I really enjoyed the math sessions during this two day workshop. We received so many new ideas, and it was also informative to be able to chat with other math teachers about how they introduce ideas. I introduced the idea of Padlet as a backchannel, which is an idea I got from Hacking Education. It’s a site that’s not blocked in my current country of residence (teaching with restricted internet, now that’s another post altogether!). I wanted to use a site that teachers could still refer to when they went back to their own schools. My padlet for this is here. Take a look. There are great resources here.
Some new ones for me in this workshop:
NRich: This is a site developed by Cambridge, and it is chock full of great math resources (or maths if you’re from the UK). My school is integrating the Habits of Mind, and I love that NRich has a whole section dedicated to developing mathematical habits of mind. I’ve got a display in the hallway with some activities and how I feel they exemplify different habits of mind. Many activities were highlighted both days, and they are useful for both Active Learning and Assessment for Learning. As students are working through tasks, you can see what they can do without assistance, and what skills you may need to go back and work on. I’ve used several activities from here over the last few weeks.
Diagnostic Questions: This site is all about assessment for learning. It was developed by Craig Barton, who I had previously heard of for sharing a load of Tarsia puzzles. You have to create an account, but it’s free. Then you can build quizzes. Questions are all multiple choice questions which have been carefully designed to identify concepts students may not know. What I appreciate about it is that for each question, the student needs to give an answer as to why this is correct. This video gives a great 2 minute overview:
I’ve used this a few times and am still figuring it out. It’s a free site, and it plans to remain free. The idea is that you can look at what students got wrong and see where they went wrong. Teachers can also use it to look at how to plan for misconceptions before teaching new concepts.
Sites I shared in the workshop:
Desmos: I first heard about Desmos last year at a math conference where Dan Meyer was a keynote speaker. He shared a lot of activities, so I started trying it out this year and have become a huge fan. I’ve created one Desmos activity, and usually use ones that are Desmos created. Students can move through at their own pace or the teacher can direct the pace. I love having a dashboard so I can see in real time what students are doing and ask them to modify their answers or add more detail.
Open Middle: I don’t remember where I found out about this. It’s full of great resources for depth of knowledge. I feel these tasks allow for a great range of understanding, and as I learned in the workshop, tasks with “low floor, high ceiling” are wonderful ways to differentiate and accurately assess where students are in their understanding.
Since the workshop, I have been actively trying to incorporate more assessment for learning and active learning in my daily routine. I’m not all the way there yet, but I’m definitely making progress. I have been using Diagnostic Questions regularly, and I’ve been using NRich tasks when I can find some that work well for my learning targets.
What would you add to my list?