Keeping Math Engaging in Your Classroom by Matthew Cheek


Keeping Math Engaging in Your Classroom by Matthew Cheek

Every teacher spends hours planning math lessons and activities. They want to build something that informs and engages students. The most instructive instruction might fail in seconds if the learner is not interested. An appealing lesson without content or educational value will not advance student learning. Utilizing this equilibrium takes years of practice and much longer to master. Teachers aren’t fighting alone, thankfully. Teachers worldwide aim for products like Tangible Play’s Osmo to handle much of the heavy work in every lesson.

Osmo has increased classroom participation in my courses.

I introduced Osmo to my kids the first time. One student at a time interacted with tiles on the iPad while others watched. They didn’t just watch. Many raised their hands to aid or advise classmates. Others praised and encouraged their peers. My experience was completely overwhelming. I let the good times roll and my 10-15 minute warm-up became 30-45 minutes of my 90-minute lesson. The next day was the actual “ah ha” moment. An autonomous whiteboard student created many extended addition equations like ones they had seen the day before. The link to Osmo Numbers was clear.

In one brief session, Osmo showed her how numbers may join to produce bigger numbers and how to document them better than I could. We simply added 2 numerals before.

Osmo’s engagement can help a classroom and game progress.

The success of my Osmo number warm-up led me to regular rotation in our Math Workshop. I pulled children to work with in small groups on targeted lessons and reteaching depending on their academic requirements as they rotated through centers each day. Needless to say, this method requires top level engagement. Students in this class were proficient on all Kindergarten math CCSS by the end of 3rd quarter because to Osmo and other centers. We spent much of 4th quarter on first grade math CCSS. This would not have been feasible without tools like Osmo that engage kids in an educational activity.

Numbers and Math Wizard Series are fantastic math curriculum tools from Osmo. The new Osmo arithmetic Wizard and Fantastic Food Truck can help teachers engage students in arithmetic instruction. Even more importantly, it’s ideal for fostering the proficiency teachers so urgently want in their kids.

Written by Innovation/Media Specialist Matthew Cheek

Matthew taught Kindergarten in Johnson Creek for 6 years until becoming Innovation/Media Specialist in 2018. He is a student-focused educator who prioritizes student engagement through choice and voice while meeting their academic preparation! Since he loves tech, he strives to incorporate it into schooling.

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