Guest post from Mote Ambassador Leader - Alex Isaacs, EdTech Specialist in the Long Branch Public Schools District.
As a former middle school math teacher, I’ve seen firsthand how our ability as educators to adapt and innovate influences how effectively we meet our students’ skills and needs. While teaching, I would reflect on the accessibility of the materials I shared with my students and their families and often scrutinize whether my activities were as engaging and relevant. These questions influenced me to consistently look for edtech tools to make learning inclusive, feedback timely, and resources interactive, all to build my students’ interest in mathematics. At times, I struggled to do so at the height of the hybrid and remote learning days, with new platforms and features coming out on what seemed like a weekly basis.
Enter the Mote Chrome extension, which elevated my 8th-grade math class in multiple ways and allowed my diverse learners to succeed in and out of my classroom. From crafting more engaging note slides to sharing audio hints and explanations with my students, Mote became one of the most relied-upon edtech tools that benefitted my students and me in many ways. Over time, some of my most meaningful teaching experiences centered around using Mote, causing this platform to have a special place in my teaching career. Now, I’m excited to share some easy and impactful ways to use this powerful tool to enhance your math instruction.
Mote Players in Note Slides
One of Mote’s standout features is its ability to add audio messages to Google Slides in just three quick clicks. This functionality, which allows teachers to provide more comprehensive answers and explanations to math questions and concepts, became my go-to method to produce more effective, interactive materials. Mote audio messages within note slides are easy to integrate as an added extra layer of accessibility, making complex content more manageable for learners. Students can replay these explanations as often as needed, reinforcing their comprehension and confidence in tackling math problems of all difficulty levels. Furthermore, for additional inclusivity within slides, I often linked different images and icons with Mote hyperlinks, allowing more specific directions and translations to be available to my multilingual learners. Each above strategy helps cultivate a sense of how math is applicable in the real world and elevates curiosity and inquiry within learners. With Mote, it’s simple to implement transformative ideas to upgrade the Google Slides decks many of us already use in our practice.
Guided Problem-Solving with Mote Hints
In math, a well-placed hint can be the difference between a student becoming frustrated or persevering through a challenging question or concept. Embedding tips within my math practice tasks and project-based learning opportunities helped my students unlock solutions while building independence. I would incorporate hints on paper and pencil work with Mote QR codes for my students to scan if they needed additional reinforcement. My tech-based activities were also infused with Mote hyperlinks and audio players, allowing my diverse learners to carry out the necessary steps to solve challenging questions effectively. This targeted guidance with Mote helped foster a growth mindset in my students while having them participate in tasks that instilled productive struggle. Providing hints also contributed to a more harmonious classroom community where learners knew support was readily available in class and at home.
Amplify Student Voice with Mote Explanations
Mote’s integration with Google Classroom and Google Forms took student engagement in my math class to the next level! As a result of Mote, my multilingual learners were more easily able to express their knowledge and understanding while offering answer explanations and reflection responses to different prompts. These benefits were especially true for one of my students who was not proficient at writing but could express himself eloquently with voice. I ultimately let this student provide Mote explanations on Google Classroom and Google Form reflection tasks, increasing his ability to be successful and confident in my math class. Allowing learners to harness the power of voice promotes active learning, deeper self-reflection, and a sense of belonging within a classroom community, as they are more apt to be participatory and contribute to discussions. Mote helped my students feel heard as more frequent meaningful math interactions between myself and my students took place.
Sample Google Classroom Reflection Prompt
Each of the above Mote integrations brings a fresh perspective and approach towards mathematics instruction and learning. The platform’s ability to help educators provide timely feedback, detailed audio explanations plus hints, establish real-world connections with content, and magnify student voices make it an invaluable tool in any classroom. By leveraging Mote’s impressive capabilities, we can create inclusive learning environments while fostering more profound understanding, independent thinking, and a greater love for math. Let’s treat this Fall as an opportunity to embrace the power of Mote and audio to boost our students’ confidence and empower them on their learning journeys in the New Year and beyond!