Kristin Goff is a 5th grade teacher at Garden Valley Elementary in Idaho. Her students use missions as a daily supplement and sometimes as homework. They use KA as a way to peer tutor each other, get more individual time with their teacher, and as a way to continue practicing math after they are done with their assigned tasks for class. Below, Kristin shares her experience about using Khan Academy as a tool to help students work at their own pace.
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Four days a week I block out about thirty minutes in which the whole class is working on Khan Academy.
During that time I am working with individuals as needed, looking at student progress, making recommendations to students, etc. Students who have mastered an area work with students who are having difficulties in the same area. In addition, KA is used by individual students throughout the day as a go-to activity when other assigned tasks are completed. KA is popular in my classroom with students and they choose to do it quite frequently even though they have a lot of other choices to choose from. KA is also assigned as homework once a week. The top three things I use for a more “total program” are Khan Academy, MobyMax and LearnZillion.
Before KA, it was much more difficult to reach each student at the level they needed to be working in -everyone was pretty much working on the same math skill at the 5th grade level all at the same time. Now, students are working on a lot of different math skills at different grade levels all at the same time.
Words of wisdom
When using KA with your students, take it slow and figure out what works best for you and them. Figure out a management plan, put some motivational pieces in place and change things up a bit now and then as needed so students don’t get bored. There is no one right way to use Khan Academy.