Teaching Math With Chromebooks!
Danielle Kline has been teaching high school math at Cardinal Mooney Catholic School for five years. Danielle has embraced technology in her classroom, taking advantage of a collection of tools like Google Hangouts, Pear Deck, Google Classroom and Forms to teach algebra in a blended learning environment.
Math + Technology is hard (but it can be done!)
I have had many conversations with math teachers regarding the integration of technology in the classroom. While I think technology CAN be used in mathematics courses, I pose the question to Danielle to get her perspective.
Danielle has had success using Kahoot, Google Classroom, and Forms with her students. The secret is taking screenshots of graphs and equations rather than having students actually type or draw out the solution to the equation.
The best tools for creating math lessons with Chromebooks
Danielle prefers to type up her workshops and math assignments using MS Word and on her teacher computer because she prefers the equation editor in Word. After creating her lessons, she uploads them to Google Drive to share them with her students.
I suggest that Danielle take a look at Equatio, a free extension for Chrome that provides an improved equation for Google Docs.
Later in our conversation, Danielle and I talk about tools like Photomath which can solve math problems simply by taking a picture. Danielle is surprisingly open to this tool being used in the classroom!
Math with Google Classroom?
Can you use Google Classroom in a math class? Danielle does!
Each day Danielle posts the objectives and homework assignments for the week and uses the question tool for exit slips, asking students to summarize their learning for the day.
Cardinal Mooney high school, where Danielle teaches, is a BYOD environment which makes Classroom a great solution as students can access it on Mac, PC, phone, Chromebook, iPad or whatever they bring to school.
Integrating Classroom into her algebra courses helps Danielle keep the content organized for students and give her an opportunity to hear directly from students about where they are struggling.
Need a new idea for your math classroom? Check out this idea for incorporating audio exit tickets into Google Classroom!
Teaching math in a blended classroom
Three years ago, the principal of Cardinal Mooney approached Danielle about teaching Algebra in an online environment so that advanced students from several nearby middle schools could take a high school level algebra class as 8th graders.
The approach that evolved was a blended math class in which students from five different middle schools join Danielle live through a virtual lesson made possible through Google Hangouts, Google Classroom, and Pear Deck.
Google Hangouts – Each school has a large flat screen TV with a connected webcam that allows Danielle to see the students from each school and give the students some face time with Danielle.
Google Classroom – lesson resources and homework is assigned and submitted via Google Classroom. Danielle reviews homework and provides feedback on the Classroom assignments each day via Google Hangouts.
Pear Deck – Danielle uses Pear Deck to present her daily lessons. Pear Deck is a presentation tool that integrates with Google Slides, allowing Danielle to provide direct instruction to the students, even though they aren’t physical in the same location. Pear Deck also allows real-time collaboration from each student so that Danielle can ask questions and provide immediate feedback.
Give Pear Deck premium a try for 90 days with this special link from the fine folks at Pear Deck! (Note: this link will expire at the end of 2019)
Danielle also shares how she grades student work through a combination of digital and paper-based assignments. Grading student work electronically is still an area that needs some improved tools for both teachers and students
Another interesting thing that Danielle does is using Google Forms to create mock ACT / SAT tests that her students complete several times each year.
Creating these for quizzes can be challenging, but once they are done, they can easily be reused and modified for future students.
Teaching Math? Touch Chromebooks are a good option!
All of the students enrolled in Danielle’s blended math course have access to touch-screen Chromebooks. Danielle shares some of the things she has noticed about how students are using their touch screen devices to interact with Pear Deck to draw and sketch.
For Danielle, touch screen devices open up a lot of opportunities to teach math and she has no interest in going back to non-touch devices.
Ultimately, touch screen devices have the potential to replace paper in the classroom.
☝If you have touch screen Chromebooks check out this lesson idea for creating digital study guides!