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Discovery Learning at Jonathan Elementary

Helping students develop justification skills in mathematics classrooms

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Ms. West uses Kiddom to help students develop important justification skills in her math classroom.

First, students complete practice problems independently, with pencil and paper, or on on the computer using resources from Khan Academy or other providers in our content library.

But simply completing a problem doesn’t necessarily demonstrate all aspects of learning. To push her students towards a higher level of critical thinking, students use the webcams on their computers to film themselves walking through the process they took to solve the problems, and justifying their responses. They attach the videos, along with a photo or scanned copy of their handwritten work, to Ms. West, who can evaluate not just if they got the answer correct or not, but also dig into how deeply they understand how to reproduce the steps, and know exactly where to intervene if there are misunderstandings.

Ms. West also uses the platform to spark mathematical curiosity in students, presenting them with equations or other mathematical information and asking them to submit videos of their ‘wonderings.’ Once students have submitted these videos, Ms. West uses custom rubrics built within Kiddom to give students feedback, in addition to in-person 1:1 conferencing. This practice helps drive this Jonathan Elementary classroom in meeting key characteristics identified by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

In Ms. West’s room, the students defend their ideas and develop self-advocacy skills by using the technological tools in the room to ask for help, submit revised work, or build on the ideas taught during direct instruction.

Problems of Practice

  • How can students document their justification for solutions in math coursework?
  • How can teachers give feedback student process as well as product?