This year, Aiora Aizpurua, taught 1st grade in Colegio Alkartasuna Lizeoa de Beasain, in the Basque Country. After her first year with Innovamat, she wanted to share what she felt and her experiences to encourage other teachers who, like her, are going to have to learn or are learning how to ‘use Innovamat’ in their classrooms.
Aiora, What do you think is the most positive aspect of working with Innovamat?
Hello! Well, as a teacher, it gives you a lot of security. The session is completely prepared and the only thing you have to is study it. Additionally, everything is very well organized, in the Numbers Lab you work on this, Adventures, that… The only thing you have to do is decide what you are going to teach in each session and get to it. And give 100% to your students.
What you mentioned about identifying the content is important as math is tricky, if you don’t understand the foundation, it’s not easy to progress…
I’ve never liked math and this year, when I saw the project, I started to love it. I think that I projected this onto the kids as well. When I tell them that it’s time for math, they get excited and I think: “What’s this about?!” They are much more motivated, it doesn’t matter if they make a mistake, one child has one strategy, another has another strategy… it’s all very fluid. They discuss amongst themselves and work things through, and this helps them to support each other.
Apart from motivation, do they seem more keen to participate to you?
Without a doubt. First everyone works together, then small groups and lastly, individually with their notepads. The students learn to work in groups, participate and verbalize their ideas. Often they don’t feel like they are studying math, they feel like they are playing and I think, “If you knew how many additions you have done in this session without meaning to or knowing it…’
School: Alkartasuna Lizeoa (Beasain)
What is the advantage of working with Innovamat for teachers?
I’ve been teaching for 11 or 12 years and I have realized one thing, it’s like taking medicine. The doctor can’t make their tablets, go to the lab, run tests, go to the patients and tell them how many tablets they need to take. Well, the same thing happens to us. I’m a teacher and I need someone to create teaching material so that I can then go and apply it in the classroom. And I think that Innovamat does that, they do the work in the lab so that afterwards, we can use it in our lives, in our classrooms. Each classroom is its own world.
What I want is to be with my students and share this moment with them. This is my vocation.
How was it starting with Innovamat?
At the start, it’s normal to be scared. But in the end, when you understand everything and you have a universal view of the course… everything makes sense. It’s true that you have to flip a switch, given that you have to enjoy encouraging working in a group, but, in my case, as I have always liked that dynamic, it has been easy.
Also, having someone supporting you and constantly resolving your doubts is invaluable. The account manager is essential.
Let’s talk about families, were there many doubts? Did it take a lot for them to make the change at home?
Each term I sent the families a video tutorial showing them how we do additions, how to use the manipulative material… so they can work on it at home or, at least so that they know how we work. And they really appreciated that.
Although it is true that there are often doubts because the parents say that they didn’t study in this way or that the kids are too young to work on an app…
True! About the Innovamat App…
But, first, these kids have grown up with technology, they are much more competent than we are. Second, when the access the app from home, they can see there and then how we did the additions, the geometry games… The kids get really motivated with the app.
The app makes everything make sense, it globalizes everything. For example, in the Lab sessions, if you see something that is unclear or hasn’t been internalized, put the game on the screen and we’re off!