Keyboard Shortcuts #LearningInTheLoo

This week’s Learning in the Loo edition is up at my school. It’s all about keyboard shortcuts inspired by & sourced from Matt Miller‘s recent blog post on the topic. Have a look!

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The archive of all the Learning in the Loo editions I’ve put together are available here.

Which keyboard shortcut do you find the most useful? Have I missed any? Leave yours in the comments below!

– Laura Wheeler (Teacher @ Ridgemont High School, OCDSB; Ottawa, ON)

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Learning in the Loo: Google Classroom edition

Today I prepared the year’s first edition of Learning in the Loo for my school all about what’s new in Google Classroom this year. The topic was inspired by the most recent episode of the Google Teacher Tribe podcast (worth subscribing to if you’re into podcasts!).

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– Laura Wheeler (Teacher @ Ridgemont High School, OCDSB; Ottawa, ON)

Captive Audience: #LearningInTheLoo

Do you ever read a great article or blog post and think I HAVE to share this with my colleagues! So you email everybody the link & say you have to read this. And then maybe 1 or 2 people actually read it?

I find so many great things on Twitter & blogs (#MTBoS) that I want to share with my colleagues, but they often don’t have (or make) the time to check them out. So when I happened upon a tweet about Learning in the Loo I thought it was genius – a captive audience!

So I have made it a habit to create & post a new Learning in the Loo 11×17″ poster in each staff toilet in our school every 1 or 2 weeks this semester. I curate the amazing things I learn about online & turn them into quick read how-tos or ideas to read while you … “go”. And it just occured to me that I should have been posting them to my blog as I made them. But now you can get a whole whack of them at once and next year I’ll try to remember to post them as I make them.

The whole collection so far can be found here with printing instructions.
Feel free to make a copy (File –> make a copy). Also the sources of images & ideas are in the notes of the doc above too.

Here they are:

Learning in the Loo Assessment FeedbackLearning in the Loo Cell Phone Work Life BalanceLearning in the Loo EdPuzzleLearning in the Loo Adobe Spark VideoLearning in the Loo TwitterLearning in the Loo Google ClassroomLearning in the Loo Grouping StrategiesLearning in the Loo KahootLearning in the Loo Google Docs

What would you share in your school’s first Learning In The Loo poster?

– Laura Wheeler (Teacher @ Ridgemont High School, OCDSB; Ottawa, ON)

#3ActMath – What is it?

I learned about a great tool this past weekend at the Ontario Summit; Adobe Spark video. A huge shoutout to Rushton Hurley for the introduction to this tool. It’s a super fast & easy way to combine photos, videos & text and narrate over top of it to create a seamless professional looking video.

I tried my hand and created one about 3ActMath lesson style. Give it a watch & let me know what you think:

– Laura Wheeler (Teacher @ Ridgemont High School, OCDSB; Ottawa, ON)

Google Summit w/ #EdTechTeam

This past weekend I presented at EdTechTeam’s summit in Rosemere, QC. Their summits are designed to immerse teachers in EdTech for the weekend, learning all about the Gsuite tools (formerly GAFE; Google Apps for Education). Here are my sketchnotes from the weekend:

My pen & paper notes from the sessions I attended:

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My digital sketchnotes from the 3 keynote speakers:

Jeffery Heilimg_1954

Jason MarkeyIMG_1959.PNG

Emily Fitzpatrickimg_1962

Finally, I presented about Pear Deck:Pear Deck (2).PNG

– Laura Wheeler (Teacher @ Ridgemont High School, OCDSB; Ottawa, ON)

Student-Paced mode in @PearDeck for #3ActMath tasks

This summer Pear Deck announced the introduction of student-paced mode; the ability for the teacher to allow students to work through the slide deck at their own pace. This is a feature I enjoyed in the Desmos activities I’d been building for graphing (interesting also that Desmos introduced their teacher-paced mode around the same time that Pear Deck introduced student-paced; both platforms now offering both pacing options).

Not sure what Pear Deck is or does? Watch this quick video before reading further:

How to turn on student-paced mode:

Click the 3-dot menu icon on the bottom right of your screen while presenting your Pear Deck, and the option to turn student-paced mode on (or off later) will be there:file-DY4DfcYV8V.png

How do I use student-paced mode?

