Northeastern Illinois EdTechTeam Summit

Redefining Mathematics Pedagogy with Contextual Tasks & Technology

Thursday July 20th, 2017

Thank you for joining me for some math geekery at the Northeastern Illinois EdTechTeam Summit! Please feel free to utilize the resources related to the day below for your future use. As always, please don’t hesitate to reach out in the future!

Session #1: Gamifying Formative Assessment With Knowledgehook Gameshow

In this session, we explored the Four Stages of Learning (or Four Stages of Mastery), as I like to call them.

I then shared my vision for mathematics education that I have been refining for the past five years. Here is what it looks like currently:

Mathematics Vision - A Math Lesson in 4-Parts - Contextual, Visual and Concrete

We then jumped into a 3 act math task called “Walk Out“:

Walk Out [3 Act Math Task]

What does the distance-time graph look like?


Walk Out 3 Act Math Task - Distance Time Graphs
Summary & Resources

After introducing the initial video and giving some time for you to notice and wonder, we soon added in a digital tool called Knowledgehook Gameshow to make the process interactive. As I mentioned in the session, I would spend time without any digital tool when introducing 3 act math tasks in your classroom to build a community of mathematical thinkers and discourse.

Session #2: Sparking Curiosity to Promote Inquiry and Productive Struggle

During the second session of the morning, we discussed more strategies to spark curiosity in order to promote inquiry and productive struggle.

The task we focused on during this session was the Counting Candies 3 Act Math Task:

Counting Candies [3 Act Math Task]

How many candies should each person get?


Counting Candies - Working With Fractions to Find Unknowns
Summary & Resources

After introducing the task, we also added a Desmos Custom Activity to the mix:

[DESMOS] Counting Candies 3 Act Math Task


Counting Candy Desmos Activity Builder Activity

This activity supports the Counting Candies 3 Act Math Task in order to introduce the idea of systems of equations.

Access this activity in the following ways:

Session #3: Creating Interactive Math Tasks With Google Sites

While the session title had a focus on Creating Interactive Math Tasks With Google Sites, we explored a few different options for creating interactive math tasks using technology.

Before jumping into the task, we discussed the two groups of students I (unintentionally) created in my class and the possible commonalities between students in both groups.

We also spent some time discussing the problem with rushing to the algorithm and used the Keurig Instant Coffee Maker commercial as a prime example of the rush to the algorithm.

The task explored during this session was the Stacking Paper 3 Act Math Task:

Stacking Paper [3 Act Math Task]

How many packages of paper will it take to reach the ceiling?


Stacking Paper - 3 Act Math Task - Real World Math
Summary & Resources

We also looked at Google Sites as an option to deliver this task:

Access Google Site

You can also read a blog post about creating interactive tasks with Google Sites here:

I shared a Google Doc with a couple additional options as well such as Desmos Custom Activity Builder, Knowledgehook Gameshow, Recap! and GoFormative.

Another Desmos Activity we explored was Marbleslides: Lines.

[DESMOS] Marbleslides: Lines


Desmos Marbleslides - Lines

This activity supports the Counting Candies 3 Act Math Task in order to introduce the idea of systems of equations.

Access this activity in the following ways:

Note that they have other Marbleslides versions including:

Session #4: Standards Based Grading GAMIFIED!

During the last session of the day, we explored some of the attempts myself and others have made at using Standards Based Grading (SBG) in our classrooms including the Gamified Google Sheet that has been modified and improved by many on the web since Alice Keeler first introduced the idea.

A Google Doc was shared with resources that might be useful for you as you determine what tool is most appropriate for Standards Based Grading (SBG) or assessment by learning goals.

The intent of sharing this gamified spreadsheet was to show some of the things we might be able to do to help improve assessment in math class, but I think most would agree the sheet is quite overwhelming.

Luckily, Jon Orr has found a suitable alternative to accomplish the same thing using FreshGrade. Read his blog post here.

Other Useful Math Tasks and Tools:

The Stacking Paper Tasks are also available on iOS as a multi-touch book for iBooks:

Stacking Paper Tasks Multitouch Book for iBooks

Grab It!

Learn more about what’s inside the multi-touch book here.

Or, consider accessing these tasks in an interactive way via Google Sites.

3 Act Math Tasks: Curious Math iTunes U Course

Access over 30 tasks with all resources downloaded directly to your iOS Device to avoid streaming media in your classroom through the Curious Math iTunes U Course:

3 Act Math Tasks - Curious Math iTunes U Course

Enrol in Course

[DESMOS] Function Carnival


Desmos Function Carnival Activity

Access this activity in the following ways:

[DESMOS] Polynomial Equation Challenges


Desmos Polynomial Equation Challenges

Access this activity in the following ways:

[DESMOS] Polygraph: Parabolas


Desmos Polygraph Activity

Access this activity in the following ways:

Other interesting Desmos Activities to Explore:


Will It Hit THe Hoop? Dan Meyer 3 Act Math Task Desmos Activity

Will It Hit The Hoop? – Dan Meyer 3 Act Math Task
Try as a student: Desmos Activity (Code: nax6)
Use this activity with your own class by clicking here.

Parallel and Perpendicular Lines

The Detention Buy-Out: Solving Systems of Equations

Other Useful Courses to Check Out:


Learn Pythagorean Theorem Through Exploration – Kyle Pearce
Stacking Paper Tasks – Kyle Pearce
Beautiful Functions – Jon Orr

OR, you don’t want to download Jon’s Beautiful Functions book? Check out all of the links here on his blog.