“How do you use the teacher dashboard in class?”

We asked the Desmos Fellows this week to pick an upcoming or completed activity and tell how they would use the teacher dashboard during the activity. Responses fell on a spectrum, with many of the fellows describing how they use the dashboard during the launch, explore, or summarize part of a lesson. We also got ideas for using the dashboard to analyze student work and to extend an activity.


  • Dave Sabol recently used teacher pacing in Charge for screens 1-4. This encouraged participation from all students and allowed Dave to select students to share their thinking.
  • Scott Miller also used teacher pacing for the first three slides of an activity to enable an informal introduction to a task that would later be completed algebraically. This allowed students to ask clarifying questions about the context before they got to more challenging parts.
  • Jenn Vadnais used teacher pacing at the beginning of an activity to model the use of and give students practice with a tool that would later be useful in solving fraction challenges.
  • Paul Jorgens recently did an activity with his class on transformations that started with a “which one doesn’t belong” prompt where the students had to pick a cow. He used teacher pacing on screen 1 to give students a chance to argue for their selection. The histogram and responses for this screen were both valuable, showing that each cow had been chosen by at least one student and allowing strategic selection of students to share justifications.


  • Bob Lochel found that adding a couple of “yes/no” multiple choices questions to an activity gave a natural spot to pause for discussion and sharing out.
  • Anna Scholl has been intentional about designing activities with natural stopping points for discussion. She’s found that creating 2-3 slides for students to work and think through followed by pause makes for a nice balance. She’s also found that a card sort with extra answers that are wrong, or multiple correct answers based on unknown information helps generate discussion in her class.
  • Adam Poetzel designed an activity for students to represent multiplication problems as arrays that is intended to be entirely teacher paced. For screens 3-5 Adam lists a series of questions in the teacher tips that teachers can pose to probe and extend students thinking. On Screen 5, when teachers ask questions such as “Make a parade that has 24 faces, and write the matching math sentence”, there may be several possible parades made by students. When ready, the teacher can pause the class and display several different student screens. The class can decide if the parade does have the correct number of faces and if the math sentence is correct.
  • Nolan Doyle shared two activities with us this week that he used for an informal exploration of domain and range as well as increasing and decreasing intervals of quadratics. Nolan used teacher pacing after the initial exploration to build on student thinking as he introduced interval notation. He shared that “it worked really well to allow students to explore the concepts through Desmos and use those exact graphs for their notes as we came together as a class to formalize their thoughts and discoveries.”
  • Nick Corley uses a tablet while circulating the class to see if any students are struggling and to guide them in the correct direction. He also projects the dashboard during a card sort screen so that students can identify when they are correct.


  • Tony Riehl also uses a tablet to monitor student progress as he walks around the room. This helps him check in with students as well as pause and pace for class discussions as needed. Students in Tony’s class work in groups and provide each other support throughout the activity. Tony further supports student learning by using pause and pace at the end of the activity to help summarize the activity and ensure that students leave with the same information.
  • Sarah Blick Vandivort paused her class after slide 12 of Systems of Two Linear Equations to drive home the idea that the point of intersection is the solution and it makes both equations true.


  • Paul Jorgens designed Translations and Reflections so that students that finished early had a chance to created their own challenge. He chose a few of the student created challenges at the end of the activity and had students discuss in groups how they might solve the challenge from their peers.

Analyze Student Work

  • Teachers in Patty Stephen’s district used Desmos for an assessment, and used the teacher dashboard to look at student responses and analyze student work together. Patty notes that the ability to share a dashboard with another teacher in her district would have been helpful to the collaboration process.

How have you used the Teacher Dashboard to monitor student learning and increase classroom conversation? Let us know on Twitter @desmos.