MiddSouth Innovates

Issue #4

Better Feedback Using Desmos

Desmos is taking learning and feedback in Math classrooms to a new level. Typically seen as an online graphing calculator, Desmos has been adding new features which now make it an essential part of daily math activities. As you can see in the pictures below, Ms. Kulcsar is using some of the features in her Algebra 1 class. The students were studying how to manipulate inverse functions. Ms. K created a series of questions (as seen along the top of the screen in the middle picture) and selected certain ones for the class to complete together. Students were given the opportunity to first attempt the problem independently, then in their collaborative groups, and then as a whole class. In some problems they drew a graph using the mouse on their Chromebooks, and in others they typed out their response. As soon as the answer was submitted, Ms. K could see the response on her screen and provide immediate feedback for the student. If there was an error, the individual instruction could be given immediately and the student could correct the mistake. In other cases, when a number of students were making the same mistake, Ms. K could stop the lesson and provide additional instruction.

Finding Your Tech Purpose

When designing any unit or lesson, we always start with learning objectives.

What do we want students to learn and why is the learning they will do important?

The same holds true when integrating technology.

What do I want the tech to do and why will learning improve because of it?


Maybe you are substituting a Google Form for Scantron sheets or posting your notes and review sheets to Google Classroom instead of photocopying one for each student. This saves you time to plan more innovative lessons.


Instead of having students take notes about a lesson on a Google Doc, maybe you augment the activity by having a collaborative Doc that everyone in the class can add to and comment on. This allows the students to share ideas, ask questions, and learn from each other instead of relying entirely on the teacher.


No matter what you are thinking of doing, always Start With Why.

Looking for more ideas on how to modify your practice, check out The SAMR Ladder Through The Lens of 21st Century Skills and other work from Susan Oxvenad.

Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Innovation

Mrs. Nagy, our new Media Specialist, just submitted a video for a contest Follett was running about innovative thinking in schools. She collected video clips and images from a variety of classroom projects, and added a few of the new Library Interns to do some cameos & voice over. Below is the video she submitted. Good Luck, Mrs. Nagy!!
MHSS Follett Challenge 2017-2018