Khan Academy Teacher Highlighted in the San Jose Mercury News

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If you’re a regular visitor to our blog, you’ve probably read a post or two by Alison Elizondo, a fourth-grade teacher at Burnett Elementary in Milpitas, California. Recently, the San Jose Mercury News highlighted the work Alison is doing to personalize instruction for her students and the recognition her efforts have earned, both in California and internationally. In one month, Alison both received a visit from California Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson and spoke at the Transformar 2014 conference on education innovation in Sao Paolo, Brazil.

Congratulations, Alison, and keep up the excellent work!

You can read the full article here (by Aliyah Mohammed, San Jose Mercury News, Friday, September 12, 2014).

You can also find a case study of Alison’s classroom here in Khan Academy’s Coach and Classroom Resources.

The Magic Ingredient in Milpitas’ Blend: Teacher-Driven Design

EdSurge’s Matt Bowman visited Alison Elizondo’s classroom using Khan Academy and reflected on the impact of allowing teachers to design how they use tech in their classrooms. 

The Magic Ingredient in Milpitas’ Blend: Teacher-Driven Design

If Room 303 is any indication, letting great teachers call the hardware shots might be an amazingly good idea

by EdSurge co-founder Matt Bowman

“Whoa.”  Several visitors simultaneously whispered the same assessment upon entering Burnett Elementary’s Room 303 in Milpitas, CA.

The teacher, Ms. Alison Elizondo, greeted our tour group. Behind her, 33 4th graders were sprawled in groups across the room. Two huddled around a Chromebook listening to a third explain some point of a paused Khan Academy video. Another pair used an iPad to record their own math lesson. Half a dozen typed away independently, writing, as we soon learned, narratives of how to solve sample word problems they themselves had developed. A large bulletin board displayed each student’s personal math objectives for the year.  Elizondo herself was coaching one single student when we entered, with her back to the class. She prefers sitting that way to show trust.

As we milled about the room, visitors began exchanging furtive glances like prospectors discovering the Mother Lode.  A purposeful buzz permeated the tech-heavy class as 8- and 9-years olds taught each other the finer points of arithmetic.

Burnett Elementary is a Title I public school with 50% immigrant population in the Milpitas school district, whose bottom-up approach to going blended we profiled earlier this week. That approach, which gives teachers a big say in what tech to use and how, seems to be yielding positive results in Room 303. Eighty percent of Elizondo’s students were proficient by the end of last year, and the 4th grade as a whole had the highest math proficiency rates in the school.

The district let Elizondo take the lead on creating her blended rotational model, even allowing her to dictate hardware requirements. She ended up with a rather fine-tuned setup: 18 Chromebooks and 2 iPads, with access to Khan Academy and EduCreations. Elizondo developed the model with a single goal in mind: free the teacher up for more one-on-one coaching time. Along the way, she’s training her students to teach themselves, focusing on skills like goal-setting, progress tracking and checking for mastery…

For the full article article, visit here.

For more on Alison’s classroom, check out her blog posts here.

A little healthy competition: Alison’s 4th grade class recently celebrated their first 100,000 energy point earner. Today they celebrated the first student to master over 100 math skills (the Magellan sun badge).  On the KA site, sun badges are described as follows:

Sun badges are epic. Earning them is a true challenge, and they require impressive dedication.

Heather, here’s to you! Congrats on all your hard work - keep it up. 
Alison’s class is loving learning and challenging each other. If yours is too, send us your stories and pictures/videos at implementations at khanacademy dot org. 

A little healthy competition: Alison’s 4th grade class recently celebrated their first 100,000 energy point earner. Today they celebrated the first student to master over 100 math skills (the Magellan sun badge).  On the KA site, sun badges are described as follows:

Sun badges are epic. Earning them is a true challenge, and they require impressive dedication.

Heather, here’s to you! Congrats on all your hard work - keep it up.

Alison’s class is loving learning and challenging each other. If yours is too, send us your stories and pictures/videos at implementations at khanacademy dot org. 

Ready. Set. Go!

Guest blog post by Alison Elizondo, 4th grade teacher at Burnett Elementary, a Title 1 school in Milpitas, CA.

Welcome to the 2013-2014 school year!  During the summer, I attended (and spoke) at the KA workshop offered free of charge in Redwood City, CA.  Maureen, from Khan Academy, encouraged participants to ‘just start’.  

 

This is my third year using the KA platform in my fourth grade classroom.  Because I want to constantly evolve, improve and create new learning experiences for myself and my students, I set a goal to begin KA on the first day of instruction.

 

I was amazed at what I witnessed in my classroom.  The students were able to sign up, personalize their account, add me as a coach, take the new pretest and begin earning energy points on the very first day….and in 40 minutes.


First hand, I have experienced what kids can achieve if given the opportunity.  I have 9 fourth graders that are still 8 years old.  They were able to accomplish all of these tasks effortlessly.  The message I took from this is that kids are open to new learning if the teacher is willing to try new ways of teaching.


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Last year my class created the name ‘We <3 2 Learn’ for our KA rotation model.  This school year, my fourth graders are going to innovate and collaborate in order to advance our program.  Each student created an attainable math goal for themselves.  We used the cool KA leaves found in the Coach Resources section of Khan Academy.  These are now displayed on our ‘We <3 2 Learn’ bulletin board.


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My students completed a survey today about the first week in fourth grade.  Most every student reflected that the best part of the week was beginning Khan Academy.  This is exciting! I can only imagine what we can achieve in 180 days together.  Stay tuned :)