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11-30-15 — Pioneer Trail Math Team Embraces Technology in Classrooms

Nov. 30, 2015 ~ Move over pencils, paper and calculators, there's a new tool to help students in the middle school math classroom.

"As a group, our math teachers have truly embraced the iPad technology and are implementing some great practices in the classroom," Pioneer Trail Middle School Principal Elaine Carpenter said.

"iPads are versatile, portable, and user-friendly, but it is the approach the teacher takes using open-ended learning activities with iPads that makes it a great teaching tool," added district math coordinator Nancy Hughes.

At Pioneer Trail, and throughout all of the district's nine middle schools, the iPad has become as common in math class as the calculator. But iPads aren't the only technological addition to math class at Pioneer Trail.

"We all pretty much use Google Classroom to communicate with the students," lead math teacher Lisa Stubblebine said. "They can find what assignments they did on a certain day, and they can do assignments and turn them in online."

Seventh-grade math teachers are using Quick Response (QR) Codes which students can scan with their mobile device to download and watch a video with math problems. Seventh grade is also using the app Kahoots which incorporates learning and math games, Chegg to learn math vocabulary words, and Math Pro.

Whiteboards in the front of the classroom are still popular in sixth-grade math classrooms, Stubblebine said. She writes problems on the whiteboard and students use the app Show Me on their iPads.

"It is very easy to ask the kids to do the problem and show me the answer," she said. "It has also been used for a math project about unit rates. Students created an advertisement and send the completed project to me via Google Classroom."

Eighth-grade math teachers Erin Richerson and Megan Whitworth embraced the flipped classroom style of teaching last year. They collaborate on lessons, create videos for their students to watch and learn at home, and then have classroom time to help students with homework questions they may still have.

"Parents like the idea of the flipped classroom because it cuts back on them having to do the tutoring on something they may not know," Stubblebine said. "Both teachers have said that comparing the achievement data between flipped classrooms and regular classrooms, flipped has a higher achievement level."

Throughout the Pioneer Trail math department, teachers continue to explore technology in the classroom.