allowed for them to fix, re-do, and re-re-do their work, as needed.
- I focus on my interventions just as much as I do my initial teaching of the objective. Making sure that they truly understand and master the content before moving on to another objective helps me just as much as it helps them. It saves me from continually re-teaching. Slow and steady does win the race. This approach allows me to help the student master objectives with more efficiency.
- Accelerated Math has allowed for me to individualize my instruction and interventions. I love this program. Truly! I have three types of students; above, on target, and below. This program allows for growth in each area. However, I have found the most growth in my bottom quartile. Why? I believe it is because I am able to recognize a problem or issue with a particular objective immediately. I, then, can address that issue immediately before the bad habits or wrong approach is repeated.
- This program is masked as a whole-group classroom approach, however, the most important components are found under the mask. One-on-one instruction is how I describe it to educators. My students are actively engaged in their own learning. They are also actively engaged in the learning of their peers, as well. I use a lot of peer tutoring techniques. They have access to knowing who is also working on mastering the same objective(s) they are working on plus they know who has already mastered said objective. This allows them to know who to go to for effective help. They are able to steer their own learning to a point. They can ask a peer or me. They can get on Accel math and look at the objective and see completed answers for a reference. This also boosts the confidence of their own understanding. They feel confident in having control of the path they want to use for gaining knowledge. Peer-tutoring and peer-discussions give them the opportunity to say out loud what they are thinking/feeling about a concept and rationalize their approach to evaluating said concept. As the teacher, I play various roles. I can teach, facilitate a small group, or just be an observer. A lot of times, I just ask open-ended questions to jump start their own questions.
- Accel Math has assisted my math classrooms with tremendous gains. My test scores have gone up significantly. My students have a greater sense of accomplishment since they have been given the "driver's seat" for their own learning. This makes my heart smile! ;)
- On-line practices need to be able to be re-scored by the teacher.
- Group the objectives within the standards, then the educator can decide which ones they want.
- Add more to the Accel Reader like the math has. Accel Reader is limited as [far as] using for daily teaching.
- My test scores have increased dramatically.
- Student involvement is higher.
- Student/teacher interactions are more effective.