Friday, June 30, 2017

Low Tech Polygraph

Imagine classrooms full of math students without devices missing out on opportunities to play wonderful Desmos Polygraph activities. It's a miserable thought, right?

Unfortunately, classrooms like this exist. I've been extremely fortunate the past three years to work in a district where every secondary student is provided with a device and can enjoy playing (and learning from) Desmos Polygraph activities. What can we do for students and teachers who aren't 1:1 yet?

I've also been honored to provide professional development for math teachers in various districts across the country. They LOOOOOOVE playing (and learning about instructional uses of) Polygraph during the workshop. However, I often hear comments from teachers like:
  • We're not 1-to-1 yet
  • We're BYOD and many students just bring cell phones
  • I have to book the computer lab because we're not 1:1
I also get questions like:
  • When do you recommend we do Polygraph? We have limited time.
  • This [Polygraph] is a great tool, what if students are absent?
  • I love the idea of students playing Polygraph on more than one day, but how do I do that?
Here's my idea:
Provide students and teachers with a low-tech version of Polygraph
Here's the setup I've tried with teachers and the response has been fantastic.
  1. Print out four different versions (A-B-C-D) of the sixteen Polygraph graphs
    1. I've already made Lines and Parabolas
  2. Make double-sided copies of {A-B} and {C-D}
    1. Make enough {A-B} copies for half your class and {C-D} copies for the other half
  3. Insert one copy into a plastic sleeve
  4. Store in a highly accessible place in your classroom
  5. Have some dry-erase markers nearby
  6. Provide students with a word bank & taboo bank (follow-up post)
You can have students play Polygraph at anytime!. Imagine the possibilities. Imagine even MORE students being able to play Polygraph. Just remind students they can play any other letter besides their own letter. For example, Page C can play A, B, or D. 

Have a go and let me know!

Low-tech FTW,

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Estimation 180 Bins

I'd love some feedback on this tool I'm tinkering around with right now.

I was inspired by Graham Fletcher, seeing him place student estimates inside ranges, or bins if you will. My goal was to make a tool that replicated this experience, is efficient for teachers to use, and added some visual enhancements. The tool could be used with Estimation 180 challenges and was made in Desmos.

What successes might you see happening in your classroom when using this tool?
What challenges might you see happening in your classroom when using this tool?
What advice do you have for improving it?

Thanks in advance for your responses.