Students log in to the online classroom and check the to do list. They open the day’s lesson and take notes while watching the video. The lesson and example problems in the video should be written neatly in their reference notebook.
We use the Saxon third edition series for Algebra 1/2, Algebra 1, and Algebra 2. If you prefer to purchase the textbook a link is provided on the registration page. While not absolutely necessary, some students do well with a textbook reference.
The reference notebook is a series of regular spiral notebooks you provide where they record vocabulary, example problems, illustrations and formulas. All formulas should also be written on the back cover of their spiral notebook. When a notebook is filled the front cover should be labeled with the subject and the lessons covered. When they begin a new notebook, all the formulas should be transferred to the new back cover.
The videos are more than just an explanation of the lessons and how to do the problems, they also contain tidbits of information directly related to how the material will be graded, how it should be entered in the system, what information to write in the reference notebook and how to communicate with the instructor.
After each video, there are a set of practice problems from the current lesson followed by problems from previous lessons. Students will have 15 – 20 problems per lesson to complete. Lesson problems can be erased and redone as many times as needed until 100% mastery has been achieved. These should also be detailed in the reference notebook.
Whenever a student struggles, the best way to get help is to screen shot that particular problem and send it in a message to the instructor. The instructor will respond with a video that walks them through the problem to help them understand and correct themselves. Instructors typically reply within 24 hours. Any problems that your student submits should also be added to their reference notebook.
If for any reason you feel that the answer your student has arrived at is correct, but the system is marking it wrong, please message the instructor. It could be a formatting error or a typo that prevents the system from seeing it correctly and matching it to the answer. These should be minimal once your student gets the hang of entering answers into the system.
Do allow your student to struggle a little when it becomes difficult. It makes their sense of accomplishment that much greater.
Don’t allow the struggle to cause them permanent frustration. Know when to stop and come back to it later. It’s OK to take a step back in order to move forward. Sometimes redoing a previous lesson or even moving to a lower level curriculum is necessary for ultimate success.
Do stock up on spiral notebooks during the back to school sales. Depending on the text size and spacing your student prefers they may need 5 – 10 spiral notebooks.
Do message the instructor with problems that the student can’t seem to get correct or if you believe there is an error in the system.
Don’t allow the student to message the instructor for almost every other problem in a lesson. If the student needs that much help, they are in too high of a math level. One of each type of problem should be sufficient.
Do respect the process. Repetition is part of the mastery process in the spiral approach. Writing out the example problems and information from lessons is also part of the repetition process building long term recollection. Pulling problems from previous lessons adds to the repetition and helps them remember the process more readily the next time it is applied.
Do be patient. The instructor will respond within approximately 24 hours. Submit all the problems you have with a particular lesson in one message for a faster and more informed response. When the instructor sees all the student’s struggles at once, they can better pinpoint the students confusion and clarify it more effectively.