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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 concepts in math and also on different strategies for doing school."

Sophia Thomas

Math Teacher at Leadership Public Schools, CA
“I was pretty hesitant about the idea of giving my students free rein 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 someday.  “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 and World 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 have required preparation, resourcefulness, and the right tools. Ms. Smith begins work on her Gooru content weeks before she uses it, carefully writing the 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.”