Think Mentals 24/11/20
Online resources provide many benefits to the learning process, but trying to direct students’ attention can be a challenge. That’s why we created the ‘Eyes Up Front’ feature. Use this feature at any time during your mental computation lessons to temporarily deactivate students’ access and direct their attention back to you. Remember, if your account is connected to multiple classes, ensure you have the right class selected when you activate (and deactivate) ‘Eyes Up Front’.
Every page within Think Mentals Digital Classroom has a unique URL. You can save time by sharing the URL to any video, slideshow or activity with your class. By following the URL, students will be taken directly to the resource or activity. (They may be prompted to log in first if they haven’t already.)
If you’re watching the videos within strategy units at the start of the year, or later in the year as a refresher, take advantage of the pause icon that appears in the corner of the screen at key points. This handy prompt lets you know it’s a good time to pause the video and discuss with your class what’s being presented. Ask students what they think might happen next, or go over anything that’s been covered to check for understanding.
Check out the pause prompts in this Year 4 Teaching Video: Friendly Balance (Addition)
Have you had a student race through an activity without really focusing on the questions, and thought they would benefit from a second chance to properly apply themselves? Or maybe you’ve noticed a student struggling on the first few questions in an activity, and you wanted to intervene to provide assistance? You can use the reset function to clear an individual student’s activity and have them start again. Navigate to the activity and select the ‘Tracker’. Find the student whose activity you’d like to reset, select any answer cell next to their name, and click the ‘Reset Activity’ prompt. Keep in mind, this feature only applies to individual students, not the whole class.
Students love being rewarded for their efforts, and Think Mentals’ monster-themed rewards are just the thing to motivate them. If your students haven’t already discovered this great feature, encourage them to look at their progress and see which achievements they’ve earned! Students will find their rewards in ‘My Portfolio’. Teachers can also check students’ rewards through ‘My Classroom’ in each student’s individual portfolio.
The Class Assessment Results portfolio provides a summary of assessment results for all students in your class, and also offers a feature to export results. Ensure you export results before the end of the year to inform your reporting, or to give to your curriculum leader for whole-cohort analysis. There are two ways to export your results, depending on how your class has been using the resource. You can either export results for a specific year level or, if your class completed work across multiple year levels, you can export results for all year levels.
Digital portfolios are fantastic for up-to-date results at the click of a button, but as the year draws to a close you’ll want to print these snapshots to pass on to parents or new teachers. Go to ‘My Classroom’ and navigate to a student’s individual student’s portfolio. Open their ‘Practice’, ‘Assessment’ or ‘Rewards’ trackers and simply print from screen to capture a hardcopy or PDF of their results.
Think Mentals Digital Classroom is packed with great features to help you take your mental computation lessons to the next level. To get the most out of your experience, contact us to organise a PD Workshop for your school.
Each year level of Think Mentals includes a carefully planned sequence of strategy learning, practice and revision.
The COVID-19 pandemic may have impacted how you explicitly taught mental computation strategies while students were learning from home. Not to worry! It’s easy to revisit these strategies throughout Think Mentals’ Revision Units and get your students’ mental computation practice…