Guzinta Math 6 (Windows & Mac)

guzinta math windows

This morning, I wrapped up some final work on compiling all 15 Grade 6 Guzinta Math lesson apps into one Windows application (and a few days later into one Mac application). To try it out, visit the download page.

At the moment, since there have been few downloads of the application, you may see a warning from your SmartScreen or other defender, which you can ignore. Once it has been downloaded enough (I don’t know the number) the defender warning will go away.

Modules Zero

guzinta math windows

My main project for the next year is to build a Module 0 for each lesson. At the moment, there is some useful but mostly placeholder material there. Here is a look at the lesson homepage for Fraction by Fraction Division.

What will go in Module 0? Instruction inspired by the principles of variation theory. This Module 0 will not be monitored by the Practice Meter, and will serve to provide students a scaffold into the learning in the other modules as well as provide a differentiation tool if educators should need it.

Grades 7–8 Package and Other Platforms

Before writing the zero modules, however, I’d like to finish updating the lesson apps to Version 5.0. This version includes the zero and fourth modules, and has a bit slicker look. As of this writing, I’ve got 14 lesson apps in Grades 7–8 to update. These will all be updated as individual Chrome apps first and placed on the Chrome Web Store for download to Chromebooks.

Once these are updated to Version 5.0, I can package them together (all 16 lesson apps for Grades 7–8) into one application, just as is done for Grade 6.

Other Enhancements

I’ve got a lot of different enhancements in mind as well. A version for classroom use—where there is a single computer or just a few—with student login would be pretty simple to knock out. That way, individual practice meters could still be tracked while students use just one version of the application. Also, timestamping and individualizing end-of-module certificates is on my mind for the future—as is a repository of practice problems.

What else? A version completely online has been mentioned. I would also like to put together some how-tos and “better” practices documentation for different use cases (home school, school and home, classroom only, etc.). New content for statistics and probability standards, correlations to popular curricula. So many things that will have to wait for another day!

Notes

Another task I have on my list to do is to build up the information around the lessons. For example, as mentioned above, each of the lesson apps in this package (and in future packages) has a Module 0 that is not tracked via the Practice Meter, although it does contain questions with correct answers. This will not change—students should have at least one fairly robust module in each lesson that isn’t about being assessed in some way. Even if these modules zero will be used less frequently, it’s important to have them, for reference, for a way to test yourself before diving into the practice meter work, etc.

In some cases, too, the fourth module of an app is not linked to the Practice Meter. These are usually exploratory modules. If a Module 4 has questions whose answers can be checked (by submitting an answer and pressing the check button), then it is linked to the Practice Meter. Otherwise, it is not.

Welcome to Guzinta Math’s Blog

Okay, all set. Welcome, welcome, welcome to the Guzinta Math blog! Here you’ll see things about what we’re developing and thinking about at Guzinta Math, along with content we can’t yet predict.

For the past two years, and likely for the next year or so, we have been and will continue to be mostly heads-down developing supplemental math lesson apps for middle school—6th, 7th, and 8th grades. As of this writing, we have fifteen Grade 6 lesson apps, seven Grade 7 lesson apps, and one Grade 8 lesson app. All of our math lesson apps are FREE Chrome apps, which can be found and installed on the Chrome Web Store or on our website. The Grade 7 and 8 lesson apps are compatible with Chrome OS (Chromebooks) only, and the Grade 6 apps are currently compatible with all operating systems (though that will stop being the case in early 2018). We have plans down the road to make sure that all of our apps work (in Chrome) with all operating systems. Stay tuned.

How Do the Apps Work?

Each lesson app contains 3 modules and instructor notes, which can be downloaded as a PDF. Each module contains video instruction, text or animated worked examples, and/or interactive instructional tools, along with short-response questions for students. Below, for example, is a short “in action” video from the first module of the Grade 6 Equations and Inequalities lesson app. It features Sal the Lizard, an interactive instructional game for teaching students about inequalities and graphing inequalities. Not shown here is that students are given audio directions for the interactive when they click on it.

The lesson app Equations and Inequalities is a bit of an outlier, because it is heavy on interactives. There is one in each module of that lesson app, actually. This is usually not the case. But the above layout is what you see in pretty much every module of every lesson app—interactives, videos, and worked examples on the left side and short-response questions on the right. Both sides are separately scrollable, and both sides also automatically scroll as students answer questions. You can see this in the “in action” video below, from the Grade 6 Quadrants in the Plane lesson app.

This is also a bit of an outlier, in that both sides scrolled together after just one question. That happens in the Quadrants in the Plane lesson app for a few questions, because we need the full right side to allow students to plot points to complete the problem. In most cases, a worked example, video, or interactive is used for a handful of questions on the right. These scroll automatically as students answer them, and then the left side scrolls automatically once the lesson is ready to move on to the next example. You can see that when you answer incorrectly, a red X is shown for a moment. When you answer correctly, a yellow star appears and a “ding” plays. No penalty applies to answering questions incorrectly. The red X is not accompanied by any sound at all.

We’ll come back to talk about features in a different post. But one thing that is visible in the video above is the drawing canvas, which is powered up by clicking on the left sidebar—the sidebar is present in all three modules of every lesson app. Turning on the drawing canvas allows teachers and students to draw all over the top of the screen—to highlight information, write notes, etc. You can choose four different colors: red, green, black, and blue.

When students complete all the items in a module correctly, an “applause” is played and a certificate of completion is displayed, which can be downloaded by a simple click. Below is an example of a certificate from the Grade 7 Proportion Equations lesson app.

certificate of completion welcome

More to Come

Okay, we’ve gone on with this welcome for far too long already. Thanks for sticking it out, and watch this space in the future for longer-form updates on our lesson apps, their features, and middle school math in general.