Our next installment in the Wowzers All-Stars series comes from Shannon Zimmerman. Shannon is an Education Technology Coordinator and 4th and 5th grade combination class teacher at Pond Union Elementary in Wasco, CA. She recently completed her first year using Wowzers in her classroom and was kind enough to share her students awesome stories of engagement and math progress!
Wowzers, this year went by fast! My 4th and 5th grade combination class was more successful than ever and we had a lot of fun all year. This was also our first year with Wowzers, and teaching math to my combo class was easy with the use of the online math platform.
Because of the technology logistics of my combination class, we had one group working on the digital element of Wowzers while the others worked personally with me on the supplemental offline materials (project-based learning, blended learning, or writing-in-math activities). The robust curriculum challenged the student in fun and inventive ways, and I often got a bunch of sighs and complaints when it was time to move to another subject.
Students Staying in at Recess to Learn Math
Room 13 at Pond School in Wasco, California received a lot of attention this year because of the technology we used. The local news media even heard about the students not wanting to go out to recess in order to do Wowzers, so they came to interview my class (see story embeded below.)
The students were so excited to show off Wowzers. It really gave us a boost of enthusiasm! In fact, they were still asking to stay in at recess and do Wowzers up until the last day of school.
"Despite the challenges, the success of the program was evident"
We had so much fun doing math this year, but what was even better were the results we got from our math post-assessment. Out of my six 4th graders; two advanced to a beginning 5th grade mathematics level, two made it to a 6th grade level, and two made it to a 7th grade level. My eleven 5th graders averaged 1.7 years of math growth with a few even testing in the 7th and 8th grades mathematics levels. I attribute this success not only to the hard work of the students, but also to the engagement levels and Common Core standards familiarity provided by Wowzers.
This was our first year of implementing Wowzers, and it was far from perfect. We learned how to manage the class without enough computers for everyone and to manipulate the Teacher Dashboard to ensure all of the students were successful on individual concepts. But, despite the challenges, the success of the program was evident. I have confidence that year two of our Wowzers implementation is going to have us ready for the Common Core. Students, staff, family, and community were definitely Wowed by Wowzers!
- Shannon Zimmerman, Education Technology Coordinator and 4th and 5th grade combination class teacher at Pond Union Elementary