Every day, educators work to engage students in rich, meaningful learning. That's nothing new. What is new is that during this unique school year, teaching is taking place across a spectrum of settings: remotely, in-classroom, or a hybrid of both. And, as local conditions change in light of the pandemic, so can learning environments. To keep your students moving steadily forward, having a plan is key.
Successful planning depends on having educational resources that are optimized to help students develop vital foundations of learning. Exemplars supplemental performance tasks offer a high-potency solution for any learning environment, bringing together the three most important subjects in primary education – reading, writing, and mathematics.
The Power of Exemplars Math
The value of Exemplars Math begins with the quality of our tasks, our rubric criteria, and our Problem Solving Procedure. As students complete any of our problem-solving performance tasks, they practice:
- working with their entire class, in smaller groups or individually,
- reading for understanding,
- discerning what information is important,
- connecting with prior math knowledge,
- developing strategies to solve the problem,
- utilizing their mathematical toolbox to find a solution, and
- preparing a written solution that shows and explains their thinking and final answer.
This combination of reading for understanding, rich mathematical thinking, and writing explanatory narratives produces deep and indelible learning. Our ESSA research of 131 schools in New York City demonstrates the value of this approach. On average, these schools increased their scores on the NY State Exams from 40.9% proficient to 55.1% proficient after 3 years using the Exemplars program.
What’s more, this process is just as powerful in a remote setting. Each step can be done in-classroom or remotely using common video conferencing tools such as Zoom, Zoom Breakout Rooms, Google Meet, FaceTime, and so on.
These tasks also work remotely ... Successfully!
Months of use have shown how well the Exemplars Library supports learning in any setting. School leaders across the country have shared stories with Exemplars about how our problem-solving performance tasks formed the bedrock of their remote math curriculum this spring. The video segment below captures the work of Tina Henckel, Director of STEM Education, K–12, at Norwalk Public Schools in Connecticut. In the video, Henckel explains how Exemplars problem-solving performance tasks anchored their district's math program during remote schooling – letting students continue to grow as deep mathematical thinkers.
New! Remote Learning Tools
But it isn't enough that Exemplars works. It has to be easy to integrate. So to help educators use our tasks to support remote instruction, Exemplars has incorporated Google Classroom into our online Library platform, allowing teachers to seamlessly assign tasks to their students. We’ve also added engagement images to our tasks to spark student interest and provide supporting context for the problem.
And to make the experience even richer, we've added digital enhancements through partnerships with Brainingcamp, which offers a suite of digital manipulatives, and Kami, which offers a PDF annotating and editing app, that allows students to use text, drawing, and recording tools to craft and share their solutions digitally. Exemplars subscribers may purchase both tools at a discounted rate! Contact us to learn more about these special offers.
Even during periods of blended and remote instruction—and even when the learning environment can change practically overnight—students can continue to engage in rich problem-solving and attain deep mathematical learning. With Exemplars performance materials and differentiated tasks, we've proven it can be done. And, we're here to help it happen.