Mountain View is an independent study school in Reedley, CA. Reasons for placement in this independent study program vary, as does the length of time students spend in the program. Given this structure, enrollment at Mountain View is constantly changing. While the majority of students are in grades 9-12, the school also serves students in grades K-8.
At Mountain View, students see their teacher for an hour each week to turn in assignments, get help, and receive new assignments. Many students attend a math class on top of this. Outside of this time, students must complete their work independently.
Debbie Linman has been a teacher for over 29 years, and she currently teaches secondary math at Mountain View. The majority of her students are below grade-level. In addition, given Mountain View’s independent study status, any programs implemented need to support independent student use, both in school and at home.
How did you hear about Knowre?
I found out about Knowre through our district-level curriculum personnel. Our district, King’s Canyon Unified, purchased Knowre for intervention purposes. For our independent study program, we liked Knowre because it is a resource that the students can use in class and at home, with limited teacher assistance. In addition, we liked how easy it was to navigate through the videos and practice problems.
How do you implement Knowre with your students?
Students at Mountain View meet with their supervising teacher once a week for an hour. Most students have a math class once a week for 1.5 hours. This is when we use Knowre.
My goal with Knowre is to use it as an intervention tool, a way for my students to review and relearn past concepts that I don’t have time to reteach in class. We use the first 15-20 minutes of class to work on Knowre. The majority of my students are below grade-level and this gives them a chance to work on additional concepts at their own pace. I try to use Knowre each week.
What Knowre features do you and your students like best?
I like the instructional videos, as they show how to work out a problem step-by-step, both visually and verbally. The videos also help students refresh and review skills that they have already learned.
The students like the Walk Me Through feature, which breaks problems down into their sub-skill components. This gives them the help they need without them having to ask me, which is especially beneficial as they are working independently.
How has Knowre changed the way you teach?
Using Knowre has allowed me to focus my class time on going over lesson concepts. I can spend less time reviewing fundamental concepts and basic math skills, as students are getting their review through Knowre.
Knowre also gives students another method of learning, whether it’s through watching an instructional video, or being taken through the problem-solving process with Knowre’s Walk Me Through.
How has Knowre benefitted your independent study students?
My students like the change of working on the Chromebook with a program that allows them to go at their own pace. They do not feel pressured to keep up with their classmates.
As a veteran teacher (29 years!), what advice do you have for teachers who are just getting started with Knowre, or technology in general?
During my first few weeks with Knowre, I used my projector to show students how I watched the videos and answered the questions. I also showed them the Walk Me Through option for when they are struggling with a problem.
It’s important to know what concepts each of the Knowre curricula (Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2) cover by going through the Topics and Skills Guides. This way, you know what lessons are the best fit for each student, if they are all at different levels.
It was difficult for me to get used to using technology. I’m such a paper/pencil person. However, I have found that I enjoy the technology and the students enjoy not having to listen to me for 1.5 hours. I would suggest to teachers to just bite the bullet and dig in.