Mar 9, 2018

Teaching Math with Google Apps



#ICE2018 was a great conference and I was fortunate to attend Alice Keeler’s Double Session on Math in the Google Classroom.  If you don’t know of Alice Keeler or have never heard of her you are missing out.  She is one of my Professional Crushes! She is the kind of teacher/speaker who makes you question everything you are doing and why you are doing it.  I’m not a math teacher, but a tech coach and I was so impressed with what she was doing and how she was doing it all within the Google Apps for Education Suite.

While listening to her speak, some takeaways were:
  • 80% Collaborate 20% Individual.  Math is a process and understanding that process is really easy for some and really hard for others; so when you give students time to collaborate, ask questions, fail and try again, learning is happening.  A lot of this collaboration is happening in the private comments of the assignment within Google Classroom. 
  • When students learn something, give them full credit.  It doesn’t matter if they failed the first three times, if they learn it, then learning has happened and therefore the student should get full credit.
  • Don’t give students the same problem to work on.  If you do, then they are going to “Look” an see what others got and how they did it.  But when you give them different problems, you make them talk about the process and strategize how they are going to solve their own problem.  Make them do the work instead of you. Using Google Slides will allow students to create their own slide and put a math problem they were having trouble with.  Boom…. Now they can start the conversation. Using Equaito will allow easy use of entering math problems.
  • Give students problems then have them use their phones to solve the problem with PhotoMath.  Then have them compare and contrast the answers.  Remember they all have different problems…..
  • Using the 4 C’s and DOK 2 & 3 is where she believes every student should land while giving them multiple chances to learn and ask questions. OpenMiddle has some great resources for DOK 2 and 3.
  • Don’t change an assignment from paper to digital if the learning is happening with the paper.  If students are collaborating and learning, then there is no reason to go digital.
  •  If you can have an assessment graded online then do it.  Why waste time grading when a computer can grade it? Showing work at assessment time doesn't matter as much as showing work during the learning process. Are you are having those conversations before an assessment?  Students will not look at feedback after they get their grade. Feedback needs to happen before the assessment.


Now these takeaways can be used in any class not just a math class. If you haven’t had a chance to read her blog or follow her on Twitter; do so,  you won’t be disappointed. Here is her social networking info.


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