Start the Year with Positive Student Culture Around ASSISTments

Dotted blue decorative line - ASSISTments Images

The start of the 2021 school year and the start of the 2021 calendar year looked different in my classroom. Returning to in-person learning did not mean losing all of the valuable virtual tools that we implemented for our students. Now, as we enter into 2022, it’s important to reflect and take stock of how much we’ve achieved; as well as, identify next steps so that we can finish the school year strong. 

Coming into the 2021-22 school year, I wanted to continue to use the virtual apps that worked well in my classroom last year. As I now reflect on the first few months of this year, I can’t help but think of how much ASSISTments helped the culture of my classroom. ASSISTments continuously helps to ensure that I can foster a classroom culture of continuous learning and making mistakes. After several years of using the ASSISTments platform, I wanted to share my top recommendations with other teachers to show how ASSISTments can work for them as well!  

Click here to see a recording of how I easily find and assign content from ASSISTments into my Learning Management System (LMS).  

Now you might be thinking, “Well Mr. Prince, what if my students say the site isn’t accepting their answer?” Luckily for them, there are some common responses to the question above:

Student: Mr. Prince, the site isn’t accepting my answer. I can’t hit enter…

Teacher (Mr. Prince): Did you read the response when they wouldn’t accept the answer? The site usually tells you how they want an answer inputted. How does the site say they want the answer for this problem?

Student: It says they want an improper fraction. I typed in 3 (⅔).

Teacher: Is that an improper fraction? Lets type in 11/3 and see what happens. 

Student: Ok, let's do it. *Types in answer* 

Student: OHHHHHHH! 

This is a common initial conversation in my class. Once students know that the ASSISTments platform isn’t out to get them, then they are less apprehensive about using it and generally can move through their assignment with minimal teacher help. This allows the teacher to cycle towards students who need face-to-face time but might not like the attention that individual time gets from other students. 

Once students have become comfortable with using ASSISTments, I build positive student culture and investment around it by going over the common mistakes from the data report with the whole class. This allows me to correct misconceptions that students have while showing that many are making the same mistake, which is ok and a part of the learning process.

Even if I show the class data, ASSISTments allows you to hide names, so students can just focus on the common answer instead of who got what right or wrong. This way students can see that there are common misconceptions that they all share and we can work on identifying what is causing the misconceptions. ASSISTments and their format of the data report really lends itself to having these types of conversations with students. These conversations are crucial to setting the growth mindset culture in my classroom and I’m appreciative that ASSISTments makes it really easy to have them. 

While I could talk (type) about this for hours, I really suggest you try out ASSISTments for yourself. It is really easy to set up and super teacher friendly.  ASSISTments makes it super easy to assign your content, and the user-friendly data report makes it really easy for you to discuss the class data with your students. It also helps to build a positive student culture around making mistakes as they learn and grow in their math proficiency.  And the user-friendly assignment report makes it really easy for you to discuss the class data with your students. All of these components are important for setting a positive student culture where mistakes are ok and learning is continuous. I hope you take advantage, it really is worth it!!

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