Common challenges & possible solutions
Challenge #1: Racing ahead
- Have everyone who's done with the unit work on a project that helps them apply and deepen their knowledge of the concepts.
- Use small-group and one-on-one sessions to work with the three students who need more help, or match them with peer tutors.
- Enable students who are ready to move on to the next unit to do so.
- Give students time to set their own goals and to learn something they are passionate about.
Challenge #2: Swiss-cheese holes
- Recommend that students who are struggling with negative numbers and fractions work on related skills on Khan Academy.
- Use one-on-one and small-group sessions to help struggling students master negative numbers and fractions.
- Use peer tutoring to enable students to help each other.
- Consider giving the test on a few different dates so that students who need more time can achieve mastery and those who are ready can move on.
Challenge #3: Classroom management obstacles
- Use YouTube for Schools to filter YouTube for educational content only.
- Use the Activity report to track how students are using their Khan Academy time, and use class incentives (grades, points, rewards, etc.) to motivate students to use this time responsibly.
Challenge #4: Cultivating a specific classroom culture
- Talk to your class about self-pacing. Bring in examples from outside school (e.g., sports, music, etc.) to make it clear that everyone learns at different paces, and that's just fine.
- Celebrate each student's individual success by praising students who work hard.
- Close class on some days by having students share something they learned, and praise students for their effort.
Challenge #5: Math is the worst
- Teach him (as well as your other students) about the growth mindset. Find our lesson plan here.
- Look up his progress in your coach reports and praise his hard work, including any badges he has earned that might highlight his perseverance and success.
- Have him set his own goals on Khan Academy. Allow him to select any skills (perhaps even outside math) that he'd like to tackle, and praise him for showing initiative.
- Ask him to work with a motivated student on a project or Khan Academy.
- Identify whether he has gaps in his math background and enable him to fill those gaps (even if they are below grade level) so that he can become successful.
Challenge #6: Math is the best
- Encourage her to move on to more advanced content on Khan Academy. Track her progress and praise her motivation.
- To reinforce her knowledge, ask her to help her peers with topics they're struggling with. Just make sure she still has time to learn new concepts!
- Challenge her with interesting projects and interdisciplinary learning opportunities, such as Khan Academy's computer programming tutorials.