Using Technology within the Differentiated Math Classroom

Participants: Mary Fortin, Carol Ensel, Peg Eaglefeather, Jocelyne LaVigne, Anita Squier

Overview/Purpose: This unit is designed to demonstrate how using technologies such as the Smartboard and interactive internet sites can enrich the math learning and understanding all levels of math learners, from advanced math students as well as students who are struggling.

By choosing one specific skill, a lesson template will be created which will allow teachers to design leveled math instruction within a specific content area skill. This format will be useable for any math skill area. Due to the abstract nature of the concept of fractions, decimals and percents, traditionally elementary age students have performed poorly on this skill concept.

As stated by the National Teachers of Mathematics in a 2006 report …”Americans fall short, especially, in the handling of fractions.” citing almost half of America’s 8th graders are not able to divide fractions when embedded in a word problem. By the end of 5th grade, this commission recommends that students be proficient with comparing fractions and decimals and common percent, and with addition and subtraction of fractions and decimals. The manipulative characteristics of Smartboard and internet technology make this skill topic ideal for this project.

Length of Instructional time: Each lesson will consist of a 45-60 minute session. There will be approximately 5 sessions per grade level in this unit. The lessons will be implemented in sequence and will build understanding of the previous lesson.

Age/grade level: The targeted level would be 4th and 5th grade regular and special education students as well as AIS students. The activities will be tiered to accommodate basic as well as more advanced learners resulting in a broader spectrum of student abilities.

NYS Standards Addressed:
-ALGEBRA STRAND (4th And 5th)

PCSD Standards

  • Critical Thinker
  • Effective Communicator
  • Life Long Learner

Essential Questions:

  • How does technology enhance the learning of mathematics?
  • How can the understanding and use of fractions benefit our daily lives?

Content Knowledge
The students will understand…

  • Understand that fractions are part of the whole
  • Manipulate Smartboard technology
  • Reduce a fraction to simplest form
  • List equivalent fractions
  • Add and subtract like and unlike fractions
  • Compare fractions using a variety of forms
  • Change improper fractions to mixed numbers
  • Express ratios in different forms
  • Read, write, and order decimals to thousandths
  • Compare fractions using <, >, or =
  • Compare decimals using <, >, or =
  • Use the computer as a tool for generating and drawing ideas
  • Use appropriate graphic and electronic tools and techniques to process information
  • Understand the concept of ratio
  • Understand that percent means part of 100, and write percents as fractions and decimals

The students will be able to…

  • Identify equivalent fractions
  • Identify simplest form fractions
  • Identify Improper and Mixed fractions

Assessment Evidence
Informal daily classroom assessment and monitoring will be ongoing. Formal assessments will include quizzes and an end of unit test as well as a hands on project in which the students will have to demonstrate the use of fractions in real life situations.