EAI: Improving Math Performance with Engaging Problems


– A lot of students have
difficulty solving problems, especially students
with disabilities, for a couple of reasons. One has to do with
the disability itself. A lot of the students
with disabilities have learning disabilities. But the other issues
is how we’ve taught these students in the past. We’ve taught them with
difficult word problems, and those kinds of problems, students with disabilities
don’t understand because a lot of
those students have difficulty reading as well. Anchored instruction
was first developed by the Cognition and Technology
Center at Vanderbilt, lead by John Bransford. Anchored Instruction is a way
of teaching problem solving. Problems are
situated in a video. Problems look realistic
to the students, and so they’re
motivated to solve them. – We use a video anchor
as a different way to present the initial math
problem to the class. So instead of a lecture point or a worksheet presenting
the students with a problem, they watch a video first
that usually has peers in it, of their own age that are
trying to solve a problem. They can view it multiple times, and in that process the
students in the class help the students
in the video solve a multi-component math problem before they start working
on problems of their own. – This curriculum
really lent itself to my kids falling in
love with math again. This was such a great
adaptation of being able to just marry where their
needs were currently and where they needed
to be curriculum-wise that they just enjoyed it. – My school, The
Learning Center, is a project based school, so I feel like Dr. Bach’s
hands-on in technology curriculum is good for
our kids to learn math. – Benefits of hands
on learning in class, is it allows us to tie
math into real life. It allows us to tie
science into real lives. – When I first
got here I thought it was just gonna be
like every other math, but once I started doing
it it was more fun. I remember doing it, the
program actually helped way better in my math than
any other thing I could do. – We started with
one video anchor, fraction of the cost, which involves
three teenagers who wanna build a skateboard ramp. Then we decided that we needed
a hands on version of that, so we developed the
hovercraft problem. We developed a fractions module. So we have several
parts to this. We have the video anchor,
we have the hands-on unit, the hovercraft unit,
and the fractions unit. It all worked together as
one curriculum package. – [Linda] In the
Kim’s Komet lessons, we used the video
anchor to present a multi-tier problem
to the students. So they have to do math in
order to help the students in the video win this
particular model car pentathlon. Enhanced Anchored Instruction
is what came out of starting with the video anchor, and then realizing the
students we were working with needed a lot more hands-on. Where we added the hands-on, that became Enhanced
Anchored Instruction. So with those two together, it works out much better for
a wider variety of students at different ability levels. – After I do this curriculum, and kids are more on task, and they feel more comfortable, and also they’re
using math every day, and also they’re socialized
better with their peers. So I see great improvement. – It really allows some
of our math students to understand that it’s not
just algebra, it’s carpentry, it’s not just algebra,
it’s HVAC or electricity. It really ties great, math
really ties great into more of the trade-skill jobs. – I’ve seen a huge
attitude adjustment with my students that we’ve
done this curriculum with. They went from, the
beginning of the curriculum and the beginning
of the unit to, being afraid of fractions,
not liking fractions, just being really turned off to, but the time we
did the post-test you could tell that their
engagement had gone up, their confidence had gone up, their ability level increased. – My favorite part
about the program was how I got to do
more hands-on stuff. Hands-on is way
better, way funner, and how it’s not like in a room doing the same thing
over and over every day. This time we get to mess
with the hover board, we get to mess with
ramps and cars, and it’s really fun. – We’re currently funded by the Institute of
Education and Sciences to develop more
adequate assessments based on our
curriculum, formative
assessments especially, so that teachers can
know when students are having difficulties
and how they can design their instruction
to remediate that. – Teachers are so
thankful because many want to do
hands-on activities, but they just don’t have the
resources or the experience. They don’t know how to get
all the stuff they need, and we help to kind of
bridge that gap there and show them how
it can be done. – After this curriculum,
my students are reaching the concrete
to the abstract level, and also, they’re trying
to use these skills into their daily lives
to solve problems. – The fact that my
kids took the time, put in the effort and
they worked out problems which they never would
have done in the past, that’s a win. – It’s just way cooler
than sitting in room, writing on paper
and half-asleep. I wanna do this again. (upbeat electronic music)

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