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Math Department

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AP Calculus

How we use Khan Academy

How we use Khan Academy at Buckingham, and why we use it.


What is Khan Academy?

Khan Academy is a free website that provides tutorial videos, practice questions, and mastery assessments for all of the California math standards from Kindergarten to AP Calculus.


How we use it?

As the math department of Buckingham Charter, we all use Khan Academy as a formative and summative assessment tool, not as an instructional tool.  This means that we, math teachers, are able to look at each student’s individual progress through the skills they are required to master and intervene where we see students who need help, and push students forward who have already mastered current skills.  There is also a parent account feature, which lets you keep track of your student’s progress as well.



One of the biggest problems in math education is that students get passed on from one math class to the next, without actually mastering the skills they need in order to be successful in the next year’s course.  Khan gives us data on where students have holes, and tells if they are actually ready to move on, not just from year to year, but chapter to chapter and lesson to lesson.  Additionally, with 30 or so students in a typical math class, there will be a large range of skill levels, so what is routine for one student may seem impossible for another.  Letting each student work on the skill that they need to practice allows each student to be making progress forward.


How does it work?

Students are expected to consistently be making progress through the skills teachers assign.  These means they are moving from “NeedsPractice” to “Practiced” when initially assigned, and moving to“Mastered” by the time of the chapter or unit test that corresponds to those skills.  They are expected to maintain mastery through the semester final.  So in other words, a student’s progress for each assigned skill is measured three different times throughout a semester, first as daily practice, second for mastery by the unit or chapter test, and lastly as part of the student’s final grade.  Since it is important that students are always making progress, students can receive up to 70% on any late Khan Academy assignments throughout a semester.

Buckingham’s Custom Math Progression System

Because students have the ability to work ahead as well as the ability to work on previously taught, but unmastered skills, Buckingham has created a customizeable plan for students who need an alternative to the traditional math class.  


Here is how it works:  There are 4 quarter tests each year, students must demonstrate mastery of the skills from all four quarters by passing all four assessments with a minimum of 70% in order to move on to the next year’s math course.  


Retaking Tests: If they do not pass a given test, they can retake the assessment, but only after they have mastered at least 80% of the corresponding skills from a given test.  Of course it would be ideal that these skills were mastered before the quarter assessment, but we know that not every student will.  This gives students a chance to remediate coursework that they need to be successful in their next year of math, and beyond.  


Moving Forward: The same goes for students who would like to move through the curriculum faster.  If a student has mastered at least 80% of the skills for a given quarter of math, they can choose to take that assessment early.  If they do this for all four quarters before the normal time, they can then begin working on the next year’s curriculum which will be available through our school website in the form of guided notes and video lessons created by our staff.

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