Everything you love about Mathseeds in the classroom can be used in a distance learning environment. Here are 7 steps to making Mathseeds the star of your distance learning mathematics plans:
Show your students around the program
First things first, provide each student with their Mathseeds log-in details. This will give them access to their student account, where they can track their progress and complete personalised assignments.
- In the teacher console, select Management then Manage Students.
- Check the box above your students’ names to select all students.
- Click the Print logins button above your class list.
- Print the downloaded cards and distribute them to your class.
If your school also uses Reading Eggs, students can log-in to either program using the same details and easily switch between them without having to input their details a second time.
Before you set your students free with Mathseeds, it’s best to model use of the program in class. Put the student console up on a shared screen that all students can see and direct them to the Lessons portal first, as this is where they will be learning their course content. You can also give them a demonstration of the Mental Minute and Driving Test features which allow them to self-test and practice for numerical fluency.
Don’t worry if your school is out already and you haven’t had time to brief the class. Share this blog with parents so that they can help get their child started with Mathseeds at home. It’s an easy to use interface that doesn’t require any technical know-how, so they’ll have it up and running in no time.
Set expectations for home learning
With its carefully scaffolded design, Mathseeds is a great platform for setting goals that motivate students during the remote learning period. For example, you might set goals based on:
- A set amount of lessons to be completed each week
- Achieving certificates (Mathseeds automatically awards students with certificates once they complete a five-lesson learning ‘Map’ and an End of Map Quiz).
- Challenges for Mental Minute or Driving Tests.
Share these goals with parents too so that they can stay up to date with the work that their child needs to complete at home.
Have students sit a placement test
Mathseeds has the unique feature of a placement test, which allows the program to create a personalised learning journey tailored to individual levels of ability. Follow these steps to assign a placement test.
- In the teacher console, select Management and then Manage Progress.
- Check the box against the student you wish to assign the test to.
- Click Edit Progress.
- Select Placement Test from the drop-down menu.
Ideally, students should complete the placement test individually in class. If this is not possible, make sure you inform parents that their child should complete the test without assistance to be accurately placed at the appropriate level.
If you are still concerned that students might get a little bit of help on the side with their placement tests, you can manually assign them to the appropriate content yourself referring to the information in the Mathseeds Teacher Guide and Placement Test Guide.
Once students have logged in and sat the placement test to find their starting level, they will be ready to independently work their way through the lesson sequence. You don’t need to set lessons yourself.
However, to challenge your students and keep the motivation levels up, it’s a good idea to set additional assignments. To do this, simply:
- Select Assignments in the teacher portal, then Create Assignments.
- Check the boxes of students you want to complete this assignment. You could select the whole class, or a group requiring differentiation.
- Set a time frame, including the due date.
- Choose an activity from the drop-down menu. This could be a specific lesson or a Driving Test.
While Mathseeds is the perfect platform for students to learn independently and at their own pace, setting these activities regularly will keep your students accountable and connect their learning journey to that of their peers.
Monitor student progress
Mathseeds gives you access to live, automatically updated data on student activity and performance. Use this to your advantage and group students according to their ability level when creating assignments. It can also form the basis for a discussion with parents if a student appears to be struggling (or perhaps they’ve done a great job and you just want to say congratulations!)
The easiest way to get a sense of student progress is via the Skills Test which students must complete to check understanding at the end of each lesson. If they get less than 8/10 answers correct, they are prompted to retry the test up to 3 times before being allowed to move on. If you notice that this is happening regularly, you may wish to assign customised assignments to support that student alone. Similarly, Mathseeds data will make it clear when a student has not accessed the platform or attempted set activities.
To access student performance and activity data, select Reports, then Dashboard, then select a student from the drop-down menu at the top of the page.
Select printable resources for students who don’t have devices
There’s no need to create worksheets for any student who doesn’t have device access at home because Mathseeds has plenty in the Teacher Toolkit. Access resources appropriate to your students’ ability and year level under Teacher Resources, which can be printed or sent to students as PDFs.
Each digital lesson also has attached printable worksheets and problems. Click Lessons in the teacher console, then select Resources under the relevant lesson. For a student who is likely to be working offline for an extended period, you could compile these into a comprehensive package.
Keep it fun!
There’s more to Mathseeds than just lessons and assignments, so encourage your students to explore areas such as the Arcade and Playroom too. They’ll find everything from games to songs, and all of it is explicitly designed with mathematical learning in mind. Students can spend the points they earn to dress up their avatars and decorate the treehouse that is at the centre of the student platform. You might even create a platform where they can share screenshots and compare outfits!
Mathseeds works best when it supplements all the real-life mathematical learning that happens at home. Before your students leave school, remind them that this will be a valuable opportunity for them to look out for all the practical opportunities to apply mathematics at home, whether that be cooking, creating a home learning timetable, or creating a patterned craft piece. The combination of real-life mathematics with Mathseeds’ scaffolded content may well have your students returning to class more engaged than ever before.