Since we released an early version of Happy Numbers, we’ve received lots of input from you, our beloved users, on how we can make it better. Your comments, requests, and feedback are an important part of our development process and we are very thankful to you for that.
Among the things you asked for, “a possibility differentiating based on ability groups” is for sure at the top of the list. Today we added this functionality to Happy Numbers. But before explaining how it works, special thanks go out to all teachers who helped us to field test this feature before it was released to all users:
All set to use @happynumbers for guided math groups tomorrow! Really cool new features allow easy differentiation for online groups!
— Brian Wiesbrook (@BrianWiesbrook) February 2, 2014
So, how can you start differentiating the assignments in your class?
Step 1. Divide the students into groups
Before assigning different activities to different groups of students in your class, you first need to divide your students into ability groups. When you log in to your Happy Numbers account, you will find on your class page a new column, called Groups:
By default, all students belong to Group 1, but can be sorted into as many as 5 groups with just a few clicks of the mouse:
It’s quick and easy to set up, especially if you have already established ability groups in your class. Also, you can easily move your students from one group to another, as needed.
Step 2. Assign exercises to different groups
Once you set up your groups, you will see that the ‘All exercises’ page now allows you to assign exercises to each of the groups independently:
Exercises selected for one group will appear in the accounts for the students in that group but not for others. If desired, you can assign an exercise to more than one group.
We realize how important differentiation is in math instruction. We also realize that unless it is easy for teachers to manage, it oftentimes doesn’t happen. We tried our best to make this feature simple and effective for classroom use.
So, now it’s your turn: Share with us (in the comments below or by email) what you think about this feature as well as the way you use Happy Numbers – Do you use Happy Numbers in small-group centers? What do your centers look like? Do you use homogeneous or heterogeneous grouping?
And as always, make sure your colleagues and math specialist know about differentiating with Happy Numbers!
Happy Numbers Team