Most of the activities I do in my math class are in the style of 3 Act Math (a concept put forth by Dan Meyer).

Act 1 consists of present my students with a scenario via photo or video & asking them

  • What do you notice?
  • What do you wonder?

Then I show them the problem I’ve chosen for the day (usually it’s one that most kids write down for “what do you wonder?” since I’ve carefully selected the scenario to lend itself to asking the question I want based on our learning goal).

  • Estimate the answer: too high, too low, best guess?

Act 1 happens via Pear Deck in TEACHER-paced mode. Students are at their seats in their visibly random groups for the day assigned by playing cards. They use their own phone or a loaned chromebook (I have 6 that live in my classroom) to answer these questions on Pear Deck. We often have a quick class discussion here too about reasonable estimates and their strategies for that. I, as the teacher, am choosing when to move the slides forward for the entire group.

Act 2 consists of sending each group to their assigned vertical non-permanent surface (ie. chalkboard or whiteboard) to solve the problem. Often groups also need to do some data collection or measurement here in order to solve the problem.

At this point I have a slide with the original picture & the problem to solve written on it projected on the board while the groups are solving. The moment the first group to finish solving heads back to their seats, this is when I turn on STUDENT-paced mode. The rest of the slides will be follow up questions to reflect on their solution or to apply their thinking to extension problems. Students work on these at their own pace at their own desk.

When all groups are done and back at their seats, I lead a class discussion about the solutions from each group using the 5 practices for orchestrating productive mathematics discussions. During or after this discussion, we might also look at some of the responses to specific follow up questions on Pear Deck. If we do, I turn OFF the student-paced mode to bring everybody’s screen back to whichever one we are discussing.

Act 3 consists of checking our answer either in real life (as we did for the cup stacking activity) or by showing a video or image answer (as we did for the phone charge activity).

Normally, in Pear Deck, there is a projected screen being shown on the board to the whole class by the teacher. The students see a “response” screen on their own device that is different than the one being projected. When in student-paced mode, the student can see both the content slide AND The student response slide on their own device. On a tablet or laptop the two screens are shown side by side when in student-paced mode:IMG_1923.PNG
When using a smaller device such as a phone or iPod, the student will see a blue bar across the bottom of the screen allowing them to toggle back and forth between the “content” & “response” screens:

Have you used student-paced mode in Pear Deck yet? Share in the comments below how you use it with your own students!

– Laura Wheeler (Teacher @ Ridgemont High School, OCDSB; Ottawa, ON)

Remind App for Communication

This week’s #OttSlowChat question is about apps or websites that teachers find useful. I created a sketchnote to share why I love using Remind to communicate with students & parents.

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Use Remind to communicate with:

  • students
  • parents
  • colleagues

People can choose to receive your messages via:

  • text message
  • the Remind app
  • email

You can choose between:

  • 1-way announcements
  • 2-way communication
    (you can set “office hours” to manage the time of day during which 2-way communication can occur)

You can send messages to:

  • the entire class
  • a small group within the class
  • an individual in the class

Send a message:

  • now
  • later (using the scheduler)

You can attach:

  • images
  • audio clips

Students will NEVER see your phone number!

I use it to communicate with the students in my classes as well as those in clubs and on sports teams that I work with. A very handy app!

– Laura Wheeler (Teacher @ Ridgemont High School, OCDSB; Ottawa, ON)

#EdInnovation2016 Recap

I attended the EdInnovation summit this past weekend in Ottawa to present on behalf of Pear Deck. This was the first year that this conference was run by a new organization team (in the past it was an EdTech Team event). There were over 1200 teachers from all of the major (& not so major) school boards in the Ottawa area. The conference is bilingual; in fact 3 of the 5 workshops that I attended were in French! Here are my sketchnote summaries of the keynotes & workshops I attended:

Chris Hadfield keynote

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The A-Z of Generation Z by Jean Marc Dupont

EdInnovation2016 Jean Marc Dupont Gen Z.PNG

Pedagogical Documentation by Chantal Picard & Johanne Ste-Croix

EdInnovation2016 Pedagogical Documentation.PNG

Leading & Learning & the Modern Administrator by Jim Jamieson

EdInnovation Digital Leader Administrator (1).PNG

Google Cardboard & Google Street View keynote by John Bailey

EdInnovation2016 Google Cardboard.PNG

GAFE tools to support research & make thinking visible by Jim Jamieson

edinnovation2016-gafe-tools-research-visible-thinking

and last but not least, my own session on Pear Deck:

Pear Deck Sketchnote.png

Keep an eye on this conference if you work in the Ottawa area; it’s a good one!

