Tools for Teaching Math & Computer Science Remotely to ELL Students

My name is Shary Shimray, I teach Algebra 2, Geometry, Math Lab and Computer Science at International High School. I have been teaching at International High School since it opened in 2004.

Computer generated art image

Due to COVID-19, we as teachers, have had to change the way we teach, moving from in-person/paper to virtual/online. While it has been a challenging year, I have learned a lot and made many adjustments. One of the online tools that I have started using for all subjects is “Jamboard”. Embedding Jamboard in BLEND courses allows students to choose how they want to share what they have learned. In addition, students are able to use their creativity in this fun way of working through projects. Normally, students would submit their work separately and individually in the BLEND course. Jamboard creates a collaborative and interactive learning experience. Students can see what others have done, which helps students to learn from each other.

Here are same example of using jamboard in the different contexts:

Algebra 2 “Jamboard”

Students use Desmos Desmos icon.png to create cubic functions and different kinds of transformations. Since I have 100% ELL students, I ask them to write a short sentence about the graphs that I have created for them.

Jamboard examples image

Geometry “Jamboard”

In this activity, students were given the freedom to create their own image as long as they use all the needed codes to create it. To help ELL students practice writing, I added the requirement of writing out the coding process.

Geometry jamboard examples

Computer Science “Jamboard”

In this activity, students were given the freedom to create their own image as long as they use all the needed codes to create it. To help ELL students practice writing, I added the requirement of writing out the coding process.

In addition, I found out some of the students who have both Geometry and Computer Science classes with me are able to make connections between math and computer science. For example, students have learned how to create art work through transformation concepts in Geometry then they use what they have learned in Geometry to apply to computer science class. (see example below)

In sum, when we give students opportunities to choose and create within guidelines (or a rubric), students enjoy creative applied projects much more than conventional worksheets or quizzes.

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