Tawayna's Story (MS Math)

Our Hero

Ms. Tawayna Bell is an 8th grade math teacher at M. R. Null Middle School in Sheldon ISD, Houston, TX.  In Ms. Bell’s class, her students were applying the use of volume and surface area formulas to real world situations (word problems).

How a Simple Lesson Became Something So Much More

“I used Formative to guide student thinking on how to solve the word problems.  Using the same worksheet from last year, I was able to easily upload it into Formative and add questions that I normally would have asked the class as a group and received responses from a few students.  Formative allowed each student to provide a response and to work at their own pace.  I like this feature because my advanced students were not limited to working on a few problems and I was able to monitor their progress and correct their mistakes before they worked too far ahead. Normally, they don’t know about their mistakes until they receive their graded papers.  By then, their interest level in correcting their mistakes has decreased significantly.”

The Wonder of Formative

“I was able to quickly clarify incorrect thinking on topics that I thought the students had a clear understanding.  Also, some of the questions that I originally wrote did not garner the response that I anticipated.  Being able to view the student responses helped me to realize that I needed to change how I was asking some of my questions.”

Instant Feedback Changes Everything

“I was able to send individual comments to more students in less time than I would have without using Formative.  The students loved the feedback.  The feedback functionality of the program was really beneficial to those students who have difficulty moving on without confirmation from me that their work is correct. They were able to work on more problems knowing that if anything was wrong (or correct) the conversation bubble would light up with a number. Also, more students than normal read the comments and went back to find their mistakes and correct them.  Without using Formative, when I handed back graded work, few, if any students take the time to review their graded work and understand how to correct the mistakes that they made.”