I wrote about how EZ it was to create simple flashcards using Desmos, and mentioned that I was using it with reading. Here’s a bit more on getting that set up and what it all looks like from the teacher dashboard during class. You don’t need to use many features at all. Just go to Your Activities, Custom, then New Activity to start…
There are a lot of mathy options, obviously, but I only use a) Image for grabbing a screenshot of existing text, b) Text Input for making a glossary, and c) Multiple Choice/Checkboxes for simple tasks and a little bit of data. You’ll also notice the Card Sort option at the bottom for making flashcards. Up at the top is where you add pages to the activity. That’s it!
When you’re done, get a Single Session Code under “Assign:”
Then click “View Dashboard” to get the link to send students, as well as see the teacher side of things:
Keep in mind that “a little goes a long way.” In my activity with just 5 pages from my purple person who purples novella, most students were only about halfway through after 10 minutes or so, which you can see from the teacher dashboard screenshot below. Of course, that’s probably because this was only their 20th class of first year Latin, but I wouldn’t want to spend more than 15 minutes on this kind of independent activity anyway, so creating much more would’ve been a waste. To that point, I’ve seen teachers pressured to “get through” what they created—BECAUSE—they created it, not because it’s what the students need at the time. N.B. the “anonymize” button was clicked and is showing random names—great for screensharing progress to whole class, as well as showing you fine folks what it looks like.
Data & Insight
Since I included complete glossaries, I wanted to know how students were using them. Hence, the multiple choice/checkboxes. In this screenshot (also with anonymized names), you’ll see that most of the students have been reading outside of class, referring to some of the glossary words. Safe to say that those other 8 students could be reading more, which is not at all surprising.
In this screenshot from the next text page, students were asked to check-off words they needed the glossary for. You’ll notice that many students were tripped up by “suddenly.” Luckily, not one student had to look up “is.” Top five verbs for the win, right?! Anyway, these kind of “read & ____” quick tasks are giving me way more insight than any comprehension questions I would’ve come up with. For those, I do real time Quick Quizzes, utilizing the polling feature of Zoom if I don’t need a record, and a simple Google Form if I do.