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Recommendations for Virtual or Hybrid Learning

As we think about the new school year, the same question is on everyone’s mind, “How can I teach and support math learning virtually, or even in my classroom within a social distancing environment, and engage students in meaningful ways?”

Many of us have been scavenging social media and sharing resources and suggestions. It is challenging and often overwhelming. But it can also be intriguing to think about how resources we may have never used before can be helpful in our teaching and supporting students. Maybe, when things return to some sense of normalcy, we will continue using some of these newfound resources. 

As we prepare for a learning environment that is unfamiliar, we need to continue supporting one another and leveraging our growing math community. The silver lining in all this work might be the widening of our math community as we support one another and share ideas. Let’s keep that going beyond this challenging time!!

Below are resources teachers have shared as they search for ways to engage with students virtually around math learning. Please give comments, share others, and/or ask questions on ICTM’s social media pages. You can find us at:

Facebook: Iowa Council Teachers of Mathematics 
Twitter: Iowa Math Teach @iowamathteach
Instagram: Iowa Math @iowamathteach  

Math Content

ICTM note:  If you’re familiar with Desmos, check out what they have added to support teachers during this time:  Desmos, Coronavirus, and You — Learn Desmos. There are webinars and guidance to create your own Desmos activities. There are also many lessons and activities already created for grades 6 and up that engage students in the powerful and unique ways Desmos is so well-known for.

Allysen Lovstuen created a video describing how she used Desmos to see student progress, assess understanding, and provide feedback remotely. She also has shared her reflections in a +/- format:

This is a tool that allows students to type answers/show work/explore options on different slides. Teachers can then see the work they have done.

++ Allows student to easily sketch graphical responses.

+ Teacher can see a summary or overlay of answers on each slide.

+ There are a variety of responses that teachers can ask for: multiple choice, formula, text, graphical, etc.

+ Card sort is a unique option that has students group items together and self grades.

+ Easy for teachers to add graphical, media, or text stems.

+ This feature can be embedded in Canvas assignments, quizzes and discussions.

- Is not automatically tied to points, all grading work has to be done separately.

- Students have a variety of prior experience with this. Most students have used it before in a math class.

GeoGebra | Free Math Apps - used by over 100 Million Students & Teachers Worldwide
K-12 teachers, if you haven’t heard of GeoGebra, you are missing out!! They have created many wonderful virtual apps and tools to support teaching geometry and algebra. They are adding things all the time!! 

      • Check out their remote learning templates for engaging students with manipulatives virtually.
      • Check out their applets for the IM 6-8 curriculum!
      • Brzezinski Math
        ICTM note:  Tim Brzezinski was a keynote speaker at the 2018 ICTM fall conference. He also presented virtually at our 2017 conference. He is best known for his creation of geometry lessons using the digital platform Geogebra. You can access his lessons on this site.

Illustrative Mathematics
For those of you using IM, check out the amazing resources they have developed to support Unfinished Learning and Distance Learning. 

      • Adaptation Packs provide recommendations for unfinished learning. 
      • Section Planning Guides provide recommendations for how to make adjustments for distance learning.
      • New! IM Community Hub - support community for IM implementers - sign up!!
      • Also, Geogebra has created links to all of the applets for IM grades 6-8.

If you are using the Illustrative Mathematics 6-8 curriculum via Open-Up Resources, check out their new partnership with Kiddom. IKiddom is an assessment support for online learning. See the information on Open-Up’s site here.

Math Talks for Slides
This site was created to fill a need for finding ready-to-use slides that can easily be copied and pasted into my daily meeting slide decks for distance learning. I wanted to have a hub of these engaging resources that I could access for distance learning as well as when we return to school. It's my favorite way to start the day with my students!

ICTM note: This person has taken several high-quality math routine websites and put them into one spot on a google site. Each routine is a separate tab and the various examples of each routine has been put into a google slide deck. The math content is mostly K-5. The site serves as an organizer for many of the high-quality math routines that have been developed for free and are widely known. 

      • Which One Doesn’t Belong? (WODB)
      • Same But Different
      • Would you rather?
      • Number Strings
      • Steve Wyborney’s resources (i.e., Splat, EstiMysteries)

Engagement Tools

Edpuzzle is an engagement tool. Teachers select a video for students to watch and embed opportunities for students to respond to questions.

