Monday, January 30, 2017

Cox Academy Takes Off!

4th graders at Wayne A. Cox Elementary are taking learning into their own hands.  Mrs. Krista Sarpalius created a Wix website for her students to use this year called Cox Academy.  While, she set up the shell of the website, it is up to the students in the grade level to add the content.  The students have spent the year creating math instructional videos and presentations to add to the website.  The website is then available to parents and students at any time to help them with the understanding of any of the math concepts that have been taught this year in 4th grade.
 In an interview with some of the 4th graders they told me exactly how Cox Academy has helped them understand the content at a much deeper level.   One of the girls, Averi, stated that,"When I make the videos I try to think about what it would be like if I didn't understand the problem.  I have to not think through it like I already know how to do it. I have to think more simple and slow down my thinking so that anyone struggling to understand also has time to think through it."
Another student, Klaire, told me that the website has become a great tool for self- assessment.  She said that students can take the quizzes when they feel they have mastered a concept, and if they don't pass the quiz they know to go back and watch the videos again.

The students create the videos using an ipad and then upload them to Dropbox.  The presentations have been created in Google Slides and there are even a few quizzes that have been created in Fyrebox Quiz Maker.  The students have been the ones to decide on how they will deliver the content and then researched presentation platforms to choose the best fit for their audience. When I asked Brynne, a student at Cox Elementary, who she thought their main audience was she said, "My parents are always trying to help me with my math. But they learned it a different way and when they show me their way I get confused. So the videos and quizzes help them see how to do the math and then tests them on their understanding."

This really has been such a mindset shift for these kids and parents.  One parent has even helped them make a Cox Academy App using Hockey App. The free app will be available in the App Store for iOS devices hopefully, next week! Also coming next week, a guest appearance by some 1st grade mathematicians with instructional videos for addition and subtraction!

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