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Julianne Russell: Teacher Spotlight

Thu, 09 Oct 2014 08:16:38

Today we’re spotlighting Julianne Russell, a teacher at St. Joseph’s Catholic School in Boise, Idaho

Check out this video to learn how Julianne motivates her students with “Khantests.”

Thanks for sharing your incentive ideas with us, Julianne!

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Summit Solves: Using MAP and KA to differentiate in a supplemental math program

Wed, 01 Oct 2014 17:47:56

This year, Summit Public Schools is using Khan Academy in a new math program called Summit Solves.  Read about how they started the year using MAP scores to figure out which Khan Academy missions would be most relevant for each student.  Many thanks to Kyle Moyer, lead on the Summit Solves program, for writing up this great case study for us!

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Khan Academy Teacher Highlighted in the San Jose Mercury News

Mon, 15 Sep 2014 14:30:00

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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.

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Video Tasks on the Learning Dashboard

Fri, 05 Sep 2014 13:28:46

Khan Academy is now introducing video tasks on the learning dashboard. Prior to this release, the mission dashboard consisted exclusively of practice and mastery tasks–problems to practice and interact with the skills. If a student didn’t know how to do a particular exercise, they would have to rely on the video in the specific skill or manually look up the video, and there was no way to know ahead of time which videos are particularly useful and which aren’t. With this in mind, we decided to research which videos on our site are most effective in helping people learn. We then wanted to explore how we could make sure students see these videos when trying to learn related skills.

Many of our exercises are tagged with “curated related videos”—videos that are hand-selected as related to the exercise. Using this as a starting point, we looked at all the videos that were already tagged as related to any exercise. For each of these videos, we compared the accuracy on its associated exercise both before watching the video and after watching it. From there, we selected the top fifty most effective videos, each improving the accuracy on its associated exercise by at least twenty percent, and are now highlighting them on the mission dashboard. When the system recommends an exercise with an associated video on the list of our top fifty related videos, it will automatically recommend the related video as well. Similarly, when an exercise with an associated video task is manually added to a student’s list of exercises as a personal task, the video task will also be added automatically.

A student might watch the video before attempting the exercise, which is why we place the video tasks immediately above its associated exercise. Alternatively, a student may want to attempt the exercise first, and if they struggle with the exercise then they can close it out temporarily and watch the video before trying again.

If a student doesn’t need to watch the video, the video task can disappear in three ways. If the student watches the video, the video task will never reappear for that student. The student can also remove the video task without watching it and it will never again be shown to them. Finally, if the student completes the associated exercise and renavigates to the mission dashboard (refreshing the page, e.g.), the video task will also go away. However, in this last scenario, if the exercise ever reappears on the mission dashboard of this student, the video task will also return.

We sincerely hope you find this update as exciting and useful as we do!

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Valuable new resource for math classrooms that use the MAP test

Thu, 14 Aug 2014 11:01:14

Over the past few years working in math classrooms, we’ve noticed that schools across the country often take NWEA’s MAP assessment.  This adaptive test provides teachers with insight into where their students are at the start the school year, and how much growth they’re able to achieve by the middle and end of the school year.  Now, we’re happy to say that there’s an easy way to use Khan Academy alongside the MAP assessment!  NWEA had linked Khan Academy’s content to MAP results with this free, handy tool.  If your students take the MAP assessment at the start of the school year, you can look up their scores on this siteto find out which skills in Khan Academy they’re ready for next.  You’ll also be able to see which Common Core standards align with the skills, which can give you insight into the grade-level or subject-level mission that is most appropriate for your students. 


We hope this resource will be helpful for all the MAP-taking math classrooms out there!

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