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More Meaningful Math

posted Mar 14, 2016, 5:31 AM by wafflem@calhounisd.org

More Meaningful Math

Submitted by Craig Steenstra -
Kent ISD - REMC 8

In order to understand math, you need to interact with it. Desmos and Geogebra may be the best tools for bringing math to life, and I want to share some features in these systems that make it easy for teachers and students to use them effectively. See below for more:
Desmos (online graphing calculator on steroids)

  1. Search the pre-made activities on a wide variety of topics. You can post links for students to access without accounts, or you can sign up and tweak the activities for your purposes.
  2. When students have accounts, teachers have access to an impressive dashboard to use when facilitating activities. Here is a guide for the steps involved.
  3. Here is a general learning guide for Desmos that I have used when working with teachers.

Geogebra (a geometry and algebra platform built for action)

  1. It also has a library of pre-made activities with links that you can provide for students. You can copy existing activities and modify them with a free account. (the editing features are a little bit cumbersome, unfortunately).
  2. Similar to Desmos, teachers can create groups (AKA classes) in which participants can complete tasks, provide feedback, and more. See this help guide for more details.
  3. Here is a sample activity I created to help provide opportunities for M-STEP tasks without “test prepping”.

There is definitely much more to explore with both of these tools, but this is enough to infuse any math class with some boom. Get them acting, talking, and exploring. Repeating question sets is not the answer for building mathematicians; nor is it the way to excite and ignite.