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Using Technology for Math Differentiation


With apologies to William Shakespeare, when it comes to math instruction, to differentiate or not to differentiate has never really been the question. In any given class, teachers face a range of student abilities that span multiple grade levels some working years ahead of the provided curriculum, while others lag years behind. Reasons for this ability span are as unique as each individual student who shows up to learn every day. All teachers understand the importance of reaching each of their students, but more often than not the crucial question becomes, "How?"

Enter technology. While continuing to draw most instructional material from district-provided curricular materials, teachers can use online materials to supplement student learning. Khan Academy and CK-12 are two free websites can be used as powerful tools for mathematics differentiation. Both of these sites allow teachers to create class lists, track student progress, assign activities that focus on specific mathematical concepts, and provide student practice problems.

Teachers can get started in both websites by signing in with their Google accounts. From there, the websites provide different options for creating class lists. These include setting up classes manually or providing students with codes that allow them easier access for joining.

The lessons on the websites are engaging and offer video tutorials for students to watch and relearn mathematical concepts. Students can work through the self-guided lessons while teachers work with smaller groups of students who may need more support to reach the standards. Using technology opens up many new and effective ways to differentiate and reach the needs of all students within the vast academic range of the classroom.

Please note that while free websites are an outstanding resource for supplementing and differentiating math instruction, no online software could possibly replace the expertise of the classroom teacher. While these tools help in the process of differentiation, care must be taken to ensure all standards are being taught to all students by the teacher.

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