Tell us about yourself:
My name is Amber McCoy and I teach 9th grade algebra at Tegeler Career Center in Pasadena, Texas. I graduated in 2005 from the University of Houston Clear Lake with a BS in mathematics. In 2008 I entered Pasadena’s Alternative Teacher Certification Program. I began teaching in the spring of 2008. I have been at Tegeler for 6 years teaching students who are at risk for not graduating.
How do you use Celly in your math classes?
My use of Celly has morphed from a simple and private way to communicate with students about events, to a place to ask homework questions, to the newest and craziest thing of all: interactive test reviews. I was sending little bits of information the night before our STAAR (State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness) test. All of a sudden a student sent out his own question. I published it and asked my students to answer it, and send more questions of their own. A new, creative and interactive test review was born! We went on for hours. I sent pictures and videos when we were nearing the end. I was so pumped that the students got so involved; I plan to incorporate this into my class next year the night before every test!
How has Celly improved communication (or learning) with your students?
Let me give you another example of something that happened just this morning! Last night Houston was hit with rains and flash flooding. I first received a text from my principal saying school would be delayed two hours. They don’t all watch the news in the morning (they are teenagers!) but I knew they would have their cell phones on so I jumped on Celly and let the students know. A few minutes later I received another text from my principal saying school had now been canceled; I jumped back on Celly and informed all students and parents at once. It was a beautiful thing! As far as learning goes, I will say that the use of Celly has increased the amount of homework I get turned in daily. When students can ask you questions and can receive and answer as fast as a text, everyone is able to finish their homework on time.
What other edtech tools have you found useful for teaching math?
I found Celly on Twitter so I use Twitter a lot to find new thing to use in the classroom. I use Kahoot as a way to assess the class in a very exciting way! Kids scream and jump when we play Kahoot. I also use OneNote and its video making capabilities. I have recently started using IXL’s website as a way to review students who need to take the SATs. They seem to enjoy it and like that they can jump around to different skills.