Ukyah Wilburn, a 5th grade math and science teacher in Illinois, needed a tool that could do a lot. She had a larger-than-usual class size, illness, pregnancy, and a pandemic to contend with. The cards were against her. But when she found TeacherMade, she could free up time and work more efficiently.
Read on to discover how Ukyah uses TeacherMade daily in her math and science classes.
I am blessed to teach 5th grade in Illinois. I teach about 56 students math and science. TeacherMade has made teaching double my usual caseload efficient, and the amount of stress that has been eliminated is astonishing! I can think of hundreds of reasons that I use TeacherMade daily in my classroom. However, the one reason that sticks out the most is the immediate feedback that is given not only to teachers but also to students. There is so much data that is collected on every TeacherMade assignment, and the data allows direction for the next steps. All of the information gathered from TeacherMade lessons is used to guide my instruction in both math and science. Without it, I would have added hours of grading and data collection, and my students would not get the quality experience we have this past year.
Every efficient teacher knows that good teaching is led with data. Thanks to TeacherMade, I can gather data that I couldn’t collect on my own. For example, I am able to see how long my students take on any given assignment, as well as if and when they finish it. I am able to see a history of their work as it automatically saves progress throughout their work time. With this data, I can immediately tell who is struggling and excelling in the assignment in real-time. As students work in my classroom or at home, I can see who needs help and who I can call on to help others. This data alone has allowed me to be an incredible help to my students immediately.
Each day in math, I assign three lessons on TeacherMade. Each lesson guides the students in their learning and understanding. After the teacher-led lesson, students are assigned a practice page of about 8-10 problems I taught that day. Students can use their notes and guidance from classmates while working. I set the parameters for TeacherMade to release students’ scores with correct answers showing as soon as students hit submit. Students can look at each question, and if they have gotten it wrong, they have the correct answers.
I guide students to learn from their mistakes and ensure they understand them. If a student gets a score lower than 75% or they don’t understand their mistakes, they have to seek help from the teacher. This way, before the next step, they can be sure they are ready. Then students get an exit ticket of 2-4 problems they are to complete on their own to see if they have understood the lesson. Again, scores are released instantly!
The third assignment is homework. Homework is 8-15 problems they are to work on if they did not get an A on the exit ticket or just want more practice. Not everyone has to do the homework lesson, but it is available to all.
The feedback that TeacherMade provides students allows them to be in charge of their own learning. My students all work at their own pace, and I am free to help where I know I am needed. At the end of each unit, I can assign the math tests, and students see their scores immediately instead of waiting for their teacher to grade all 56 tests. It takes so much pressure and stresses off of me.
Science flows a little differently than math. I can still offer students instant feedback on their science quizzes, adding value to the learning experience. After each lesson and activity, students take an 8-10 question multiple-choice quiz. Students with a score below 70 are able to redo the lesson and quiz. Students get the feedback and again can take the learning into their hands and relearn it when needed. Like math, unit tests are graded instantly, which is so cool because of the diversity in question types.
Our unit tests have fill-in-the-blank (drag-and-drop), multiple-choice, true and false, and even matching questions. All of which are graded instantly for my students. In the coming year, I know I will be adding more interactive lessons as I will be getting more time to teach science daily. I hope to design a way that allows students to take charge of their learning and understanding as I do in math using TeacherMade.
Prior to this year, I was teaching from home while undergoing chemotherapy treatments to cure breast cancer. That September, TeacherMade was shared with me by a teacher in my building, and I built my entire curriculum around it. At a time in my life when I couldn’t be the present and engaging teacher I once was, TeacherMade came in and allowed me to interact with my students in a way I couldn’t have imagined!
In January, I found out I was pregnant with my rainbow baby, and while the toll that was taken on my body from being pregnant during a pandemic, wearing a mask, and supporting my students on a social and emotional level was at the top of my list, TeacherMade again saved the day! I didn’t have to focus on grading and entering grades and all that comes with that. I was able to focus on what my students needed most from me. Sometimes that was love, sometimes resources for their mental health, and sometimes that was more help in math. I am so grateful for the resources that TeacherMade has offered me, and the best part is that like every teacher, TeacherMade is constantly growing and expanding!
I was able to offer my students fun lessons with instant feedback, and grade collection was effortless. This year, I jumped on the pro-version of TeacherMade and was not disappointed in the slightest.