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Meet individual student needs in a dynamic classroom environment

In an ideal Khan Academy classroom, students are not all silently working on laptops. Instead, classrooms are dynamic, social, and joyful! A few students may attend a seminar with the teacher while others work on a project; other students tutor their peers while some work alone. Every implementation is different, so read on for a few instructional strategies and get ideas about what might work for your classroom.

Every day is different, but there are some common elements that make this work well:

  • Strong classroom management
  • Clear expectations for each student for the entire class period
  • Strategic use of classroom space

With these elements in your classroom, use Khan Academy data to determine when to use the instructional strategies below when appropriate for your students.

1-on-1 (Teacher to student)

Use when…

  • You see a student has been struggling based on his/her data
  • You want to provide additional guidance and motivation
  • You want to check in on a student’s individual progress
  • You want to set goals and acknowledge accomplishments

Examples of implementation:

  • Look at a student's answer history on an exercise on which he/she is struggling, diagnose the errors or misconceptions, and prompt the student to discover the answer
  • Use the student’s individual KA data reports to review goals, discuss how the student has spent his/her time on KA, or talk about other relevant topics

1on1

Peer to peer

Use when…

  • A student is struggling with a topic that another has mastered, and you're busy helping someone else
  • You want to enable many levels of differentiation in the class
  • Students start to plateau when working on their own
  • You want to reinforce students' knowledge by having them explain concepts to others

Examples of implementation:

  • Use the progress summary to pair up students
  • A classroom board that has two columns ("I need help with…" and "I can help with…") enables students to reach out and help each other

Peer tutoring

Small groups

Use when…

  • You want to tailor a lesson to meet the needs of a specific group of students

Examples of Implementation:

  • Use the progress summary to figure out which students need a seminar to reinforce certain concepts
  • Create groups based on skill-level and allow each group to work together on the concept with which they are struggling
  • Create mixed-ability groups with “experts” in each and have the “experts” guide their peers in learning specific concepts

Small groups

Projects

Use when…

  • You want students to apply the concepts mastered in KA and deepen their understanding
  • You want to develop real-world skills in leadership, teamwork, and problem solving

Examples of Implementation:

  • Using class data, create groups based on skill level and have each group work on a different project
  • When students finish a set of KA skills, have them start a related project. You can prepare several projects ahead of time and have students complete them when ready

Projects

Energizers

Use when…

  • You want to give students an opportunity to show off their math skills
  • You want to re-invest students in math/KA

Examples of Implementation:

“Rocket Runs” * Class is divided into teams at teacher’s discretion (e.g., split the room in half). Teacher chooses an exercise based on dashboard data or students each choose an exercise. One team is given 3 minutes to earn as many energy points as possible while other teams watch. Teacher projects dashboard data showing average energy points earned in real time. Repeat for all teams. The team with the most points wins. (Thanks to the LASD teachers for this!)

Class vs. Class * Charts that track the amount of energy points earned by class are kept and updated daily or weekly. The class with the highest amount of energy points by the end of the week wins. Energy points should be measured and reset every week so that classes stay invested.