Thursday, August 27, 2020

Another Way to Use Desmos

I stumbled across another way to use Desmos.com in the classroom as I was tutoring two boys yesterday and another today.  As I was getting ready for yesterday's session which was for graphing lines using the three forms of a line in Algebra 1, I was using the Desmos calculator.  I was typing in equations to see what I wanted to do with them.  And, then it dawned on me that I was getting to do all the work playing in Desmos, so I thought, hey, I can have my students screen share and pull up Desmos.com and I will tell them what to type.  I will ask them what they notice.  They can get used to the nuances of the math equations.  So, that is what I did and it went really well.  There were two boys in a session yesterday so I had them each share for half the session and I called on each of them to answer my questions.  I thought it was more powerful than just sharing or reading notes to them.

Then, in today's lesson which was introducing Inverses in Algebra 2, I took my regular classroom lesson that starts with plotting points and plotting their inverses (they don't know that yet) and then asking what they notice.  But, last night in bed, as I was trying to fall asleep, I thought, why don't I videotape my session with Charlie and share it as another way to use Desmos.

So, you could use this remotely - synchronous or asynchronous or with kids live in front of you, or to tutor over zoom.

Or, you could ask students to volunteer to be a guest on your video and meet on Zoom outside of class for the student to play student and screenshare what they are doing as you talk them through it.

If you are live in class, but social distancing, you could have your class on zoom, ask a student to share their screen and project from your teacher computer to the front of the room and ask the class questions as the student works.

I really enjoyed both my sessions.  I did videotape Charlie's Algebra 2 live and I reenacted Mitch and Luke's Algebra 1 session to give you an idea of how this might work.

Algebra 1 - Graphing 3 forms of a line

Algebra 2 - Inverses