Desmos Activity Builder has quickly caught on as a math teacher favorite. It allows teachers to design activities that guide students through tasks and challenges to help build a deeper understanding of math concepts. (My current favorites are Land the Plane and Transformation Golf)
So, why not use this awesome tool in other content areas as well? Some recently released features, such as card sorts, give this tool a lot of flexibility to be used in any classroom. We will highlight other features in the near future, but let’s start by taking a look at Card Sorts in Desmos Activity Builder. (teacher.desmos.com)
Desmos Card Sorts:
Sorting activities are great for encouraging critical thinking, and the discussion about how the cards should be sorted is often the most powerful part of a sorting activity. Desmos allows you to create card sorts (without cutting card after card on your own) with the goal of having students collaborate to figure out which cards should be grouped together. The teacher can see who is grouping cards correctly through the teacher dashboard and use the conversation tools to pause the activity and have a full class discussion if necessary.
If you have pre-set categories you can use images to draw attention to the category headers like you see in the example below.
Learn more about card sorts using the links below:
Desmos Card Sorts - from learn.desmos.com
Create Your Own Card Sort in Under 10 Minutes - by Andrew Stadel (@mr_stadel)
Collaboration Strategy: Once you identify groups who are sorting correctly, you can make those students the "experts" and have them help other groups by asking questions to lead them toward the correct answers. I have seen this strategy implemented successfully in Shakopee. It works really well if you have set protocols for questioning by using strategies like collaborative study groups.