Created my first desmos activity…

This year I would like to blog once a week for two purposes.  One is that I would like to keep track of activities that I use in my class every week.  The second is that I need more feedback.  I am struggling to know when I am doing a really great lesson, and when I am just doing okay.  I was really excited to see #MTBoSBlaugust challenge posted by @druinok.  My goal is to blog once a week for this month in preparation for the school year.

It’s been a few years since my last blog post, and I feel the need to reintroduce myself.  Hi!  I’m Katie, and I teach Algebra I, AP Stats and AP Calc BC in a suburban district in Massachusetts.  I have taught Algebra I each year since I became a teacher, and am walking into year 6.  I finally feel like the curriculum and activities are at a good spot, and now my focus is on going deeper and watching my pacing.  This summer I am taking a course on technology in Algebra I and one assignment was to create an activity using technology.  I’ve been using desmos for years, but I have never attempted to make my own activity and so I said why not…

FYI, if you haven’t used the activity maker in desmos, it is really easy to use and intuitive.  I decided to try to work on exponents since this is where my students traditionally struggle.  I wanted to focus on the idea of equivalent expressions, so that my students could make the connections between the initial expression and the most simplified.  We do card sorts, think pair shares, and lots of practice but it does not seem to make sense to my kids.  Well, this is what I came up with: Powers and Exponent Practice

I think it could use some help, and most specifically I would like my students to engage in more showing their thinking.  Any advice or help would be most appreciated!

 

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Hints…

At Shadow Con, Michael Pershan’s call to action was to think more carefully about hints and to write them as part of your lesson plan. Plan the hints before the lesson. I try really hard to not give hints that are too leading or too ambiguous, but I normally don’t plan them out and at times have been stuck in class. Last week, I spent a good part of Tuesday thinking about how to construct hints for a problem I was giving my geometry students. We had just finished right triangle trigonometry, and I wanted to give them a problem that pushed their thinking.  Continue reading