Using Cool Fonts in Google Classroom and Desmos

So I recently realized you can use cool fonts from in Desmos and the awesome Amy Zimmer @zimmerdiamonds asked if I’d do a demo. So I made a video and figured I’d also make a blog post about it!

I am pretty sure I found this from Tony Vincent @tonyvincent after hearing about him from the Shake Up Learning Podcast. He has a post about Google Classroom tips that include changing fonts. Somehow I got from there to

I made a video, which was also my first screencast demo and first upload to YouTube!  Here it is:

I don’t really bother too much with fonts, except that I like to have different fonts that make the learner’s attention really see certain words. Here are some examples:

In my Google Classroom post for our most recent Remote Learning assignment for the week.Screen Shot 2020-04-26 at 7.26.38 PM

In my latest Desmos activity for Remote Learning (edited from Julie’s activity).

Screen Shot 2020-04-26 at 7.28.50 PM

***Disclaimer: I have been alerted to some fonts not showing up on certain devices, so please be careful and check out your work on different devices first before you need learners to see them!!!

Definitely the least important part of a Desmos Activity, but it’s fun!

Les capture vidéos de l’écran sont un peu embarrassants parce que ma voix semble étrange.

#QuaranTiles #MTBoS2020

Jennifer @jenfairbanks8 has set up a monthly blogging challenge described here You should join!

I made a thing!


I was really intrigued by all of the tweets I was seeing during this time of quarantine about the wood blocks being turned into math play things. Look it up at #QuaranTiles. My husband has been doing a lot of woodworking and when I showed him the project he was also interested (mainly because he had an excuse to now get a table saw that went on sale). Luckily, Nat Banting made a great how-to guide:

So we took a bunch of his leftover scrap wood and started cutting 1.5 inch squares. I think I would have gone smaller if I could go back in time because they really do take up a lot of room when you put them together. But it’s all good.

And then I learned how to use the power sander and sanded the faces followed by taping them off.

And then it got to the painting. I had yellow, green, red, and blue already laying around my house so that’s what I used. One of our life goals is to one day have a house with a legit work area. But for the time being we use cardboard boxes and other scrap wood.

And they came out great! They’re fun to play with and I can’t wait until my learners get a chance to play with them, too.

Un moment de joie pendant cette crise.

2019-2020 Classroom Pics #MTBoS2020

Jennifer @jenfairbanks8 has set up a monthly blogging challenge described here You should join!

I don’t think I’ve posted pictures of my classroom since I moved to my school in 2016. Since getting here I’m in my 3rd classroom and this year is the first time I’ve had the same room two years in a row. This is my second to least favorite room I’ve ever had because of where it is in the school and its dimensions, but I’ve made it my own. It does have its advantages – I was moved here because we put all Freshman Academy teachers on the same floor and all 3 of the freshmen math teachers are in the same hallway now. I’m far away from pretty much everything except the elevator. I try to use the elevator rarely, but it’s nice to have easy access when I need it.

I’m right now in the middle of the 2020 COVID-19 Pandemic school closure. It’s been exactly a month since I’ve seen my learners because of Spring Break leading into Illinois shutting down schools to help with social distancing. I was allowed to go back for about 15 minutes one day to pick up stuff from my classroom and decided to take some pictures. If you click on the pictures you can see it bigger.

*Disclaimer: I had to leave right away on the day before Spring Break and thought I’d be coming back to school during the second week of break to do this Catch Up Academy thing so I had planned on doing a lot of cleaning/organizing/preparing for 4th quarter during that time. I’d say this is what a typical start of each day looks like in my room.

Pictures of the outside of my classroom:


Some things you see here are (click to download or see where they came from if you want):


Teacher desk area:

