Math Forums: Student Engagement, Accountability & Voice!

When students are engaged in learning and accountable for it, great class discussions emerge! Shannon Erickson, a 4th grade teacher, uses Formative to not only fuel discussion, but ensure that every student is heard! Check out our interview with her below:

1. Hey Shannon! How did you hear about Formative? When did you start using it?

 Shannon projects her students' Formative responses for math forums!

Shannon projects her students' Formative responses for math forums!

I learned about GoFormative when I got Google Certified last year. I started using it last year on a regular basis after my students went one to one with Chromebooks. 

2. It's awesome that you are using Formative for math forums. Can you tell us a little more about what happens during them and how you use Formative for them?

We do math forums on a regular basis in math class where we discuss and compare different strategies used for similar problems. When I first started doing them I would typically pick 3 - 4 of my 27 students to share their strategy with the class. I found many students upset about not being able to share and wanted to showcase as much of my students' work as possible. One of my favorite features of GoFormative is the live response screen. I love how the screen is set up so you can see what a majority of your students are doing at one time. I realized that this is how I want to show off my students' work. Not only would it allow me to showcase EVERYONE'S work, they can also easily compare and contrast the different strategies used which is one of the main ideas behind using math forums in classrooms. I typically have students work on a specific problem  using a few different strategies on paper and then they choose one to add into a GoFormative, which we then display and discuss. 

3. You mentioned that Formative helps with student accountability, student engagement, and student voice. Can you tell us more about that?

Not only can I showcase student’s work using GoFormative, now that students know their work is going to be displayed with their name by it, they work hard and make sure they have something to put up. Students like their “voice” to be heard and most students feel proud and excited about their work being displayed for the class. My students now like to contribute their strategies to the discussion, no matter how simple or complex because we discuss them all. I feel as though this has engaged my students and held them more accountable for their work (it’s also VERY easy to tell who didn’t get it finished or who may have struggled). I’ve done a lot of work with growth mindset in my math class and we value what we can learn from a mistake, so even if there is incorrect work displayed, we sometimes still use it as a discussion point. 

Thanks for sharing your story with us, Shannon! Rock on!