Typically, I use Desmos Activities at the beginning or end of a lesson. I have found it as a great tool to introduce or wrap up a class. However, recently I have been using activity builder more in my classroom every day. A new thing I have been doing is pairing Desmos Activites with worksheets.
Pros of pairing them together
Students are writing more!
After students complete one problem on their sheet, they follow along with the Desmos Activity until they are told to stop and move to the next problem.
Problems go more in depth after they solve it on their paper. Students are asked to explain their answers.
Students can check their answers.
Instead of being called over to ask if “they did it right” students can check their answers on their own and move at their own pace.
Students can also compare their answers with other students all around the room
You know how ALL of your students are doing at all times
You can see if they are doing it correctly all in one place. I’ll walk around with my iPad as I help students.
If you realize that a lot of students are struggling with a certain problem you can put the activity on teacher mode and talk about it as a class.
You get immediate Feedback!
This is a great space to give an “exit ticket”, see where students are, and how you can help them!
Here is an example of a worksheet and the Desmos Activity that goes along with it about graphing and solving systems of equations.
Students tend to struggle with symbolic logic. It’s hard for them to see the order of the logical statements and the reasons behind it. They want to use the inverse or converse to prove something because it’s there. I feel like it’s hard for them to visualize why they can’t do it with symbols until they see why it doesn’t work elsewhere.
We had some time after a quiz on a long block day (85-minute class), and I decided to let their creative side show.
I asked the students to create a children’s book using logic statements.
They needed at least 10 statements
Create a story with fluidity by using the transitive property, contrapositive, and conditional of the statement at least once ( & identify when they used what)
I gave the students the story “If you give a Mouse a Cookie” as an example
This really helped especially with creative transitive statements. For some reason, they seem to struggle with identifying transitive statements when creating proofs.
I let students decide how they wanted to create the story. Some students created theirs on paper while others created it on power point, pages, or google docs. I wanted everyone to see the other stories, however, class time didn’t allow that.
I decided to utilize the wiki feature on Haiku, and I set up a wiki assignment where every student uploaded their story. For homework, student’s had to comment on at least 4 other stories from any of the three geometry classes. This has the same effect as a gallery walk with post-it notes, but it’s now archived on their Haiku. This was a fun activity that didn’t take up too much time. Students really enjoyed creating stories!
I love projects. From my observations last year, students seemed to get a lot out of applying their knowledge instead of taking a formal written assessment. After learning basic geometry vocabulary and briefly playing around with Geogebra for constructions, I created an art project for students to show me what they know.
Feedback I received:
15 words is a lot (agreed)
Some students said they would have liked it better if they didn’t have to use GeoGebra. Part of the assignment is learning the software, so that part is staying for next year.
Most students said that creating their pictures and having to write about what they did using the vocabulary really helped them visualize the vocab and apply it, instead of just memorizing
I also gave a quiz on the vocab after this project. Although this way a graded project, it was used as a way to enhance their learning, not just assess it. Below are some of the amazing projects I received. My students are so creative!!! I also had my students do a gallery walk (each received 4 sticky notes but they asked for more) when the project was due. This gave them a chance to see other people in their classes work and made everyone feel good about their work 🙂