As a former teacher of 10 years, I used ASSISTments to assess students using Problem Sets and Skill Builders as warm ups, in class instruction practice, and for homework practice problems. One of my favorite use cases of the ASSISTments Teacher Platform is Skill Builders. Within the ASSISTments Teacher platform, there are a plethora of problems that can be adapted to your unique classroom instruction. As a teacher, I always valued Skill Builders as a great way to give students extra practice on a specific standard or skill. There are many ways that Skill Builders can be used in the classroom, but below are a few use cases to help you get started and find success in your students' mastery skills.
Build on previous knowledge
When starting a new topic, many times students have to apply previous knowledge to display their understanding and help them solve the problem at hand. To help build their mastery skills, you can assign a Skill Builder that draws on previous knowledge to assess which students understand the common core standard, or discover if they require extra assistance to grow their mastery and understanding.
Pro tip: Take a look at the Skill Builder student report before independent work time to see which students may need more assistance in completing the task for the day.
State Test Prep
Skill Builders can be a helpful way to prep your students for high stake testing. After reviewing the student data report, you can determine which students may need additional practice to gear up for the state test. Once you’ve identified what areas each student needs extra practice in, you can assign specific Skill Builders directly from your curriculum to expand their knowledge and grow their mastery just in time for state exams! This flexibility in assigning allows you to assign various skills to different students to address their individual needs.
Pro tip: Identifying what skills each individual student needs extra practice on is a great and easy way to differentiate student needs.
Including Skill Builders for warm up or bell ringer problems is an easy method to ensure students’ retain knowledge of previously learned skills. This encourages students to practice skills that were taught earlier in the year or previous year. Students may feel more confident after starting or ending the day with skills that they are familiar with.
Pro tip: Encourage students to use the hints feature in Skill Builders so that they can get support on a specific skill and complete more problems until mastery.
There are many more ways that Skill Builders can be implemented in your classroom, but the use cases above are methods I’ve used as a former middle school-grade teacher that have proven to help my students become more confident mathematicians.
How would you use Skill Builders in your class? Share your ideas with other ASSISTments teachers in our FB User Community!
Interested in learning more about Skill Builders? Check out this article.
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