CL Newsletter, May 2020 - Learning Together

In April, we asked you a question: With regards to activity building and CL, what is one thing you know now that you didn’t know a month ago? We were happily surprised to see an overwhelming number of responses! To honor your responses, we took some time to sort through them and compiled them here in a special edition of the Computation Layer Newsletter.

Teacher Moves

We’ve been super impressed with all the innovative ways teachers have wielded the Desmos tools, whether it's creating a reflection piece at the end of each task for students to share and ask questions, or using submitCounts to track attempts for a task.

We especially loved seeing examples of teachers improving their feedback methods. In many cases, this was done by showing the students rather than telling. As @MConstructed put it, “Every time, I get a little better at making the feedback help learning.” Some of us (like @kbook10) even got a little fancy by combining graphs and sketches to deliver visual feedback!

Technical Skills

Of all the new technical skills that were shared, the hottest topic by far was the ability to accurately and reliably determine if a student’s response was correct or incorrect. This involved a lot of testing, trial and error, and in many cases, thinking deeply about the ways that we ask the questions rather than assess the answers.

Other people found new ways to be creative, like learning more about creating motion (@birkelandMr), working with random coordinates (@MrRCartwright), or creating algebra tiles (Monique Rouselle Maynard).

Learning Together

For everyone, including the team at Desmos, learning to create quality instructional material is a journey for a career. We appreciate that so many have embraced their growing edge, especially over the past few months.

Rather than attempt a summation of our own efforts, here are some of the things that people have been saying about growing and learning together:

  • “Knew nothing a month ago. Thanks to all the help and great activities being produced I feel like I've learned a lot - but only about 1% of what is possible!” from @christpohe_Sew
  • “I've learned so much & realized how much more I want to learn!” from @beatonknowsmath
  • “I’ve learned so much this month & look forward to learning more.” from @kbook10
  • “One blessing from this whole crazy experience is I've learned so much about what Desmos can do! (and there's so much I'm still playing with...)” from @BirkelandMr
  • “The bright side of virtual teaching: I've had time to sharpen my @Desmos skills.” from @kdailyclark
  • “B4 6weeks ago, had made some customs, never used CL. Look now! Super proud+sharing tons.” from @nheighstein
There was also a lot of love given to the Desmos community (that’s you!) for the support you all provide to each other and to the world. We are truly grateful to have so many of you sharing ideas and helping one another.

Interested in seeing the responses? This Collection has everything you’ll need.