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Not Teaching to the Test: Creative Approaches to Student Achievment

Math A Using Technology


Subject: Mathematics

Grade Level: 10th & 11th grade

How it Works: Students can review Mathematics skills for their Regents exams using a Video Based learning style. These videos can be self-paced and students can watch them as many times as they wish.

Final Project/Product: Students will follow a licensed Mathematics teacher through a series of problems. While producing the videos, students must become familiar with the math concepts being taught.

Overall Value: This program takes practicing for the exams into a fresh new area of learning. Students are involved in the production of the videos so that they review the content during production.

Tips for the Teacher: The work should be collected and stored in an online portfolio. Students can be involved in deciding what topics are chosen and help create the script.

Link to Grant Project: http://extendedhs.org/regents


 Standards Addressed
Integrated Learning: Students will demonstrate how academic knowledge and skills are applied in the workplace and other settings.
  Grade: Commencement Subject: Career Development and Occupational Studies
Students will access, generate, process, and transfer information using appropriate technologies.
  Grade: Commencement Subject: Information Systems
Students will apply technological knowledge and skills to design, construct, use, and evaluate products and systems to satisfy human and environmental needs.
  Grade: Commencement Subject: Technology
Day 1: Let's Make a Movie
Students will analyze old Regents tests and decide what concepts they want to review.
Students will develop scripts to explain their chosen concepts.
Students will create examples that illustrate their scripts.
Students will videotape someone delivering their scripts.
Students will edit the videos and add captions to enhance the major points of the videos.
Notebook, Scissors
Video Camera
Editing Equipment
Old Exams photocopied so each page is single sided.
Procedure 1
Students will analyze old tests and categorize the concepts that they need to review.
a. Working in groups, students cut out exam questions and group them according to concepts.
b. Form teams. Each team will tackle a concept and write a brief script that explains this concept.
c. Students create examples that illustrate their concepts.
d. Teams try out their scripts with other teams and offer feedback to enhance clarity.
New York State Mathematics Regents http://nysedregents.org/testing/mathre/regentmatha.html
Procedure 2
Students will videotape someone reading their script.
a. After filming, students review the video for clarity.
b. Using editing equipment, students will create subtitles that will enhance the points being made.
c. Students will review their videos for clarity and edit as necessary.
Math Movies http://extendedhs.org/regents
Procedure 3
Students will post the videos online.
a. Using examples created in Procedure 1, students will post their samples and provide solutions.
Math Movies http://extendedhs.org/regents
Procedure 4
Students will share their videos so others can use them for study purposes.
a. Making videos available online allows students to become independent and self-guided.
b. Students can replay videos as many times as necessary until they feel confident in understanding a concept.
Procedure 5
Note to the teachers: The above lesson may be done over several days or weeks. Editing could be done outside of class and with the cooperation of a computer lab teacher if necessary.
The videos make their creators experts on their selected topics. Sharing videos builds community spirit. Students can use each other’s work to review difficult concepts. Making the videos available online allows people to go back and review as many times as they need.
Practice worksheets and the ability to go to the source, the student authors, allow students to self-assess.
Day 2: Reviewing the Basics
Students will review the basics of Algebra as seen on the New York State Mathematics Regents.
Students will review crucial elements of Geometry that will appear on the New York State Regents exam.
Students will create a series of problems to practice the skills taught.
Students will begin compiling their work into an online portfolio for review by a licensed mathematics teacher.
Internet Browser
Macromedia Flash Player
Procedure 1
Students will watch their selected video explaining the concepts on the Math A Regents.
a. Students will use a notebook to try several sample questions, referring back to the video if they need additional help.
b. When students are finished, they will scan and upload their work to their portfolio.
Procedure 2
Algebra Component
a. Students will evaluate a variety of problems combining like terms.
b. Students will learn and apply the procedure to multiply binomials using FOIL.
c. Students will learn the product, quotient, and power rule regarding exponents. They will apply this knowledge to a series of questions.
Sample Algebra Movie http://extendedhs.org/regents/lesson2/page1.html
Procedure 3
Geometry Component
a. Students will compute perimeter and area algebraically.
b. Students will compute distance using the distance formula
c. Students will compute and apply the Pythagorean Theorem.
Sample Geometry Movie http://extendedhs.org/regents/lesson3/page1.html
Procedure 4
Students will practice using sample questions.
a. Students will self-check their answers with the solutions provided.
Math Movies http://extendedhs.org/regents
Day 3: Statistics Review
Students will improve their statistical skills by reviewing movies created by their peers.
Students will study mean, median, and mode.
Students will learn the basics of probability.
Internet Explorer
Macromedia Flash Player
Procedure 1
Students will watch the video explaining the major concepts of statistics.
a. Students will create a series of problems to practice the skills taught.
b. Students will use a notebook to try several sample questions, referring back to the video if they need additional help.
c. When students are finished, they will scan and upload their work to their portfolio.
Sample Statistics Movie http://extendedhs.org/regents/page3/page3.html
Day 4: Patterns and Functions Review
Students will enhance their understanding of Functions and Patterns.
Students will graph parallel and perpendicular lines.
Students will determine the axis of symmetry.
Microsoft Internet Explorer
Macromedia Flash Player
Procedure 1
Students will watch the video explaining the concepts of patterns and functions.
a. Students will use a notebook to try several sample questions, referring back to the video if they need additional help.
b. When students are finished, they will scan and upload their work to their portfolio.
Sample Patterns and Functions Movie http://extendedhs.org/regents/page4/page4.html
Day 5: Conclusion
Students will share tips about preparing for a Regents exam.
Students will self-evaluate to see what learning methods work best for themselves.
Students will discuss ways to apply these skills to other areas.
Internet Explorer
Macromedia Flash Player
Student Survey
Procedure 1
Students are asked to think about the procedure they just completed.
a. What part worked best for you? For example, did you learn by looking at old exams? By analyzing types of questions? By creating a script? By editing videos? By captioning videos?
b. Write or create a movie about your experiences in creating your own study materials based on the questions above.
c. Share tips and techniques with your fellow students about how you learned best.
d. In what ways can you apply how you learned to other subject areas?
Regents Mathematics Videos http://extendedhs.org/regents
Student Multiple Intelligences Inventory http://surfaquarium.com/MI/inventory.htm
Students may wish to discover their own learning styles and intelligences by taking a sample quiz. Learning how they learn best is a skill they can apply throughout their lives.
Students should take a practice exam to assess what they understand and what they still need to practice. They can now apply their new skills to locating the information they need.

Paul Pelech


Information Technology High School
21-16 44th Road
Long Island City, NY 11101

Paul Pelech teaches Math and Technology at Information Technology High School in Long Island City. He uses many technological innovations in the classroom to demonstrate ancient mathematical concepts with a modern edge. This provides students with a real life connection, making their educational experience more fulfilling and memorable. This motivates and inspires students to learn more, empowering students to have a lifetime love of learning. Paul has a very busy schedule which includes teaching day high school, night high school, and English language learners on the weekends.


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