A very simple investigating trig graphs using Google Sheets to allow learners to try plotting the graphs using different intervals.

# 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.

## Trigonometry

**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.

## Functions

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.

**Revise functions (grade 10)**

A rapid-fire activity to help learners recognise parabolas, hyperbolas, exponential and straight line graphs.

## Algebra

**Revise algebra – Grade 9 & 10**

A short Kahoot quiz to liven-up a boring revision lesson.

**Simplify squares – Grade 9 & 10**

This Kahoot aims to clear up confusion and misconceptions between the difference of squares and perfect squares.

**Solve for x – Grade 9 & 10**

Another revision Kahoot. This one consist of 10 questions on linear and quadratic equations.

**Grade 11**

Nature of the roots lends itself to giving direct feedback by using Kahoot!

This Kahoot on Nature of the Roots consists of 15 questions to test if everybody in the class is grasping the concept.

## Other Topics

**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.

**Always, sometimes, never – All grades**

Another Always-Sometimes-Never Kahoot to help learners understand how the different number systems relate to each other.

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