The Weeks Keep Flying By…

This time of year, I feel like the days just slip through my fingers.  So many good things are happening, and yet I haven’t stopped to reflect and post about them.  At all!  Forgive my drive-by approach at summarizing a few recent edu-wins that may benefit you and your students too.

(1) After participating in a Global Math Department online meeting with a Desmos theme, I fell in love with an activity featured by Shelley Carranza, inspired by the work of Bob Lochel, entitled “Parabolas and the Number d”.  I edited it ever-so-slightly, and used it with my Algebra students with some skepticism that they’d see the things I wanted them to see regarding the mysterious “d” (discriminant).  To my pleasure, they nailed it.  It’s really effective to feature student work using the “Overlay” feature!  Thanks so much for sharing, Shelley and Bob Lochel! Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 5.40.32 PM

(2) My PLC-mates and I have been using Socrative on nearly a daily basis.  There really isn’t a simpler tool to create a quick-check on the fly.  The other day, students were practicing simplifying expressions and I had them enter their answers using Socrative so we could examine trends quickly.  I display this matrix for the class to see once all students have entered their responses.  Great questions like, “How are people getting zero for number 6?” become common practice.  Often, the kids find more value in wrong answers than in correct ones.  We try to pick apart the problems students miss (all the while their names aren’t attached to their work) to correct misconceptions. Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 6.08.37 PM

With Socrative automatically-generated codes, “quizzes” are really easy to share.  Try this one on solutions to inequalities in one variable.  The “quiz” (which I used as a teacher-paced warm-up/discussion starter in class) takes advantage of the feature that allows more than one answer in a multiple-choice prompt to be correct. Go to and import this quiz for ideas, and if you make something awesome, share your quiz code here, and/or on Twitter using the #MTBoS hashtag. Share Quiz: SOC-21965015   Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 5.56.18 PM


(3) When I saw that the original Des-Man activity, inspired by Fawn Nguyen, was down for the count, I whipped up my own.  Then David Petro gave it a linear-only makeover, and I used his version with my Math 8 students.  It’s super fun to see what they came up with.

I’m partial to the turtle. Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 6.15.27 PM Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 6.15.04 PM

Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 6.24.55 PM     IMG_4278


(4) Today was polynomial vocabulary day. Kind of a yawn, unless you get students involved in creating various polynomials using Nearpod “Draw”.  Amazingly, they get SO EXCITED to have some say-so in the lesson examples.  They were in hysterics at their own creations, and frankly, so was I.


(5) In case you missed it, this was a recent opportunity to share with the folks at MindShift about @Desmos love:

Screen Shot 2016-04-22 at 6.37.57 AM


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