  • Teacher of Awesome poster from Sarah Carter
  • Chromebook cart that houses a pencil sharpener, 5 computer mice, class set of TI-84 Plus CE calculators in chargers that are each numbered with a Plicker on the back, and each learner’s class folder that houses all their assessments, their grade tracker, and unit notecards.
  • An extra chair that isn’t attached to a desk and isn’t on wheels
  • The Bin where learners put anything they ever turn in to me (random signature things, a few homework assignments that are paper, things they need me to sign, Advocating Forms, assessments, etc.)
  • On the desk all the time: tape dispenser, two staplers, large and small paper clip dispensers, sharpened pencils for learners to use, hand sanitizer, lotion from hotel rooms, sticky notes, butterfly in a jar, chords for hooking my laptop up to Promethean Board/projector, printer, charger, speakers,
  • Next to the desk is a small table that doesn’t quite reach to my desk that leaves me space to hide supplies I’ll use in class that day and/or things I just need to put away and on top of it is a shelf with (from bottom to top): birthday cards and bracelets, mister for my plants, stereo with absent student cards on top, Delta Math assignment printouts, things I want to put up in classroom, two shelves of things to file away, all of the materials I’ve used in the past for the remaining units, a basket that sometimes learners use to put distracting things in (I was surprised that they brought that up), and then on the top some pictures of friends and family and my aloe plant and some 3D printed math stuff and my PCMI cube
  • White drawers of supplies such as dry erase pockets (shop ticket holders) and sheet protectors, printer paper, dice, decks of cards, hammer, screwdrivers, Allen wrenches, nails, tape measure bingo chips, tools, stickers, random stuff I honestly don’t know in the bottom drawer
  • On top of the white drawers on the left are a shelf of (from the bottom): things I need to take to the copy room, turned in Advocating Forms next to their signed syllabus/learner info sheets, assessments from any class that need to be taken/finished, Honors Geo assessment keys w/blank quiz retakes, Algebra I assessment keys w/blank quiz retakes, phone (new from a few months ago and I love it because it can show missed calls and can call outside area codes)
  • On top of the white drawers on the right are my colored class folders that hold things that need to be graded/handed back
  • A rolling cart that has (from the bottom): copies to hand out to classes usually a whole unit at a time, my personal printer that my department gives us ink for but it’s not the name brand ink and that means my color printing never has the right colors, terrarium and cup with large pencil and eraser but also usually other random things that I need to put somewhere
  • American flag and hanging from it all sorts of lanyards, Illini glasses, Mickey Mouse hat from the band I work with performing at Disney World, mask from Venice
  • On the wall with the window: phone extensions for the school and district hanging behind the phone and I’ve highlighted frequently used numbers, a metal pi made at my husband’s school, fluid painting from a learner
  • On the wall behind the desk (mostly from left to right): nice notes from people,  6-week dry erase calendar, weekly birthday list, Study Club advertisement, bell schedule, lots of magnets on the only magnetic thing in my room, each class’s Essential Question, homework, agenda (hasn’t changed all year except the one time I had a sub all day), my before and after school availability for the week, list of who needs to finish an assessment, popsicle sticks of destiny (from Sam Shah) for each class
  • Also held up by magnets behind my desk is: new student checklist, fundraiser reminders, dry erase markers for the calendar and EQ/homework/weekly availability boards

Pictures of the whole classroom from the different sides:

  • 8 groups of 4 desks, each desk has a different color electrical tape at each foot to signify the group names (got that idea from the teacher that was previously in my room and it’s awesome – only replaced the tape at the beginning of the year this year because a few got torn up but probably didn’t even have to)
  • College Entrance Posters (.docx or .pdf) that shows some common and local college entrance stats and lots of University of Illinois stuff
  • Mathematician Alphabet of Not Just Dead White Dudes
  • Einstein poster from
  • Common Core Standards of Mathematical Practice in friendly phrases from Everybody is a Genius
  • My class website address
  • Classroom norms that I think I got from Youcubed but now I can’t find exactly
  • Pictures of groups doing the 100 Numbers Task from Sara VanDerWerf
  • Class rules made by each period
  • Good Questions and Good Statements starters from Chris Luzniak
  • Cabinets and a shelf that holds books (mathy/educationy/for fun), labeled class bins for resources like markers, highlighters, scissors, protractor, colored pencils, board erasers (cut up t-shirts), and rulers, blank Cornell Note lined paper, graph paper, scratch paper, Advocating Forms, Error Logs (pdf or doc), individual white boards, board spray, hole puncher, stapler, tape dispenser
  • Mathematics in careers poster from AMS
  • Power of Yet Poster that I honestly can’t find where I might have gotten them
  • White Boards that are numbered and the cups are old cans that I took the labels off and they’re used to keep the dry erase markers tip down and also to make sure that each board has an adequate number of markers.
  • Filing cabinets where a donated Tin Man stands
  • Absent work/extra sheets bin
  • A desk that sits under a play sign (from Sara VanDerWerf) where I put some 3-D printed puzzle things
  • Math Wall of Shame from Sara VanDerWerf

And there it is. I guess there’s a lot in it.

Ma salle de classe est ma maison.