Template Ideas for Review and Self-Reflection

*taps the mic*

Is this thing on? Check one… two… three…

*dusts off blog for a biannual post*

I hope that 2021 is ending for y’all much BETTER than it started. Though things are more “normal” here in ATX than they’ve been in nearly two years, that feeling of impending doom is sort of perpetual at this point. It has been SO GOOD to have ALL of this year’s students in-person, seated in cooperative groups, talking and laughing and learning TOGETHER again. My little family of three even took a MUCH NEEDED vacation to Universal Studios Orlando over Thanksgiving break. Got to try out the new-ish VELOCICOASTER and established that, yes, riding Hagrid’s Motorbike Adventure at night is still perhaps the MOST FUN experience on the planet. Haven’t been? YOU SHOULD GO! (P.S. Riding coasters and visiting fabulous theme parks are definitely among my other passions!)

In the world of school, ’tis the season for summative testing, yes? Well, I recently shared some goodies on Twitter that I wanted to hammer down for you here too, in case they’re useful, because they’ve been a big help for my students and for me!

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Desmos Test Review Template

A review template designed to randomly collect one worked problem from each student, and have them present/explain in groups during our in-class review.

https://teacher.desmos.com/activitybuilder/custom/61ab75738d54530a3d3bcfd6

Students first solve *all* problems on your test review prior to using this template for an in-class review (so they’re familiar with ALL THE THINGS they should understand and be able to do, taking time to interact with all content). I like to let students know AHEAD OF working the review themselves that there will ultimately be “student presentations” where each of them will be presenting and explaining a problem to the class, like a TEACHER. I find this helps to improve the QUALITY of their work on the review itself, knowing that a special kind of accountability is on the way.

Teachers, add a screenshot of one review problem as the custom background image for each full-screen “sketch” element in this activity, leaving space for student work. Then, during the next class meeting, the Desmos spinner chooses each student’s fate from there!

Spinner, and other random generators, here! https://teacher.desmos.com/activitybuilder/custom/5eb9c3cad8fbc80c88143908?collections=5e715a2dc59e631cf6962db1

Suggestions for the Teacher: 

• “Pace” all students to Screen 1 only to start. Everybody spins! (I usually allow unlimited spins for 1 minute, then PAUSE the class.) 

• Next, pace students to have access to screens 2 through n.

• Each student navigates to the screen they spun, and solves that one problem only within the Desmos activity at the start. 

• Consider allowing each student to individually solve their problem first, then meet up with the other students who also spun the same problem.

• Use the Teacher Dashboard to select each screen and see which student(s) completed each problem.

• Screen-share student work from the teacher dashboard as student groups present/explain their thinking for their chosen problem to the class. 

• I typically pace all students to each relevant screen as student groups present, and encourage students at their seats to work each problem during student presentations. 

The goal is to leave class with a completed and accurate Desmos review they can return to after class!

WHAT IF A STUDENT IS RANDOMLY GROUPED ALONE? I offer to present with that student, or allow the student to join another group… but surprisingly, many students are happy to fly solo and present the problem to the class alone because “Desmos has chosen!” 👾

WHAT IF THE SPINNER CHOOSES NO STUDENTS TO PRESENT A SPECIFIC PROBLEM? Then I present it as the teacher, or ask if anyone would like to step in (and they do)! As a matter of fact, dare-I-say one of my most anxious students at the start of this school year was quick to volunteer to present a problem ALONE and in front of the entire class on-the-fly recently! I was so insanely proud and moved by her growth in our class… her CONFIDENCE! 🔥 YESSSSS!!!!!!

🎉 Remember to celebrate correct work AND interesting thinking that’s not quite there… yet! 🎉

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Desmos Self-Reflection Card Sorts

These check-in activities will differ vastly by unit, so it’s tricky to try to create an actual “template”. Rather, here are examples you can copy-and-edit and make your own. The “Metacognitive Sort” screen has been beneficial in helping students form questions and advocate more specifically for what they need from me during any sort of review time. The physical task of sorting cards and working through, “Could I solve this problem independently or not?” while NOT having the pressure to ACTUALLY solve it in that moment really seems to help them request exactly the support they need.

Copy-and-edit, and please SHARE BACK TOO! Would love to see what creations come of this idea! And… I think it’s appropriate to say HAPPY HOLIDAYS and HAPPY NEW YEAR… maybe I’ll come back for a new post before June 2022! 😂

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Algebra 1 Examples

https://teacher.desmos.com/activitybuilder/custom/5f933ff6eacee50c4cf0e5fb?collections=5efba4dcb7ef9b080b87c4ca
https://teacher.desmos.com/activitybuilder/custom/61a3917edd3fb50a2f34b293?collections=5efbe8be5ffa4e23a35c590f

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Math 8 Honors Examples

https://teacher.desmos.com/activitybuilder/custom/5f8c4f8b56a58f0cdccc3488?collections=5efa1322ae49c66c2b438485
https://teacher.desmos.com/activitybuilder/custom/61a3d6bcc546380b60abdcd4?collections=5efa2c9b2b0c4b016bbffedd
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2 Responses to Template Ideas for Review and Self-Reflection

  1. Pingback: Take My Hand – Tweaking For No Reason

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