Ashley Fryer's picture

Why the Best Teachers Never Stop Learning


KS TeachersLora Johnson (left), Ashley Fryer (right)

I think I am a good teacher, but I know that there is always room for improvement no matter how much experience you have. One way that we can build our skills is by talking and networking with others in our profession. Recently, I collaborated with a teacher I really admireShe’s one of the few who has been at our school since it opened-and we are lucky to have her! Teachers know they can always go to her for honest, helpful advice. Students love her live classes and she has great attendance and participation. I have personally witnessed many high school students seek her out at face to face events.

Lora Johnson is a HS teacher and has taught 9-12 grade classes ranging from Pre-Algebra up to Calculus. This is her ninth year teaching on-line. For the 2016-2017 school year, Lora will be teaching Developmental Algebra, Trigonometry, Geometry, and Pre-Calculus.

K12 Inc.'s picture

LearnBop for Families Launch: Online Math Tutoring Direct to Consumers

“My mission is to help as many kids as possible master mathematics,” says Bharanidharan Rajakumar, LearnBop’s visionary CEO who founded the K12-acquired math curriculum learning software firm in 2014. “We developed a technology that will ensure kids are set up for success in the future so they don’t get left behind.”

As LearnBop for Families launches this week, enabling a new consumer audience to benefit from the revolutionary software, Bharani reflects on his journey to this exciting phase of his career as a digital learning entrepreneur.

“I thought it was pretty profound that potentially you have kids that are taking an entire year to learn a subject they could potentially learn in six months if they had more interaction with a teacher. This was the genesis of LearnBop.”

Regarding the 2014 K12 acquisition, Bharani says what drew him to join forces with K12 was the company’s history as a pioneer in distance learning.

“Since then, LearnBop has shown to be highly-effective in schools. Our clients have been really pleased with the outcomes they have achieved —so there was no reason we couldn’t bring this tool into homes to help more students.”

Wendy Oleksinski's picture

Learning to Ride a Bike and Divide

Do you remember who taught you how to ride a bike? Did that person simply place you on the seat of the bike and tell you to soar downhill? Probably not. Very likely, you began your training by learning to balance on two wheels or maybe you starting with training wheels. Perhaps you progressed to pedaling in the grassy part of your yard or the park. Some people, although very few, might have been naturals and hopped on their bikes to ride straight away. Undoubtedly, there were a few skinned knees along the way.

As with any skill, there are steps to follow toward mastery – a vertical transgression of moving from the basics to more intense skills or from training wheels to wheelies.  In mathematics, these basic skills are often overlooked or not focused on enough in the early years of a child’s education. Consequently, it is not surprising that many older students may struggle with multistep mathematical problems.

To address this unbalance, Lane Holmes, a mathematical instructional coach at Georgia Cyber Academy, suggested that a group of online teachers watch a video clip from the “Questioning My Metacognition” YouTube channel. The clip focuses on the progression of division from 3rd-6th grade and on the skills mastery needed to solve division problems effectively.  

Upon viewing the video clip, many teachers had legitimate questions, such as, “Is it reasonable for fifth graders who have most likely never received the necessary conceptual understanding to be able to “catch up” to where they should be?”  

In other words, can we, as teachers, move backwards to reteach skills that might have been previously skipped for students?