Monday, June 16, 2014

Webquest Wizardry in Math

written by Shenna Anderson, 6th Grade Math, Pike Middle School

There are a variety of ways to teach the same concept and a plethora of ideas and resources available to differentiate instruction, in an effort to reach as many learners as possible.  Webquest, an inquiry-oriented lesson format in which most or all the information that learners work with comes from the web, is a platform that can do just that. 

Mrs. Anderson's 6th Grade math class at Pike Middle School used Webquest platform creating a lesson through over a particular mathematical concept to teach others.  The product that was produced by each student redefined learning in the classroom.  Students considered their audience and created a product that others could easily understand and learn, while meeting the learning objective at a mastery level. The webquest allowed students to step away from traditional instructional methods and products. The product took learning and collaboration beyond the walls of the classroom.

Selected students showcased their Webquests at the district Techno Expo. In addition to a global audience via the internet, Techno Expo provided a face to face audience including peers, students, teachers, parents, community members and administrators.  The products in Mrs. Anderson's class inspired other teachers to incorporate this style of teaching and learning in their own classrooms.  Additionally, on the night of Techno Expo one parent specifically said that, “this actually makes me want to do it.”
(click on image to go to webquest)
(click on image to go to webquest)

The students enthusiastically took on the role of teacher and enjoyed being able to help others learn what they had learned. The impact of the product went well beyond the walls of the classroom in addition to inspiring the use of Webquests for student product in other content areas. The most exciting results of this effort for the students were when Mrs. Anderson’s class webquests were used by other math teachers across the district as a tool for intervention and additional instruction. 

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