Friday, March 8, 2013

Wonderful Websites: TenMarks Math Madness

It's that time of year again...March Madness! 
Or...Arch Madness if you're an MVC lady (or gentleman) like myself. 
(Insert shameless plug for Creighton- Go Jays!) 
Or... Math Madness if you're a teacher (or just really love math?)! 

There are so many amazing math websites out there that are great for student learning, and excellent for teacher data collecting.  If you haven't seen Young Teacher Love's blog post about how to use the Khan Academy website data, you should check it out.  So much wonderful information!  It's on my list of sites to dig into next school year.

I typically have multiple websites for my students so that they can choose which they enjoy or will use the most. I realize that makes it a little harder for data collecting, and if it comes down to it, I'll make them commit to one, but until then they have the freedom to do what they enjoy best. My view is, as long as they are practicing math at their ability level, it is all good.  I find that each class tends to find one site that they prefer and work on the most anyway. 

This year, one website we are using is Ten Marks and my students are loving it.  I've used this website for a few years, but I think the site has made some great changes and improvements.  It's also possible I wasn't using it correctly before.  Students in my classroom can log in during guided math center time, free time during the day, or at home.

It's Math Madness time on the TenMarks site and we are buckling down to complete 500 problems/week and improve our percentage correct each week.  Great motivation- and a good friendly competition that keeps us working together and all on the same team- LOVE that!  I had one student alone complete 500 problems this week...what?!

Reasons I like TenMarks:
1. I can set up multiple "groups" so that I can differentiate based on student need.
2. I can follow up on their data and keep track of level difficulty.
3. I can focus assignments on key concepts, or give them review throughout the year.
4. They love working to gain access to new games.
5. They love helping each other out and teaching hard concepts to each other.

Here's a breakdown on how TenMarks works (Note: this is all the free version- I do not have a paid subscription as of right now):

After you log on to the TenMarks site, you can create your class list and groups.  Assign your groups an ability level - I have one group working on 4th grade material, and one working on 5th.  You can add up to 3 other curriculum topics from other levels for each group.  For instance, my 5th grade level has all 5th grade curriculum, but I added 4th grade Geometry because they needed more practice in that area, and 6th grade Algebra to their list since they needed more of a challenge.  Here's what some of the 4th grade curriculum content areas are:

Once your class is set up, you can log in and see your class live data on the home page.  Here's my class right now:

(don't be alarmed- that is 129 completed assignments out of 268 assigned assignments- with 82% accuracy)
Each time you log in, you will see the above tabs with your groups.  When you click to view live data, this screen will show up:

As you can see, I have some students who are working like crazy, and some who are...uh...not. The circle "graphs" are showing the amount of student work that is above 70% (green), or below (yellow).  This shows me right away if something is too hard.  If I see a lot of yellow (see bottom student) I can click on their name and see the breakdown of which concepts were difficult, how long they took to answer the questions, and how many hints they used (they get three/assignment).   

To add an assignment to a group, select the group you want to add an assignment to (above), and click on the Assignment tab on the top navigation bar.

The next screen looks like this:
Click on the students you want to assign an assignment to (on the left-I cut off my kiddos names!), then click on the math concept you want them to work on (in the middle) and then the right hand box will disply specific parts of that concept and you click with you would like them to work on.  In the lower left hand corner, you can choose how many problems you want them to work through, and then write them some meaningful words of encouragement. 
TenMarks gives a pretty quick and easy set of data to review and understand.  Basically, it breaks down the student progress like this:
Breakdown of number of problems solved, concepts worked on, and accuracy- again, green is over 70% correct, and yellow is less than 70% correct:

Concept breakdown and bar graph per student to see what they have worked on (past 7 days- also adjustable):

And an overall view of class performance based on concept- we are much better at number sense (triangle) than algebra (circle).

I find the bottom two graphs best for overall class performance, but the top data configuration is the best for individual progress and activity. 

This is, of course, just one of MANY web-based resources out there!  The key is finding what fits best in your classroom and is the most motivating for your students.  What fabulous websites do you use for math instruction?

1 comment:

  1. Is this something you do in addition to your regular math curriculum? I am new to Tenmarks, but teach gifted 4 th grade math using the regular 4 th grade math curriculum.