Teacher and SchoolTodd Davis, 5th Grade Teacher
Key ChallengeStudents struggled with multiplying and dividing fractions because they lacked foundational multiplication and division skills.
SMART SolutionSMART Board® 800 series
ResultThe class average increased 24% from pre- to post-assessment after integrating the SMART lab™ Speed Up activity.
“Students were excited to see how they faired daily against their classmates, leading to increased focus during our daily warm-up.”
— Todd Davis
Bear Creek School is a grade 4-6 school located in a rural community outside of Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania containing approximately 930 students. Bear Creek has consistently ranked as one of the top schools in the district maintaining over an 85% overall rating on their school performance review. Todd Davis is a 5th grade STEM teacher at Bear Creek School. This is Todd's 14th year of teaching elementary, with the last 6 focused on STEM. Todd graduated from Penn State University with a degree in Elementary Education & Early Childhood, and has a Master's Degree in Instructional Design, Technology & Online Teaching.
Through an analysis of his Pennsylvania System of School Assessment results and his Study Island Benchmark Assessment results, Todd found his students were weakest in multiplying and dividing computations relating to fractions. After a closer look at his classroom data in relation to the state data, he felt the main cause of this learning gap was due to lack of conceptual understanding and fluency with multiplication and division skills. Therefore, they struggled when applying these skill to fractions.
To help his students build a stronger foundation for completing multiplication and division of fractions, Todd decided to use the SMART lab Speed Up activity to begin each class throughout the second semester, focusing solely on multiplication and division. Through the use of Speed Up, he felt his students would be more engaged in the daily activity of practicing and reinforcing basic multiplication facts.
Todd created a 10-question Speed Up activity to begin each class where four students were selected daily to answer the first question. After answering, students then turned to “tap-in” another student to interact with the SMART Board and answer the next question. This process was repeated until all 10 questions were answered and each student had a chance to answer a question.
Todd could never have imagined the varied benefits he witnessed after incorporating Speed Up into his instruction. Over the course of his study, he noticed students were more engaged in his new Speed Up activities rather than his previous worksheet-based activities. Specifically he noted, “I was surprised to see that even though students were chosen at random, their ability to collaborate and support each other was impressive.” Consequently, he began seeing an increase in students automaticity within a few weeks of introducing this practice.
Before integrating Speed Up into his instruction he gave his students a common pre-assessment where the class average was 57%. By the end of the semester, the class average on the post-assessment was 81%, an increase of 24%. Todd attributes this increase to Speed Up, as this was the singular adjustment to his instruction.
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