We are so excited about the upcoming school year and getting more students and teachers using Wowzers! We love getting feedback from educators and hearing about our teachers’ experiences. We recently spoke with Raquel Lopez, a first grade teacher at El Camino Real Academy in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She uses Wowzers as a classroom tool and as extra support for her students. Each day, her students use iPads to work independently on their individualized curriculum in Wowzers. During this time, she’s able to pull aside struggling students for a personalized intervention. Using the reports built into Wowzers, she’s able to quickly identify what students need assistance and exactly which concepts they need to work on. To further reinforce concepts, she uses manipulatives with her students to help them better understand the concepts covered in Wowzers. This helps them understand the virtual manipulatives in Wowzers even better.
“I have witnessed how students that were struggling with simple number concepts were able to be successful as Wowzers presents concepts using visuals that students can move and understand what that number means.”
Because Ms. Lopez is very invested in her students progress, she tracks their progress using the Wowzers Teacher Dashboard and adjusts their curriculum path as needed. As she explains, “I really enjoy the use of Individual Paths as I can provide what students need in every level they are trying to reach.” To supplement the rewards and engagement built into Wowzers, she also created a visual board to show students’ progress through the curriculum. She believes in the power of gamification to display students’ “levels” in the program and encourage them to continue to progress.
Ms. Lopez’s students are also proud of their own progress. She reports that they excitedly call her over every time they get every question correct in an activity to show off their accomplishments. This also gives her an easy way to see if students are struggling on a particular concept or not, and immediately step in if needed. Her students are enjoying Wowzers so much that many who have internet access are using the program in their spare time at home.
“I really think Wowzers is a good program to help students understand mathematical skills without the assumption that the teacher always has the knowledge. It helps us to be seen as facilitators of support instead of providers of the knowledge.”