We learn through relationships and connections with each other. Teachers can build these relationships by valuing students’ ideas,making connections, and building on these ideas. As a result, students learn that they have ideas that are worthy of consideration, and they learn to consider the perspectives of their peers.
How do we get students to feel safe and share their ideas?
Desmos designs activities that are easy to start and difficult to finish so that all students can understand the task and contribute to the learning of the class. Tasks using this structure help ensure equity in the class since students are building mathematics that comes from their own understanding.
Anonymize is a Desmos tool that replaces students’ names with mathematicians’ names. When students work in a Desmos activity they can share their ideas and the teacher can use students’ responses to facilitate discussion while keeping each student’s identity hidden.
On some Desmos screens, after a student shares a response, they get to see the responses of three of their classmates, and revise their own thoughts if they choose.
With the snapshot tool, teachers can record student work—either different strategies for the same solution or entirely different solutions—present this student work in collections to the class, and use the thinking of the students in the room to facilitate class conversations around the content.
When students feel that their ideas are valued, they become more likely to share their ideas, leading to a increasing diversity of ideas shared in each lesson. Students’ ideas are this week’s Friday Fave.
Here are four activities for eliciting students’ ideas in your classroom:
Avi and Benita’s Repair Shop
Point Collector: Lines
Translations with Coordinates