Our First Graders created Math Screencasts anchored around the standard of Expanded Form. They used a virtual Manipulative Site (Shout out To the Math Learning Center) to physically show their thinking as they explained the mathematical genius inside their brains. Talking through the problem helped the kids think on a deeper level. In a sense, they were to "teach" someone else how to break down a number using expanded form. This is a bit of an uncomfortable experience for the kids at first as talking out loud and being so explicit with thinking can be nontraditional. However, nontraditional and uncomfortable = growth! What a great and unique formative assessment!
After our first screencasts, students listened to their own and reflected on their work. Together, a student sample was shared and discussed. The students picked apart all of the little elements in the model screencast and talked about why the shared screencast was an effective showing of understanding (using the word because, no dead space, including math language, short and concise explanations, narrating every action, etc).
Then, the students had another opportunity to create a screencast. Their second one was miles better. Perhaps the most valuable piece was then putting them side by side in their digital portfolios and recording the growth that occurred. This powerful task involved deep reflection and critical evaluation on the part of each first grader. They were super excited to share their pride and how much they had improved from their first video.
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PS- See a previous blog post on Virtual manipulatives.