Of all the digital learning tools available Desmos is by far my favourite as a maths teacher. It is so much more than just a free online graphing calculator. Once you delve into the options of Desmos Classroom Activities, your life will never be the same again.
Technology ideas for Maths Teachers
Whenever I have a great idea for my maths classes or something that worked extremely well, I would devote a whole blog post to it. But I also often set up a short Kahoot or Desmos activity, that is not so wow that it warrants a whole post by itself, so today’s post is dedicated to all those technology ideas for maths teachers. The focus is on my own ideas an activities but I will also link to other tasks that I have used in my own classes. Unless stated otherwise I created the activity myself.
Tips and Tricks for New Maths Teachers
Your first day as a maths teacher is a daunting prospect, I know, I have been there. So I put together my Ultimate Guide for Maths Teachers. In this guide, I share my best tips and tricks for the first day, how to stay on top of your admin and the most efficient ways to do your planning. I also share my favourite books, websites and other resources to make your life easier.
Starting at a new school involves getting the hang of lost of new things. But what people often forget about is the technology. I started at three new schools over the past year, and in every case, I struggled to get hold of all the passwords and login names that I will need, then I am not even talking about getting added to all the mailing lists. To make matters worse, most teachers do not know that they need all of that.
To help schools and new teachers I set up this checklist for new teachers to make sure that they are on top of the technology.
Investigating the 3 basic trig functions – Grade 10
This is a great activity to introduce learners to the 3 trig functions as well as vocabulary like range/domain/period/asymptote.
Revise basic trig functions – Grade 10
Sine, cosine and tangent graph, combined with vocabulary like range/domain/period/asymptote/intercepts. Great for revision.
Instaworksheets – Grade 11
I have received the most amazing results when I asked learners to come up with their own questions and solve them using the trig formulas they know. Get them to go outside and take a photo of something to base their question on, that way they can not just steal a question from the internet.
Discovering Desmos has changed the way I teach functions. If you have never used Desmos, you don’t know what you are missing. It is super easy to figure out, but I created this activity to help our maths department get to know the main features.
One of the best things about Desmos activities is that it allows you to see what your learners are doing, while they are doing it. You can also pause the class or limit the slides that they can access at any time. This video clip shows you how to manage the Teacher Dashboard in Desmos.
I created this activity to orientate my colleagues and let them experience a classroom activity from the learner’s side.
I know people don’t like the idea of drilling in concepts, but sometimes it is the only way. Domain and Range is one of those times and technology makes it a breeze. I am not saying that it is not important that learners understand what domain and range are all about, but even when they understand it, drilling it in is still necessary.
Desmos – Range and domain of straight lines (grade 10)
One of the problems, when you teach domain and range or intervals to grade 10’s, is that they don’t know enough to understand why you are doing what you are doing. This activity provides them with a practical application of limiting intervals.
Desmos – Range and Domain of functions (grade 11)
This short card sort activity is a great way for learners to check their understanding of domain and range.
Kahoot – Domain and Range Rapid fire (grade 11)
A rapid-fire activity to increase understanding of domain and range. Includes both finite and infinite #hyperbolas, #parabolas and #exponential graphs.
Determine the equation of parabolas (grade 10)
This activity gives learners the opportunity to practice determining the equation of parabolas, when given the turning point, with immediate feedback. It would replace the exercise from the textbook.
Discovering asymptotes (grade 10)
I created this as a whole class activity to introduce hyperbolas and the concept of asymptotes. Even though we went through it slide by slide as a class, it will be possible for learners to work through it independently. However, I have found that learners struggle to draw conclusions by themselves, doing it as a whole class solved that.
Finding the equation of a hyperbola (grade 10)
This activity starts with a quick revision of the effect of p, q and a on a hyperbola. The rest of the activity takes learners through the process of finding the equation of a hyperbola when given the asymptotes and one other point on the graph. A stronger group should be able to work through it by themselves, but it could also be done as a whole class activity.
Solve for x – Grade 9 & 10
Another revision Kahoot. This one consist of 10 questions on linear and quadratic equations.
Exchange Rates – Grade 9 & 10
Practice changing from one currency to another. This can also be used in Mathematical Literacy.
Instaworksheets – Grade 8 – 10
I use Instaworksheets where ever we are doing maths with a real-life application. Financial maths is an ideal opportunity for instaworksheets, especially with the junior grades. They can easily set a question on exchange rate or lay-by or interest rates. This forces them to think what information is necessary and how questions are phrased.
Characterising quadrilaterals – Grade 9 & 10
In this post, I explain how I used Kahoot and a game of “Always, sometimes, never” to help learners understand the characteristics of quadrilaterals.
Revision of grade 12 work – Grade 12
My grade 12’s were getting upset that I never let they play any games, so I created this Kahoot to show them that playing games can be tough too. It was actually a good opportunity for them to realise that there are lots of content that they should be remembering.
Do you need a specific grid for a Trig exam or worksheet? This post has a number of the most common Trig grids that you can download, and also instructions on how to use Desmos to create your own Trig grids.
This Maths lesson is a different take on the standard Station-Rotation model. Instead of dividing learners into fixed groups, I gave each learner an individual rout through the stations. Thus new groups formed every time they moved stations.
Everything, from classroom rules to planning, to the first lesson that a new maths teacher wants to know to be prepared for their first year in the classroom. Bonus: Free templates for new maths teachers.
Wat is stand van wiskunde onderrig in Suid-Afrika? Op 28 Augustus 2018 het ek deelgeneem aan 'n gesprek oor wiskunde op RSG se program Ons en die Onderwys.
If you are a maths teacher you appreciate how difficult and time-consuming it is to type maths. Equatio incorporates voice typing and optical character recognition to make this a lot easier.
Google Slides enable you to create a worksheet in seconds, by making the learners do the work.
I like the theory behind a flipped classroom, but I have not yet come across a situation or topic where I thought a flipped class would be appropriate. Until I tried it with grade 11 geometry...
A typical lesson starts with the teacher providing the questions and learners answering them. Why not mix that up and give your learners a blank sheet and ask them to set up the questions for each other? An Instaworksheet on Google Slides is the ideal tool to make that happen.
Just because you are using technology does not make a lesson better. Sometimes, like in this lesson, paper, scissors and glue does a much better job.
In my quest to share information, ideas and tips for all teachers I would like to share what it involves to...