Kelly Gagnon is a secondary math teacher at Gorham Middle & High School (GMHS) in Gorham, NH. She has been a teacher for 19 years and is always looking for new ways to teach math, especially through technology. Kelly is a member of both her school’s Steering Committee and the district’s Curriculum, Instruction, Assessment and Data team.
GMHS recently adopted an integrated math curriculum and changed their credit structure. In an integrated curriculum, students are exposed to skills from a combination of curricula (i.e. algebra, geometry, and statistics) in one year.
Under the new credit structure, students move through the integrated math curriculum independently and are awarded credits accordingly. Advanced students who complete Integrated Math 1 and Integrated Math 2 in one year, for example, are eligible to earn credits for both courses as long as they can demonstrate mastery of the curriculum’s core competencies.
In response to these changes, Kelly puts together a list of activities that teach each skill in the integrated curriculum. Recognizing that each student will be at a different place on the list, Kelly sought out a program that could:
Tell us about how Knowre made its way into your classroom.
I worked as a facilitator for the New Teacher Center, an organization that provides new teachers with experienced mentors. They shared Knowre as a resource, and as I am always looking for new tools, I decided to pilot the program with my students.
The pilot, all across the board, was successful. The most important criteria for me was the ability to monitor students’ progress in real time. One often cited disadvantage of technology is that it can distract students. I use Knowre’s Teacher Dashboard to see how students are doing, and my students know that I am watching their progress as they are working. It helps keep them on-task and accountable.
My principal came in to observe during a Knowre session and he observed my students loving the program. He greenlighted the program and we’re now on our second year with Knowre!
How do you use Knowre? Where does it fit in an integrated math curriculum?
For each lesson covered in the integrated curriculum, I create a list of activities for the students to complete during class time.
Knowre is always the first task on the list because I use it to introduce the content. I’m easily able to find the Knowre lessons that correspond to the skills on our curriculum by using the Topics & Skills Guides.
Prior to using Knowre in my classroom, I introduced new concepts by delivering a lecture. Now, students get their introduction through Knowre. Knowre provides a good foundational understanding of the content that students develop further as they move along the list of activities.
I like that Knowre’s instructional videos are short, concise, and pertain directly to the practice question. Students can also use the Walk Me Through feature if they do not know how to approach a problem.
How has Knowre helped you as a teacher?
Knowre allows me to personalize my instruction. By cutting the time that I spend delivering lectures to an entire class who are all at different levels, I can now use that time to help students individually one-on-one and address their needs directly.
The Teacher Dashboard has been a great tool for me to keep a consistent eye on their progress. In an integrated curriculum, students are working across all four of Knowre’s curricula. The dashboard keeps their data intact even as I am constantly moving them between classes, curricula, and school years!
I also appreciate how receptive the Knowre team has been to our needs. The training webinar to start is very helpful and I like receiving the monthly reports that show how much we have used the program.
How has Knowre benefitted your students?
Knowre’s content delivery is consistent and there are no gaps. My students trust that they’ll learn what they need to know from Knowre. On the NWEA Maps test, 77% of students from fall of 9th grade to fall of 10th grade made gains. Knowre does a great job of helping students develop foundational skills, which in a subject like math, builds upon itself.
Kelly Gagnon, Secondary Math Teacher, Gorham Middle & High School
Gorham Middle & High School Quick Facts