Finding Your Stride with New Tech Tools in Class

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We asked teachers: what recommendations do you have for teachers introducing ASSISTments into the classroom? Read on for middle school math teacher Ms. Ivory Cutri’s tips and tricks! 

It takes time to introduce a new technology into your classroom. You have to get accustomed to the tool yourself, encourage your students as they get used to it and build the tool into daily routines and practices. Ms. Cutri, a 7th grade teacher living in North Carolina, has spent the last couple of years using ASSISTments in her classroom and finding what works. As a participant in an efficacy study on ASSISTments in North Carolina, Ms. Cutri receives frequent support from ASSISTments staffer Brian Story. Her main recommendation: introduce ASSISTments early in the school year as part of your class’s routine.

“Don’t wait until a month after school has started, when homework practices and routines are already set, to introduce it,” she says. “In the meantime, play around with the platform in order to figure out how it best fits within your classroom practice. But, for students to buy into ASSISTments and accept it as a consistent classroom routine, they need to start using it from day one. In other words: keep it simple, start early, and be consistent.” We developed the ASSISTments practice set and these tips to help with introducing the platform to your students.

Ms. Cutri appreciates many aspects of ASSISTments, especially its ability to help her manage her time in the classroom. Having 45 minutes for each class, she often struggled to “figure out how to efficiently use in-class homework review,” which could easily take 20 minutes, or almost half of the allotted class session.

ASSISTments allows her to improve homework review by prepping for class with the ASSISTments Assignment Report. Ms. Cutri has made a practice of looking at the assignment report each morning before class to “quickly determine which students needed help and which questions needed classwide review.”

Although Ms. Cutri thinks that new ASSISTments users should take it slow and steady, she still sees the importance of finding your niche and “slowly expanding to use more features.” Some teachers make the most of Skill Builder problem sets, while others prefer using ASSISTments for state test practice. Luckily, ASSISTments is designed to be flexible - we care about enhancing any style of instruction teachers use in class.

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