Welcome!

This course is about learning and understanding the concepts necessary to pass the math section of the Alaska High School Graduation Qualifying Exam (HSGQE).  The course is is designed to be extremely flexible in order to meet your needs.  Passing the HSGQE is required for High School graduation.

Table Of Contents

Welcome!

Table Of Contents

Licensing Fine Print

About the Instructor

How to keep in contact

About Netiquette

How We Get Started

Course Details

Course Objective

Overall Course Schedule

Weekly Course Structure

Weekly Assignments

Hands-On Assignment

Example Problem(s)

Weekly Course Assignment Submissions

Assessment of Assignments

Weekly Video Conference

Skype

ClassDojo

SyncPad

Outside Resources

Kahn Academy

Online Games

Practice Exams

Licensing Fine Print

The materials created for this course, including this document, is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

In everyday terms, that means that all the content you see as part of this course can be copied, modified, and shared with anyone for any purpose that you want, as long as you don’t charge for it.  Just be sure to give either myself or whoever the original author was (e.g. the Kahn Academy) credit for the original work.

About the Instructor

 Hi, my name is Colin Osterhout, and that’s me to the left.  I’m currently enrolled as a graduate student at the University of Alaska Southeast in the Masters of Education, Educational Technology program.  I work as a Technology Specialist for SERRC, a non-profit educational resource center based in Juneau, AK.  I have a wife and two great kids: a little boy and a little girl.  When I’m not helping people solve their technology problems or learning about education, I’m typically spending time with them.  Whenever I can carve out a free minute I like to play music, hunt, play hockey, judo, and cook.  I would love to spend more time traveling with my family.  I wish I had more time to read for fun.

How to keep in contact

The best way to get in contact with me for questions that may you have concerning things outside the weekly course material is through email at colin@akgeeks.net.  Unless otherwise notified, expect me to respond to emails within one business day, and frequently I will do better than that.  My Skype account is “colin_osterhout”, if you see me online through Skype feel free to send me an IM anytime.  If you’re so inclined you can look me up through Facebook and Twitter (@costerhout) as well.

About Netiquette

Proper etiquette in a classroom environment describes how we behave respectfully and responsibly towards each other.  Some key principles:

The online course environment is much the same.  If you have any questions or concerns please let me know right away so we can address them.

How We Get Started

The first things we want to accomplish are taking the math portion of the AK HSGQE practice test as well as submitting a response for the Tutoring Needs Assessment.  The practice test answers can be printed out, filled in, scanned, and submitted over email, or you can simply record your results (multiple choice and narrative) in an email.  The Tutoring Needs Assessment is an online survey form.

Course Details

Course Objective

The objective during this 12 week tutoring course is to understand the concepts necessary to pass the math portion of the Alaska High School Graduation Qualifying Exam (HSGQE).  Emphasis is placed on learning the vocabulary and test taking strategies necessary to be more confident when it comes time to take the exam.

Overall Course Schedule

Content to be worked on is developed on a week-by-week basis and is based largely upon the results of the HSGQE practice test results and the progress made during the preceding week.  A rough guide as to the focus of the course as it progresses:

Weekly Course Structure

The course is meant to be mostly student driven and split into two different parts: a one-hour weekly session over Skype between the instructor and yourself and weekly modules containing sample problems, online resources such as games, Kahn Academy lessons and exercises, and vocabulary words.  Work is broken down into “modules”, with each module designed to ideally be one week’s worth of work.

Weekly Assignments

Hands-On Assignment

Each week I will work with you to come up with an activity that will require you to use what you’ve learned in class to solve a problem in the real world.  Whenever and however possible, this activity should use existing skills and interests that the student has to serve as an anchor for the student and to make it fun.  

Ideally the activity would take up to two hours to complete and allow you an opportunity to be creative and choose their outcome for the assignment as long as it meets the requirements that we agree upon.

Example Problem(s)

In addition to the weekly hands-on activity we will develop one or more example problems that will be relevant to the your interests.  These problems will typically be word problems that will require you to identify how to translate the narrative into the set of math equations necessary to solve the problem.  In addition, you will be given the opportunity to develop and solve your own word problem using the example as a guide.

Weekly Course Assignment Submissions

Whenever possible, coursework to be completed will be assigned through Edmodo.  Assignment submissions should be submitted through Edmodo as well.

Assessment of Assignments

When possible, assignments will be handed out through the Edmodo course site.  Either typed out or scanned work on paper is sufficient.  Feedback will be provided through Edmodo in the form of typed responses and badges. Work on problems is assessed according to the following scale:

What’s really important is to try each problem and show your work whenever possible.  Even if you don’t get the correct answer, or aren’t even close to having the correct process to get the right answer, showing your work is important so everyone can see where your thought process was going when it got off track.

Weekly Video Conference

Skype

We will use Skype as the main tool to communicate to each other every week during a regularly scheduled meeting.  Skype is a well-known, easy to use, and reliable service that allows for real-time discussion and sharing of video.

ClassDojo

To provide feedback during the weekly video conference, we will utilize ClassDojo (http://www.classdojo.com).  You can look back and see a tally for their feedback during the session organized by day:

SyncPad

During the online tutoring session we have started using a tool called SyncPad (https://syncpadapp.com) as an interactive whiteboard so that we could both draw on the screen.  What’s useful about this tool is the ability to load up a background image (for example a sample problem from the HSGQE), and draw on it to highlight terms.

Outside Resources

Kahn Academy

We will be using video resources and exercises from the Kahn Academy (http://www.kahnacademy.org).  Kahn Academy provides a wide variety of instructional materials in a format that is entirely self-paced; you can choose when and how quickly to move through the videos and exercises.  These resources provide two benefits to this tutoring effort: first, the instructor can assign a set of videos and exercises for the student in order to support the topics discussed during the weekly video conference.  Secondly, whenever you may want to, you can choose to work on other areas to cover fundamentals or to see where the current line of work is leading to.  

Kahn Academy keeps track of the areas and statistics of where students devoted their time on the site:

Vocabulary Practice

Learning vocabulary is important to being able to speak “math” and being a confident test-taker.  Every week we will use Quizlet (http://www.quizlet.com) as a means to keep track of vocabulary words to focus on for the week.  The student has the ability to add definitions that work for them and a variety of ways to view the vocabulary words as flash cards:

Online Games

As we move through the course we will make an effort to find educational games to supplement the learning materials.  The intention here is to have fun developing improved mental math skills and feel more comfortable with mathematical representations of numbers.

Practice Exams

As we get closer to the end of the tutoring I will assign HSGQE practice exams in order to gain confidence under simulated test conditions with respect to time allowed, any IEP accommodations, etc.