Mashing Up Digital Manipulatives and Screencasting in your Math lessons

I recently wrote a blog post about using VoiceThread to provide opportunities for students to engage in math discourse and how this type of engagement allows students to
  • Present and explain ideas, reasoning, and representations to one another.
  • Listen carefully to and critique the reasoning of peers
  • Seek to understand the approaches used by peers
  • Identify how different approaches to solving a task are the same and how they are different
  • During this dialogue, teachers can recognize errors in context and reinforce that they are natural occurrences that enhance learning.
This post will support the same strategy but uses digital manipulatives and screen recording as the process to present and explain their math reasoning and participate in math dialogue with both peers and teacher. Math Learning Center is a website that offers free manipulatives that PreK-5 students can use to practice and demonstrate their understanding of a mathematical problem. These manipulatives are available through a web browser, downloadable on an iPad or as an extension through the Chrome Webstore. Here is a list of manipulatives this website has to offer:

    The Math Learning Center
  • Fractions
  • Geoboard
  • Vocabulary cards
  • Money pieces
  • Number frames
  • Number line
  • Number pieces
  • Pattern shapes

McGraw Hill Education

McGraw Hill education provides online manipulatives that are more appropriate for Grades K-8 and has a few more options that help with concepts like probability, algebra, and background/workmats that are appropriate for particular math concepts.

Yes, students can use the app, practice the strategy and write the answer down on a paper to show their understanding. But, what if the answer is wrong? How do you know, as the teacher, the approach the student took to solve the problem? How can you provide students an opportunity to justify their reasoning in answering the math problem? How can you promote math conversations with all students and have them recognize there multiple ways of solving a math problem?  One strategy to consider is having each student record their screen as they are solving the problem, save the video and upload it to a learning management system that you already use for students to share with their peers and you.
There are quite a few screen recording options for you and your students.

WeVideo ScreencastIf you are a Richland Two employee, the district pays for WeVideo so you can use their “Word Problem Template”  to solve a math problem. Using one of the manipulatives on the previously listed websites, students can record their screen as they solve a problem. Using WeVideo, it will automatically save in their folder. Students can share the link to their video on an LMS, such as Google Classroom.Screencastify
If your district or school does not pay for WeVideo, Screencastify is a free screen recorder that allows students to record and share their video.
The process is the same. Students would prepare the screen with the required math manipulative and begin recording their screen using Screencastify. The video is saved in their drive and can add the link to an LMS.
Just as you model new math strategies, reading strategies and think alouds, a teacher should scaffold this process to ensure there is success for both students and teacher. It is critical that you, as the teacher, model this process a few times with your students in order for them to troubleshoot possible issues that develop. It is equally important to model and discuss how you use math vocabulary.


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