Using Google Classroom in Remote Learning #MTBoSBlaugust


I’ve been using Google Classroom for a while, but I’m using it in a very different way now. I set it to Hide Notifications for Classwork on the Stream. So my students should be going to the Classwork tab to see everything we do each day. I used the header template from Alice Keeler here.

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The Stream has been used only for announcements, such as noting where to click for our live meetings and reminders to fill out forms for the school. Here are some of my announcements.

I’m using topics to separate my Classwork page by day. The most recent days are always at the top. I have a Resources topic that stays at the bottom.

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In my Resources space at the bottom is a link to my Office Hours Google Meet, Desmos Graphing and Scientific Calculator, class website, our school’s schedule for remote learning, and Graph Paper (Cornell Notes-style) they can print if they have access to that.

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Here’s an example of one of our days. We are required to ask an Attendance Question each day. In order for a learner to be marked present for attendance, the only thing they need to do is answer that question (or interact with the class in some way). I used the Virtual Name Tent Desmos activity modified from Sara and Kristen and Corinne for the first five days. More on that later. And then the rest depends on the day. Here I have a homework assignment (Delta Math), challenge activity, completed notes, and recording. Other days and classes have had links to Quizizz, Desmos exploration activities, Jamboards, Google Docs homework assignments, and Google Forms.

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I saw a bunch of people on Twitter talking about using emoji to organize. I should ask my students, but I’m just assuming they are all seeing them. So here’s what I’m using for the different emoji:

  • 💻 Attendance Question
  • ⛺️ Virtual Name Tent
  • 📝 Homework
  • 📓 Completed Notes
  • ⭕️ Recording
  • 🔢 Office Hours

It’s funny because I’m noticing now how they come out different on WordPress as I’m typing here vs. what they look like on my Macbook Pro’s touch bar. My touch bar usually matches what I see on Google Classroom.

I had some students ask me about using emoji in the chat in our Google Meets and sent them to this page:

I know there are many ways to make Google Classroom work for remote learning, but I’ve been mostly pleased with this so far. Anything else I can do to make life easier for everyone?

Pourquoi nous ne pouvons pas programmer les choses pour multiples cours à la fois?!


Rigid Transformation Unit and Superhero Transformation Project

I’ll admit, I was really nervous about teaching Transformations in Honors Geometry. It was a topic I didn’t remember learning myself and I had never taught it before. I luckily had the #MTBoS and especially Michele Torres (@Teachmathtorr).

Lots of people suggested using things like patty paper and Miras to help learn the different transformations. Unfortunately, I do not have access to those and I’m trying to not buy a lot of things this year for my room, so I hope to one day be able to use those. Instead, I did a lot more Desmos than I ever thought I would! If you haven’t seen her Geometry Desmos Activity document yet, be prepared to blow your mind here:

I also loved the advice to focus on points transforming instead of the entire shape – it really helped my students who were having trouble visualizing the transformations.

We started with a Polygraph. I’ve noticed that in an honors class, I don’t get too many that get it wrong when they’re trying to find the graph. Instead, they just use a ton of questions. I challenged them to try to use the least amount of questions.

We also started off with some Des-Patterns.

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After learning all the transformations, I think my learners would agree that this Multiple Transformations Check Desmos activity made the biggest impact. I had them work in pairs and had them do the worksheet first and then check with Desmos. This was really a turning point for the class. A lot that thought they didn’t know were able to confirm that they really did, and it was also much more apparent to them if a transformation was off than when they did it on paper. My struggle sometimes with having students check in Desmos is that when I try to project the summary, the names have to get so small as I zoom out so I can fit everyone. Sometimes I forget that working in pairs not only helps them learn and have awesome math conversations but also just makes them have fewer names to look for.

I somehow ended up with three free days before Fall Break and they had already taken a quiz over transformations. I wasn’t ready to start a new unit (congruent triangles) right before a two-week break. I had remembered Mandi Tolen’s Global Math Department Presentation and thought to look for anything she shared. She did not let me down.

I modified her assignment a bit. Here’s what I did:

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This was a blast for the learners to work on and for me to grade. My biggest advice is to encourage them to make a plan for their story first. A lot of them spent the entire first day just making their superhero and other images. Even though that really brings the project to a higher level, it also made them have to work on it outside of class and that was never my intention. Also, I learned that demonstrating some of the shape and arrange and grouping tools to the whole class at once isn’t good enough. Instead, make an expert at each group and have them be the ones to ask after that. Also, next year I would like to add a peer review component. I hope that will save some of the ones that decided to wait until the last minute or not do it at all. Any advice on what to do when you’re giving 3 days and nothing is getting done by one or two students? I don’t want to be too hover-y, but I also had my smiles turn to frowns a few times when I had to give a couple learners 3/35…

This twitter thread below has a bunch of pictures from my projects. These weren’t all 100%s and I only included one page of the comics, but I just loved how they were able to show their understanding in a cool creative way that most of them are really proud of.

La créativité de mes élèves m’impressionne!