– Laura Wheeler (Teacher @ Ridgemont High School, OCDSB; Ottawa, ON)

My Favourite: Desmos! #MTBoS

While I’m not technically participating in the Explore MTBoS blogging initiative, I have been reading others’ posts & liked this idea of writing about “my favourite” something. I also realised that I haven’t ever posted about the ways I incorporate Desmos into my class except in passing when describing the activities we’ve done in class. So here is a list of the ways I use & love Desmos w/ my students:

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New sketchnote created 2016.11.03

Basic Graphing & Solving Problems

Here’s an expectation from my grade 10 applied math class:Capture
The old way: Graph by hand by making a table of values & interpret the graph. Or learn the more difficult algebra for solving for zeros, etc.

The Desmos way: Use Desmos to graph the equation given & identify key points in order to solve problems such as maximum height, landing distance, etc.Capture

Investigating with Desmos:

Here is an example of a curriculum expectation for my grade 10 academic math class:Capture
The old way: 
– Draw graphs of many different equations by hand to compare & conclude
– Use school-loaned TI-83 to graph multiple equations, compare & conclude

The Desmos way:
Have students use sliders to see in real time the effects of the various parameters.CaptureAnd the best part is you don’t even have to make one yourself. Just search “vertex form” in the handy dandy search bar to get a pre-made graph to use right away:
Capture

Regression Models

The old way:
In past years I was reluctant move to far towards Demos from our TI-83 graphing calculators because the TI’s regression models were useful to my students. Especially in the applied class where the focus is less on algebraic manipulation and more on understanding & problem solving, being able to use the TI-83 to find the equation given a table of values was great. However, it did require some serious steps to follow on the graphing calculator.

The Desmos way:
Desmos makes linear & quadratic regressions easy for my students. Input your table of values, and one line of “code” . . . et voilà! Click here for a tutorial from Desmos.Capture

Activity Builder

Often when I do a 3 act math problem with my classes, for example a linear pattern problem, they solve using a table of values. I’m happy that they’ve selected & implemented a valid strategy. Perhaps not the most efficient, but the one that makes the most sense to them at the time. But the curriculum asks them to use a graph & equation to solve these problems.

The old way: So I used to create worksheets that asked students to draw a graph the data points, determine an equation, etc. the day after the 3 act math to ensure that we explored all the possible strategies for solving the problem. I would then do some direct teaching pointing out how the graph & equation relates to their table of value solutions so they could see the parallels between them.

The Desmos way: For years Desmos has been creating pre-built activities you can run with your classes; Polygraph, Marbleslides, etc. But new this year is that you can build your own activities with the activity builder. So I’ve been making online “worksheets” where each student can work through the activity using Desmos to create a graph and perform a regression to find the equation for the relation. Click here for a Desmos activity I created to consolidate our learning after the Toothpick Triangles activity. The dashboard allows you to see the work of each student:Capture.JPG

Testing with Desmos

So far this year, I’ve allowed my students their phones, a loaned iPad from me, or a loaned Chromebook from me on tests (in replacement of the TI-83 they used to be allowed during evaluations). They have to cover all camera lenses with paper & masking tape. They are supposed to only use their calculator app & the Desmos app. But I know of at least one student that has used an app that will expand/factor quadratics for her. I would be fine with that if I could make the questions harder (more critical thinking than calculation) but the course has a board-wide exam so my hands are tied.

The exam for that class will be this Friday (in 2 days). And this morning I’ve been experimenting with iOS guided access mode in which I can lock them into 1 app only (Desmos) as well as Android’s Surelock app in which I can lock them into multiple apps (calculator & Desmos) with my own password. I am thinking I will try this for the exam on Friday; no other apps, no internet access.

Have I missed any ways that you use Desmos in your classes?
Share them in the comments below.

– Laura Wheeler (Teacher @ Ridgemont High School, OCDSB; Ottawa, ON)