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Classroom Stories

Laurie Ellis

Math teacher at Leadership Public Schools, CA
"I have always used technology in my classroom and I’ve seen many different platforms. Gooru lets us pull together a variety of resources and track student progress all in one place. I especially like the ability to see student time on task and that students can easily access resources for review of concepts independently. Gooru gives us a space for students to work and learn independently. We want to encourage them to be self-advocates. It allows me as a teacher to differentiate learning and help students reinforce specific skills and concepts. Each kid is working on different concept in math and also on different strategies for doing school."

Mackey Pendergrast

Superintendent at Morris School District, NJ
“For the Morris School District, Gooru is about the empowerment and it is about possibility.Morris School District strives to be on the nexus of transformative instructional practices and re-imagined learning environments through curating innovative practices, leveraging progressive technology systems, and embracing a growth mindset. Gooru has all of the tools that a teacher or school needs to achieve these ambitious goals. It is a powerful instrument that will empower our students and teachers and promote greater student ownership and personalization of the learning process. 

"Ultimately, at the heart of any learning experience is the interaction between the teacher and the student. Gooru will assist our teachers in creating, curating, and remixing powerful lessons by using its seamless platform to access digital online resources. As a result, Gooru's platform allows our teachers to connect with students in more meaningful ways because it allows teachers to use their ingenuity and judgement to meet students' needs in an incredibly efficient manner.”


Student at Leadership Public Schools, CA, Class of 2019
Yamiley entered LPS Richmond in 9th grade from a middle school that had not adequately prepared her for the rigors of high school. She had 5th grade math skills and struggled with time management, organization, and setting goals for herself. "Navigate Math and the tools we used were really good," she affirmed. "I had a better idea of what I needed to focus on, where I needed to improve, and how to plan my work. Plus I just really liked math more...the class let me focus on what I needed to do, so I could watch videos and do exercises on my own until I understood better, or work with my team. I didn't feel as lost and I pushed myself more than I ever had in middle school." By the end of the year, she had accelerated her math skills by more than two years and was doing well in Algebra 1. "Math is now my favorite class. But I am grateful because what I learned in Navigate Math is helping me in all my classes."

Quantum Camp

At QuantumCamp, elementary and middle school students chase big math and science ideas. And they have fun doing it. 
They test, observe, experiment, share, and debate. They do math and science the way it was meant to be - thrilling, exciting, engaging, enjoyable. 

QuantumCamp is based in Palo Alto, CA, and is a math and science mini school operating programs for homeschooled students and summer campers. QC math and science teams are building a holistic outside-the-classroom, personalized learning platform using Gooru collections. “Gooru lets them continue their learning when they’re not with us,” said Sharon Buckby, QuantumCamp’s Director of Education.
Gooru collections include resources, articles, videos, and problem sets for that week and review content that students learned that week. 

QuantumCamp began using Gooru about a year ago. “Gooru helps us cater to different skill levels of students. It has the features necessary for delivering key academic content to students who are reinforcing classroom ideas at home.”

Sophia Thomas

Math Teacher at Leadership Public Schools, CA
“I was pretty hesitant about the idea of giving my students free reign to direct their own learning. I’m a control freak that wants things to go a certain way, and I was afraid that students wouldn't learn as much if I wasn't in control. But I’m also a risk taker and I like trying new stuff, so I decided to give it a try even though it was scary. The kids rose and exceeded my expectations. It was really cool to see how engaged they were. With less pressure to complete scheduled assignments, they started learning things at a deeper level. I’m no longer the basin of all knowledge, and students are empowered to learn from each other. With these new instructional approaches, kids have more agency and they felt more in charge...Now I feel like I’m finally able to address their needs, and I can focus not just on filling skill gaps, but on teaching them how to learn.”

Daffney, Jackie, and Alondra

Students at Leadership Public Schools, CA
Daffney, Jackie, and Alondra entered their first year in high school feeling frustrated and ashamed of their math skills. As Alondra commented, “I felt like I missed at least a whole year of math in 8th grade. ”  Daffney added, “I didn’t even know what integers were!  I was confused all the time.”

All three students credit Navigate Math with helping them fill in missing math skills and improving their confidence as students.  “Even though I didn’t want to have to take two math classes, I was able to do better in Algebra 1 because of the extra support I was getting,” remarked Jackie.  Now, all three are planning on taking Algebra 2 at a local college over the summer so that they can stay on track to take AP Calculus before they graduate from high school.  Alondra even hopes to become a math professor some day.  “Because of the group work in the class, I found that I was able to explain concepts to other students really well,” she said, “and I also realized I could teach myself new math skills.

Sarah Smith

7th/8th grade, ELA andWorld History Teacher at Riverside Unified School District
When the students at Central Middle School received one-to-one netbooks five years ago, Ms. Smith was among the first teachers to recognize the value of enriching lessons with Internet-based resources. Ms. Smith, who teaches world history, language arts, and dance, immediately understood that these netbooks could become windows into a broad, rich world of educational content.
Building such a high-performing classroom around digital content and one-to-one devices has required preparation, resourcefulness, and the right tools. Ms. Smith begins work on her Gooru content weeks before she uses it, carefully writing narration for every resource. It’s this combination of far-sightedness and resourcefulness that makes Ms. Smith’s classroom such a phenomenal example of one-to-one device implementation. Thanks to the thought that she’s put into preparing her curriculum, class time is serene and productive. “I’m hands-off,” says Ms. Smith. “I just walk around and facilitate.”