Collaborative Connections with EdCo: Lindsay Roe, Courtney Elko, and Joel Bezaire

EdCo Member, Lindsay Roe, recently collaborated with Joel Bezaire to find a way for students to utilize Desmos across the curriculum. The product of their collaboration quickly spread throughout the school, reaching EdCo Member, Courtney Elko, in the process. Joining EdCo provides a direct connection to amazing educators like Lindsay, Joel, and Courtney.

*originally published May 27, 2021

To tackle virtual learning with recently arrived ELs, I knew I was going to need the help of my EdCo community; early in the summer, I reached out to fellow EdCo member, Joel Bezaire who volunteered to show my school\’s instructional leadership team how to use Desmos in math classes. From there, I started envisioning how teachers in all disciplines could use Desmos. Norming on a platform across disciplines supported students who were struggling with technology to more quickly learn how to participate in virtual instruction. 

Desmos was ideally suited to support newcomer ELs given its picture and word drag, card sort, and sketch/annotation tool capabilities. Additionally, there were many ways to code the components so that students could check their own work for accuracy which improved the quality of asynchronous lessons that were frequently needed throughout the year. It was really exciting to see students grow in their independent use of these materials. 

Here is an activity builder of Desmos activity types that support newcomers (and all students) as well as a video demonstrating some of the codes and functionality. Even though virtual learning is hopefully nearing an end, I anticipate I will continue to use Desmos as a lesson tool given how many of the activities allow all students, regardless of language level, to show their thinking. While I used to spend A LOT of hours cutting up sorts and sequencing pictures, Desmos gives a more efficient way to accomplish the same tasks. 

The Educators\’ Cooperative is a non-profit organization that provides a professional learning community for K-12 teachers. Created for teachers by teachers in 2016, EdCo provides professional development and support for educators to collaborate across sectors, disciplines, and career stages. EdCo aims to revolutionize teacher development and leadership by focusing on the essential agency, autonomy, and common ground all teachers share. EdCo is based in Nashville, Tennessee with a reach far beyond that physical location and potential for replication in communities throughout the nation. When educators collaborate, the future of education is greater than the sum of its parts.   

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