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College and Career Readiness through Blended Learning

- Authored by: Cathie Maglio

Human side of Blended Learning: Building Relationships

by Cathie Maglio, Blended Learning Specialist

As a blended learning specialist with JFYNetWorks, most of my time is spent in classrooms working with teachers. I train them on our math and reading software programs that students use to strengthen their skills. I do the annoying busy work of enrolling students in the programs and I stay in the classroom to coach and support the teacher while students are working in the software. When I’m not in the classroom, I am running reports on student work to send to the teachers.

Solving the state’s math problem: do the math

by Cathie Maglio, Blended Learning Specialist

Math has been in the news lately. The Globe ran a story on college remediation December 28 (“State colleges trying to solve math problem”) that said only 60% of community college students who have to take remedial math (also called “review” and “developmental”) complete the courses and only one-third of those completers go on to finish a regular degree-credit math course. The article did not say how many of these students ever graduate. Nor did it say that the remedial math population amounts to 47% of recent high school graduates enrolling in community college—more than 4000 students every year.

Roads to Mastery in Math: Math Olympiad

What happens when goals for teaching math, and the strategies employed collide?

by Cathie Maglio, Blended Learning Specialist

When people talk about the Olympics, they mean the sporting event that happens every four years. But did you know there’s a math Olympics that happens every year? It’s called the International Mathematics Olympiad (IMO) and it’s for pre-college students. Over 100 teams compete for gold, silver and bronze medals. Earlier this year, the Republic of Korea took home the gold.

The IMO’s inaugural competition was in 1959. China entered in 1985 and has won the gold 19 times since, while the United States has won it only 6 times since its 1974 debut. Why have Chinese students beaten us so often in math? Speaking as a longtime math teacher, I think it’s the way math is taught in the two countries.

Can learning math actually be fun

Puzzles and games in the classroom could be just the thing.

by Cathie Maglio, Blended Learning Specialist

I love math, in all its shapes and forms. To me, it’s fun. But I’m a math teacher. For many students and teachers, “fun” is not the word they would apply to math. Deadly dull, difficult and boring would be more likely. Wouldn’t it be great if teachers could find a way to make math engaging and fun for students? And for themselves?

Seeking the balance; planting the seed for success

There will always be joys and tragedies.

by Cathie Maglio, Blended Learning Specialist

Another tragic and senseless loss. A Haverhill High student who had just graduated was shot and killed last month when he answered a knock on his door. This student participated in the JFYNet program at Haverhill High last year. I did not know him personally, but having spent many hours and days at Haverhill High I know the principal, many teachers, and dozens of students I have worked with over the past two years. I feel the loss of this young life too.

JFYNet is my Dream Job

My dream Job! How I got here had many twists and turns.

by Cathie Maglio, Blended Learning SPECIALIST

From 5th grade on all I wanted was to be a math teacher. And I did that after graduating from college, but it turned out not to be a good experience for me, so I left the classroom and looked for other forms of instructing. I worked as a data technician, a technical illustrator and tech writer, and a marketing assistant. I got closer to teaching in the classroom when I worked in textbook publishing and got to influence how math concepts were taught in the classroom.

Blended Learning at East Boston High

Creating opportunity through blended learning at East Boston High School.

by Cathie Maglio, Blended Learning SPECIALIST

I witnessed something special in an MCAS Prep class at East Boston High.

I walked into the class and saw students walking around with their laptops talking. As I moved farther into the classroom I saw they were all logged into their math application solving algebra problems, which may sound like nothing much but they were all working together, helping each other, trying to solve the problems without asking the teacher. And I saw one student explaining how to do a problem in Spanish so other students could understand.

You Never Know What the Future Holds!

Be It Chance or By Design, You Sometimes Never Know What the Future Holds For You!

by Cathie Maglio, Blended Learning SPECIALIST

I was in a school library recently when a student came in to take a make up test. His teacher said to me that this student had just received a scholarship to play football at a nearby college. This student never expected to go to college. He did just enough to get by during his junior year and was thinking about going into the military. Now, with the scholarship in hand, he is getting serious about school and doing his work, not to just get by, but to succeed!

This student’s story got me thinking. In my travels as a blended learning specialist at JFYNetWorks, I see so many students who just want to do the minimum or less in school and never think about what the future holds for them. The choices these students make now could affect the opportunities that await them as they get on with life. They never think that an opportunity for them might be right around the corner and they may miss it because of their lack of motivation.

A ‘Graduation Walk’ Not Taken

A ‘Graduation Walk’ Not Taken

by Cathie Maglio, Blended Learning SPECIALIST
I heard a story today that made me sad. It prompted me to think about the complex relationship between schools and students and life.

A member of the senior class at this high school has told his teachers, guidance counselors and administrators that he intends to fail all his classes. He does not want to “walk” to get his diploma with the rest of his class. He plans to go to summer school to make up the classes he failed and get his diploma at the end of the summer. He comes to school and attends classes but he does no work. He has his plan and he’s sticking to it.