Janie Ruddy

Canvas In the Math Classroom

Blog Post created by Janie Ruddy Employee on Feb 6, 2017

As a Canvas trainer, I often do not get enough time to reach out to the math teachers / professors in the room during trainings.  Anyone who has experience teaching math (at any level) feels the pain when a group of colleagues breath that heavy sigh when the topic turn to math concepts.  As with most educational tools, math seems to demand more and the application of Canvas in the math classroom is no different.  However, Canvas has met that challenge and continues to improve upon the offerings to support math teaching and learning.  


I thought I would share some ways that Canvas supported my instructional practices in math classes and share the tips I learn from others as I travel and collaborate with other teachers during my trainings.


In this first posting, I want to share ways Canvas can help save time in the math classroom.  According to NCTM, 20 - 30% of the week is spent reviewing math homework assignments but yet only 65% of students complete the assignments (I know shocking).  Canvas has some excellent tools that can be leveraged to cut the homework review time in half and even require more student participation when reviewing these assignments.


Here are three ways to reduce time spent reviewing homeowork:

1.  Use Quizzes:  Quiz tools are not just for assessment.  Leverage the quiz tool to determine the most missed homework questions.  Simply create a quiz where the question is simply "Answer to Question 1" for example and the answer choices are "Correct / Incorrect".  As the Do Now, show the answers on the overhead and have students identify the questions that they did not get right.  Then, review only those questions with the class.  This saved me an enormous amount of time.  I also had a quick view of those students why simply were just lost and was able to meet with them in small groups.


2.  Flip an Assignment.  Give the answers!!  Create an assignment that provides an image of the answers to the work.  I have also used a 3rd party tool called Thing Link where I have created hot spots that would display the answers on the worksheet.  Then, the assignment submission from the students is their error analysis or reflection on their performance. 


3.  Use the Peer Review Tool to have partners check each other's work.  Have students submit pictures of their math work and then discuss the questions where their answers differed from each other.  Many students quickly found mistakes using this method and received tips from another in a different context that can help improve student comprehension.


I would love to hear of some other unique uses of saving homework review time by using Canvas tools.  Share them if you've got them.