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Guest blog post from the Khan Academy schools blog

by Alison Elizondo, 4th grade teacher at Burnett Elementary, a Title 1 school in Milpitas, CA.

Fall 2013

Welcome to the 2013-2014 school year!  During the summer, I attended (and spoke) at the KA workshop offered free of charge in Redwood City, CA.  Maureen, from Khan Academy, encouraged participants to ‘just start’.  

This is my third year using the KA platform in my fourth grade classroom.  Because I want to constantly evolve, improve and create new learning experiences for myself and my students, I set a goal to begin KA on the first day of instruction.

I was amazed at what I witnessed in my classroom.  The students were able to sign up, personalize their account, add me as a coach, take the new pretest and begin earning energy points on the very first day….and in 40 minutes.

First hand, I have experienced what kids can achieve if given the opportunity.  I have 9 fourth graders that are still 8 years old.  They were able to accomplish all of these tasks effortlessly.  The message I took from this is that kids are open to new learning if the teacher is willing to try new ways of teaching.

 

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Last year my class created the name ‘We <3 2 Learn’ for our KA rotation model.  This school year, my fourth graders are going to innovate and collaborate in order to advance our program.  Each student created an attainable math goal for themselves.  We used the cool KA leaves found in the Coach Resources section of Khan Academy.  These are now displayed on our ‘We <3 2 Learn’ bulletin board.

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My students completed a survey today about the first week in fourth grade.  Most every student reflected that the best part of the week was beginning Khan Academy.  This is exciting! I can only imagine what we can achieve in 180 days together.  Stay tuned :)

In a follow-up email in early September 2013, Alison shared the first major milestone in her classroom: the first student to reach 100,000 energy points!

Today we celebrated our first student who earned 100,000 energy points.  Matthew set this as his first goal.  All the kids were so proud, supportive and encouraging to him.