How I Teach: Daniel Carlson

In the How I Teach series, teachers answer some questions on the tools and strategies they use to get stuff done in and out of the classroom. Each teacher will work off a set of questions (some of which are borrowed from the lifehacker series) and answer what they like.

Way way back — before this blog, my Twitter, and maybe even Desmos itself existed — my colleagues had a student teacher name Dan Carlson. He went on to teach across town, and we’d only meet up at the occasional trivia night. Now, he’s blogging very regularly and tore up TMC17. This #HowITeach is an instant classic and will be forever known as the most quotable issue.


Location
Mayfield Middle School, Mayfield Heights, Ohio (suburb of Cleveland)

Current job
8th grade mathematics teacher

One word that best describes how I teach
Insane

Current mobile device
Samsung Galaxy S6

Current computer
Asus ZenBook. It’s amazing. I love it.

What software or tools can’t you live without?
Google Slides, Microsoft Word, Inkscape, Geogebra, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome

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How I Teach: Sarah Carter

In the How I Teach series, teachers answer some questions on the tools and strategies they use to get stuff done in and out of the classroom. Each teacher will work off a set of questions (some of which are borrowed from the lifehacker series) and answer what they like.

Sarah Carter was invited into the series by Carl Oliver a few weeks back. Her responses are chock full of great ideas for keeping a classroom running well. No joke, she goes into some excellent detail to let us all in to her process. Check out her blog and twitter for more on how she does what she does.


Location
Drumright, OK

Current Job
Algebra 1 and Chemistry Teacher

One word that best describes how you work
Interactively

Current mobile device
MotoG3

Current computer
Dell Inspiron 15 Laptop

What apps, software, or tools can’t you live without?
SMARTNotebook, Microsoft Publisher, Snipping Tool, Google Keep, IrfanView, Laminator

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How I Teach: Nick Corley

In the How I Teach series, teachers answer some questions on the tools and strategies they use to get stuff done in and out of the classroom. Each teacher will work off a set of questions (some of which are borrowed from the lifehacker series) and answer what they like.

Nick was with me in the first cohort of the Desmos Teaching Fellowship, and I’ve enjoyed throwing ideas back and forth with him on Twitter and on Slack. Catch up on his blog over here!


Location
I live in Marmora, NJ

Current Job
8th grade Mathematics in Northfield NJ Algebra 1 and 8th Math

One word that best describes how I teach
Humorously

Current mobile device
Iphone 5

Current Computer
HP Pavilion

What software or tools can’t you live without?
Desmos!!

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How I Teach: Fawn Nguyen

In the How I Teach series, teachers answer some questions on the tools and strategies they use to get stuff done in and out of the classroom. Each teacher will work off a set of questions (some of which are borrowed from the lifehacker series) and answer what they like.

Two weeks ago, Fawn was invited by Mattie Baker to participate in this onslaught of questions, and it was an on-point invite. Fawn’s blog is bursting with deep, honest, and helpful reflection on her craft, but it also strikes me as one of the best for talking about organizational strategy in the classroom. Let’s see if we can keep this thread of invitations going with her request (near the end, no spoilers).


Location
Oxnard, CA. Not the prettiest sounding name. There’s ox and there’s nard, neither conjures up images of serenity nor charm. But it’s home to the Dallas Cowboys training camp every summer.

Current Job
I’m teaching Math 7 and Math 8 this year. Math 7 is new for me. My previous assignment (for many years) was Math 6 and Math 8, so it was nice for me and the students to get a year break from each other. Not any more!

One word that best describes how I teach
Diligently is the intention, but sometimes it looks more like doggedly.

Current mobile device
iPhone 5S

Current Computer
MacBook Pro. I use one laptop for work and home, so it goes with me everywhere.

What software or tools can’t you live without?
Other than my alarm clock, I rely heavily on Google Calendar.

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How I Teach: Carl Oliver

In the How I Teach series, teachers answer some questions on the tools and strategies they use to get stuff done in and out of the classroom. Each teacher will work off a set of questions (some of which are borrowed from the lifehacker series) and answer what they like.

On the second round of the Desmos Fellowship, I got to meet Carl Oliver (we were even roommates for a short time). A week or 2 later, he delivered a keynote at TMC17 that had everyone diving deep into what first made them #pushsend. His responses below get right at the whole reason I wanted to start this series in the first place: so that I could get some recommendations on tools teachers use to make it through the day.


Location
New York City

Current Job
Assistant Principal City-As-School High School

One word that best describes how I teach
Relationship-ey (is that a word?)

Current mobile device
LG V20

Current Computer
School-issued Acer Chromebook + HP Inspiron workhorse

What software or tools can’t you live without?
Google apps suite
New Visions Cloud Lab Add-Ons (especially Form Mule, Form Ranger, and Auto Crat)
Desmos
Bit.do (like bit.ly, but easier to get the names I want)

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Scenes from AB: Help from the class

One question I often get from teachers in Desmos PD sessions is whether they can turn off the option for students to see other responses from the class when they submit a text or choice response.

Screen Shot 2017-08-25 at 11.35.21 PMSo first off, yes you can turn it on or off. When using the text input or multiple choice, you can check or uncheck the box to allow students to see 3 random responses when they submit their answer.

Teachers will often express concern that students will just copy answers off each other. I hear that. Every choice a teacher makes in a lesson’s design (whether using technology or not) should have a reason behind it, and whether you check that box or uncheck it, you should know why that particular response should or shouldn’t allow that kind of feedback.  Continue reading

How I Teach: Matt Baker

In the How I Teach series, teachers answer some questions on the tools and strategies they use to get stuff done in and out of the classroom. Each teacher will work off a set of questions (some of which are borrowed from the lifehacker series) and answer what they like.

Matt Baker teaches in Brooklyn, NY. I first met him at TMC17 in his class on cultivating conversations amongst students. This past summer he joined the second cohort of the Desmos Teaching Fellowship and we were able to meet up for a bit at the mothership in July. Matt was so kind as to send this to me all the way back in December 2016, and I promptly sat on it until now. He assures me that it’s all still pretty much on point with some minor developments.

This is the start of season 2 for How I Teach. There should be a steady stream of one per Sunday for a bit!


Location
Brooklyn, NY

Current Job
Math teacher at The Brooklyn Latin School. I’m teaching Algebra 2 and IB Math Studies SL Year 2 this year, and I’m the senior grade team leader.

One word that best describes how I teach
My initial response was “Sarcastically”, but I guess “passionately” probably sums it up best.

Current mobile device
iPhone 6

Current Computer
If I’m at home I do my work on an HP laptop I got 5 years ago. At school I have a Lenovo Thinkpad with a trackpad that doesn’t work.

What software or tools can’t you live without?
Word and SmartNotebook sound like lame answers. Honestly I have the DocScan app which makes my life soooooo much easier, because I can make pdfs of keys really easily.

Screen Shot 2017-08-18 at 11.10.19 PMWhat was the last tool that you adopted that was a game changer?
“Game-changer” was probably plickers, because it let me do formative assessment so much more quickly. But that was a few years ago after TMC. “Game-changers” are hard to come by. Continue reading