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Engaging Every Student

August 25, 2021

Using Pear Deck in K-12 Math Classrooms

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Victoria Thompson

When I think about my mathematics classes as a K-12 learner, I think of desks in rows, independent work, worksheets, and — most strikingly — a distinct lack of technology to do my schoolwork. Save for a calculator, I cannot remember a single time when I encountered technology in a math classroom while I was in school.

I sought to do the exact opposite as a mathematics teacher. My classrooms were always arranged in collaborative tables, we were constantly working on math projects, and I leveraged video, audio, and multimedia elements in my lessons to engage students. I am a firm believer that incorporating technology in mathematics classrooms gives educators the ability to craft powerful learning experiences. However, the math educators I work with find that technology can be a challenge for some to integrate into the content, especially if students are new to using technology in math class.

Using Pear Deck for math lessons

I relied heavily on Pear Deck and its supporting mathematics templates when I first began incorporating technology into the math classes that I taught (5th-11th grade), and I highly recommend it as a place to begin. Here are some suggestions for getting started with Pear Deck in your math class.

Browse the premade math templates.

Pear Deck has several premade math templates that range from identifying geometric shapes, to “what doesn’t belong,” to solving equations, to even a neat Desmos mapper function. A personal favorite of mine is the graphing template, which was so wonderful to use when I taught linear and non-linear relationships. I am also a fan of the number line template and used this heavily when I taught the upper elementary grades. There’s a good chance you’ll be able to find a template that resonates with you and your math content area.

Drawing Pear Deck slide

Don’t be afraid to browse the other templates.

You don’t just have to stick to the math templates — there is great merit in checking out what some of the other templates have to offer! I am a big fan of using the ELA templates in the following ways:

  • Venn Diagrams – e.g., “Compare and contrast concave and convex polygons.”
    “Correct the sentence” – e.g., “The x axis represents the dependent variable. Correct the sentence.”
  • The science templates for claim, evidence, and reasoning (for number sense and mathematical thinking)
  • The critical thinking templates for explaining point of view

Pear Deck also has wonderful all-purpose templates for the beginning, middle, and end of lessons.

Drawing Pear Deck slide

Use Pear Deck as a way to collect feedback on math concepts, lessons, and activities.

Another great way to use Pear Deck in math class is for a live feedback session. Via Pear Deck’s template library, you can check in with students for a stress check on a lesson/activity so that you can modify or adjust your instruction to meet the needs of your students. Or, if you would like feedback on a homework assignment, you can ask students to gauge how simple or difficult they thought the activity was. This is a responsive way to see what other supports your students may need in order to complete their work and understand the math concepts in your course.

Pear Deck drawing slide

There’s no doubt that technology can help provide dynamic learning experiences for students, and its incorporation in math classrooms can help make content more engaging for students.

To use Pear Deck for your own math lessons, get your copy of these templates for math and ELA! Browse the Pear Deck Orchard for more free, ready-to-teach templates!

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Victoria Thompson

STEM Integration Transformation Coach

Technology Access Foundation

Victoria is a STEM Integration Transformation Coach at Technology Access Foundation — a nonprofit leader redefining STEM education in public schools — a consultant for Ignite EdTech, and a learning specialist for NCCE.

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