A few days ago, I returned from my second GaETC conference. Last year, when I attended this conference, it was the first time that I had presented at a national conference. I remember being so nervous yet excited at the same time. In the words of Lindsay Titus, I was leveling up. The world of GaETC21 was very different than GaETC22. Back then, I wore a mask all the time and I only took my mask off while presenting up front. All of my pictures were taken with a mask and every session had strict social distancing guidelines. I remember being so sad when I needed to send people away.
This year was very different. Those guidelines had been relaxed and I did not need to wear a mask. But more than that, I was different. As I presented my two sessions to packed houses, I could feel myself leveling up, After a year of presenting at conferences like this, I knew how to engage and involve my audiences. I gave them choices on what they wanted to focus on. I gave both sessions my all and I was overjoyed by the feedback by participants. If you attended one or both of my sessions, thank you. You made each session special because of your engagement!
Reviewing what are the ABCs of Transforming Learning are-
Two weeks ago, I shared a blog post called D = Design Collections and Artifacts of Learning. This post shared two free online resources that can truly transform learning for our students. They allow our students to become curators of knowledge and share it with the rest of the learning community.
This week, we will focus on E = Empower Math Discourse. Rather than focus on several applications, this week I chose to focus on just one mighty and powerful application, Desmos. This post shares some of the amazing features of this program and how they can benefit learners at any age with mathematical discourse. I discovered this amazing resource while attending a session on Desmos at GaETC21.. Who could have guessed the impact that attending that one session would have on me? I almost didn't even walk in and asked if this would even apply to my elementary learners. I am so glad I did walk in and Desmos has truly been an amazing tool for my students and me to build a culture of math discourse.
E = Empower Math Discourse with Desmos
Before I can fully explain this amazing tool, I want to take a step back and share my #TechUpTheMath framework. Using this framework, I identify math tools that have at least one of three characteristics or VMI. They take the learning targets and infuse technology in such a way that it does one or more of the following:
What are Desmos' Classroom Activities?
What are Desmos' Polygraphs?
What Can You Do with the Desmos' Teacher Dashboard?
The Desmos teacher dashboard gives educators super powers. It allows you to monitor your students' work, with a choice of 4 different views- snapshot, teacher view, student view, and summary view. This allows you to keep an eye on your students as they work.
In addition, it also has a classroom conversation toolkit. This toolkit allows educators to pace students as they work, and only allow them to access certain slides. This gives you the power to pause slides to get the students' attention. Plus, you can even anonymize your students with the names of famous mathematicians. The teacher dashboard also allows you to leave written feedback for your students.