Allysen Lovstuen created a video on how she uses Edpuzzle to get students engaged in video content, assess their understanding, and provide feedback. She also has shared her reflections in a +/- format:

This tool allows you to embed notes, multiple choice questions, and open response questions in a video (either one you have made or one you find). 

++ For me the workflow of grading short answers (2 - 5 sentences) is easier in this tool than others I have tried. Fewer clicks and less waiting for things to load because all of the answers show up on one screen is the biggest difference to Canvas quizzes. It was easy to type (or copy and paste) feedback directly to individual students on particular questions, and you could click a score instead of having to click and type like in Canvas. 

+ Library of videos & quizzes that are relevant to any content area. Although all the edpuzzles that we used we ended up tailoring to fit our own classes, the pre-made video quizzes made by other educators provide a good starting place. 

+ You can use any YouTube video and create an edpuzzle. You can add notes, voiceovers, and quiz questions (multiple choice or open ended).

+ It works great with Canvas (and therefore can sync to PowerTeacher) because it is a built in external tool that can easily be used when creating an assignment.

+ The insights show how much time students spent watching the video as well as a simple way to assess their answers.  

- This is not a tool students are familiar with. Some students had trouble getting it to load. We found that they needed to be in Chrome and then refreshing the page typically worked.

- Videos can not be downloaded with the questions embedded. 

- Score is automatically reported in Canvas, so if you need to grade open ended questions the grade will originally publish to students in Canvas with no credit on those, it will update once you grade them and award credit. You may just want to warn your students of that.

Padlet is a virtual bulletin board. A question can be posed by the teacher and students respond. Everyone can see the responses.  If you want to see how one person used Padlet to create group norms remotely, watch this video.

Microsoft Education Center
ICTM note:  For those using Microsoft products, this website has resources, webinars, and guidance for online learning.

Pear Deck
Imagine if you could engage every student in your class, every day. What if you could instantly see who’s confused and who’s ready for more? That’s the power of Pear Deck. Pear Deck works on any device and in any browser, and seamlessly integrates with Google and Microsoft Apps for Education. And now, with the Pear Deck for Google Slides Add-on, you can add the magic of formative assessments and interactive questions to your presentations right from Google Slides.

ICTM Board Member Mike Bevelacqua created a video to help get started with Pear Deck. Here are his slides.

Great tools for checking for understanding and engaging students in thinking about one another’s reasoning.

Teachers upload content, students work on, and the teacher provides individualized and real-time feedback. An algebra 2 teacher has created a lesson in Classkick showing how it could be used with students in Distance Learning. Click on one of her classes to see her example.

The Techie Teacher
This blog is intended to give helpful tips and tricks for incorporating technology into your classroom.
ICTM note:  This site has a collection of virtual math manipulatives.

Presentation Tools 
From their website: is a simple tool that can be used instantly. By creating a class and letting your students join, everyone will get a digital whiteboard. You as a teacher see all your students' whiteboards in real time, so you can follow their progress. The students only see their own whiteboard and the teacher's.

Jamboard is a free google app. 
Angie Shindelar created a video describing how Jamboard could be used both virtually and in class with students.

Zoom has a whiteboard feature for Zoom meetings.
Lori Mueller created a video on tips for facilitating with Zoom.

Explain Everything
Explain Everything is an online whiteboard where students and educators can share thoughts and ideas. Create videos, live broadcast your whiteboard in Teams, or collaborate right on the canvas. Due to the recent necessity to temporarily close a growing number of schools, we’ve decided to offer them Free Extended Access. We believe that we can help educators and children with online school scenarios, so everyone affected by the closures can avoid significant breaks in their educational programs.

ICTM note:  The free extended access may be expired. The pricing is a limited free option, or $3.00/month for unlimited access for 1-9 teachers, $0.90/month per teacher for groups over 10.

It’s quite a bit more advanced than other options listed. For example, you can record and send a link to students to watch.

Use Screencastify to easily record, edit, and share videos. It’s a free add-on to Chrome.

Submitting Student Work

CamScanner is a free app students can download. Work can be scanned and uploaded by email or directly to a site designated by the teacher.

Google Forms is part of Google Suite. You can find it in your google apps if you are a Google user.

Flipgrid is a free, simple way to foster short video-based discussions on classroom topics. Educators, learners, and families can use Flipgrid at school or at home to stay connected and share their continued learning experiences. 

Notes is an app that provides an easy way to get a PDF for iphone users.

Adobescan is a free app.

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