For the past few years, I have assigned slide presentations and technology based projects as options in semester final projects. In the 18-19 school year I made presentations required since they need to know how to use presentations for not only the SBAC but in college and career.
Each student pair is assigned a topic lesson that is covered on the semester final. Students are to do a multitude of tasks along with their Google Slides presentation. Students are to create interactive activities using technology such as Kahoot, Quizizz, Quizlet, etc. for the class to do during the couple of weeks right before finals as part of their presentation. In at least one of the examples that they do on their slideshow, they must use Desmos to create a table, diagram or graph that models the situation. I created a folder on Google Classroom where their Google Slides will live as they work on them so that other students can look at their work to help them review for the semester final. It becomes an amazing resource for their semester review that they themselves created and can use!
Students were given a couple of months to work on their project. All of my classes had to do this project. At the time of this writing are currently working on semester 2 final projects. There are some pictures and a video for you to see how the presentations are run. They are definitely engaging and student led. Enjoy!
As I have previously stated in part one, implementing the use of Google Apps and other technology in the math classroom covers at least two topics from the Common Core 8 Mathematical Practice Standards. Students are engaged by modeling with mathematics and using appropriate tools strategically.
I am a lifelong learner and this year has been quite challenging. Many would say that I am well-versed in technology usage but I disagree. I have much to learn and have enjoyed this journey immensely. Have a great new school year and I hope to do something innovative this school year!
Below is a gallery of pictures from some of the student presentations.
Some teams of students created an interactive activity using Quizlet. Students also had to create presentations to demonstrate their mastery of concepts.
In the video below students are participating in a student led interactive activity using Quizlet.
This school year I have given multiple professional development workshops on using Google Suite in the classroom. I had also challenged myself in creating them for my students to use in a few of our units of study.
In our Algebra 2 course this year, I had created a template for personal budgeting as an introduction into our unit on Exponential and Logarithmic Functions. Students learned how to use the functions on Google Sheets along with inputting data and information.
Here is a link to the all the functions you can use on Google Sheets.
After using my template for a basic budgeting activity, students were assigned to do research on a career choice and look up statistics on income, future outlook, education requirements and experience requirements. Students then created their own personal budget on Google Sheets with data on what it would look like for them in the future where they would be making loan payments and other personal financial responsibility payments. All students were highly engaged and thoroughly enjoyed the projects involved in the unit. Most saw the relevance of mathematical concepts in their life.
Implementing the use of Google Apps in the math classroom covers at least two topics from the Common Core 8 Mathematical Practice Standards:
Standard#4: Model with mathematics.
“Math doesn’t end at the classroom door. Learning to model with mathematics means that students will use math skills to problem-solve real world situations. This can range from organizing different types of data to using math to help understand life connections. Using real world situations to show how math can be used in many different aspects of life helps math to be relevant outside of math class.”
Standard#5: Use appropriate tools strategically.
“One of the Common Core’s biggest components is to provide students with the assets they need to navigate the real world. In order for students to learn what tools should be used in problem solving it is important to remember that no one will be guiding students through the real world – telling them which mathematics tool to use. By leaving the problem open ended, students can select which math tools to use and discuss what worked and what didn’t.”
Effective teaching of mathematics engages students in making connections among mathematical representations to deepen understanding of mathematics concepts and procedures and as tools for problem solving.
Creating such authentic assessments took time and strategic planning. But the rewards heavily outweighs the work it took to get there. If you are struggling in using this technology software, here is a link to where you can explore and learn more on your own rather than me posting steps on doing one type of thing when there is massively more you can do! (Or you can attend one of my workshops in the future!)
I would like you to go to www.student.desmos.com and type in the class code: D7YNE5. This card sort will help students convert between fractions, decimals, and percents. In addition, students will visualize these representations using an area model.
This card sort is just one type of interactive activity that teachers can find or create on their own to engage students through the use of this online application. Not only can teachers get students to be more engaged but teachers can monitor and control the flow of the lesson from their dashboard. Teachers can see in real time what students are doing on the activity. This is not just a high quality graphing/scientific calculator! Of course, we do want our students to know the ins and outs of this calculator tool since it is the one used on the CAASPP (SBAC Exam). To get a teacher account, go to www.teacher.desmos.com To use the calculator, go to www.desmos.com And, it’s all FREE!!!
Okay, a little background on my journey. This is my second year playing with this online application. I was exploring it last year and used it here and there with what I could find online to supplement lessons in my classroom. I did not learn how to create my own activities. I found it extremely limiting but wanted more because I saw the potential of such a program. This year, I went to my second training at the annual ETC Conference in Stanislaus. I took the wrong class because it was meant for 5th grade and I teach high school. However, I did gain lots by getting resources to libraries created by other educators for Desmos! I was excited about that. Still, it did not satiate my need to create my own activities. Finally, I went to another training that same day that was meant for high school or intermediate level. Once the instructor directed us that way, I continued. He did not give time for going beyond but I dived in and continued and played with all the tools till I finally understood what I needed in order to start creating. I created my first activity and I was so excited to bring it back to my classroom.
I went back to my classroom and I implemented lesson after lesson ranging from basic warm-up activities to two days in-depth analysis that had my students creating, modeling, and analyzing all in the program. Students were highly engaged, even the ones that try to get away with not doing work. Browse through the teacher page and tools and you will find many interactive, fun, and enriching activities for your students that are common core aligned.
I came across not just an application, it became a pedagogy. This is a dynamic resource that we can utilize to meet the needs of our students from many different backgrounds. The pictures below are my students’ answers and work. I have students with special needs and students who are newcomers to the USA as well. It is amazing to see the progress they have achieved this year just by reading their reflections. Take a chance and take that leap. Discover. Ignite that fire in your students that captures their minds and makes them want to learn again. Do something different. I teach high school math but you can make anything yours, you just have to put in time and love.
Here are some screenshots of what my students worked on from my teacher dashboard. I anonymized everyone so they are all famous mathematicians for the day! 😊