Thomas (TJ) Keslick, Grade 6 Teacher at St. Thomas Aquinas CES in Keswick was recently recognized as a Top Impact Influencer by Knowledgehook.
Knowledgehook is an Instructional Guidance System that uses engaging assessments to unlock insights and expert guidance for math teachers. The assessments are delivered through web applications in fun, game-like formats. Knowledgehook’s Impact Program recognizes teachers who demonstrate teaching methods of putting research into practice in their classrooms.
“Thomas’ impact story shares strategies that teachers can use to prevent students from falling through the cracks and experience success in mathematics,” said MaryLou Kestell, Teacher Impact Award Program Lead and past president of the Ontario Association for Mathematics Education.
Keslick uses the “Game Shows” and “Missions” features of the Knowledgehook application as diagnostic tools to assess if the students have the required skills to understand a new topic.
“Game Shows are a great activity for the whole class,” explains Keslick. “Similar to Kahoot, it allows me to quickly gauge student understanding; who is struggling and who needs immediate intervention. I can then give students immediate feedback. I can also assign Missions as an individual task that allow students to work through two to three targeted questions at their own pace.
“Using a combination of Game Shows and Missions allows me to determine which students require targeted interventions, determine if students are ready for evaluation or if they require re-teaching of a concept.”
Keslick also uses the application to group students together based on shared common misconceptions. Organizing students into flexible groups where they can explain their thinking to one another helps to clarify their mathematical understanding of a problem. Keslick also encourages his students to use individual whiteboards to work out their solutions, and upload an image of their solution for me via the Knowledgehook website. The individual whiteboards allow students to freely record their work, knowing that if they make an error they can quickly erase and correct it. The low risk environment of his classroom means students are not afraid to make mistakes and see errors as opportunities to learn. These tactics help prevent his students from falling through the gaps.
The York Catholic District School Board recognizes the importance of modern web-based teaching methods, especially during this period of remote learning. It sincerely congratulates Keslick on being named as a Top Impact Influencer.