My dream maths tools for the classroom

Hi!

As a maths tutor, I use a lot of shapes and the drawing tools in my lesssons and I had some thoughts on things I would love to have added in the classroom, hope these would be possible…

  • “Snap to grid” feature which would align shapes’ edges to the closest gridlines
  • X and Y labelled axes :heart_eyes: and maybe some preset graphs too like a parabola and some trigonometric graphs.
  • drawn in angles on triangles
  • keep gridlines when we add a new slide

I would also like to be able to type latex in the Text boxes

Interested to hear other people’s thoughts! Or if there’s anything I have missed out

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The “snap to grid” feature already exists - if you hold down shift and the space bar when you are inserting a shape then it’ll fix it to the closest grid lines :slight_smile:

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I agree with the rest of the above! I’d add a rotatable protractor tool into that too. Many lessons where that would come in handy

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Hi, the snap to grid sounds interesting, how is it done ?

I had no idea! I’ll have to try it out

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I would also like to have the use of a protractor and also a ruler. I teach primary maths and had a lot of success using the tools available in the old classroom.

I’m still waiting for PowerPoint to work as a slide show…

Hello!

I thought I’d pop on to give some clarification on where we are in the classroom at the moment.

Firstly, thank you @Julia for giving us your requests, I’ve added them to our list for future consideration. At the moment, as we are reaching the summer holidays, Maths tools are not something that is on our immediate list as we have a few other broad features we’d like to release to help a wider targeted audience. However, features like protractors/rulers, graphs and subscript/superscript are definitely things we would like to eventually look into to help our Maths/Science tutors.

As @Basmati64 has explained, snap-to-grid is something we already do as well as changing angles of triangles. I hope the GIF below helps guide the best practice to do both of these things:
shapes GIF

I hope the above demonstration helps. You are more than welcome to practice this new feature in our demo classroom before your next lesson.

Thanks!

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Hi @cattyclaws

You can upload your Powerpoint in the classroom, the difference is that you have to scroll down to see the next slide in the classroom instead of clicking on each board. This is so the student can follow the presentation easily and also collaborate on notetaking as you go along.

Here’s a quick demonstration for you (I love a GIF):

powerpoint on classroom

Another way you could present is using screenshare, however, this will take over the whole screen so you will not be able to use any of the tools and for the time being, you will not be able to see the student’s camera.

I hope this helps and wish you a lovely Friday :slight_smile:

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Hi Julia

I know that I’m being a bit off topic here, but I teach maths too, but I draw the line at GCSE maths as it is one of my weakest subjects. Have you tried a site called, “MyMaths”? It’s pretty good for functional skills maths, so perhaps you and other maths tutors might want to check it out. It’s interactive, so can be easily used online. Another useful website is Oak Academy. They started up to fill the gap during lockdown, but remain as a free resource for online tutoring. Sorry for changing the subject.

This is a really useful demo Sam. Thanks for sharing. :smiley:

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Sam benson - the way you describe to use powerpoints in the classroom means you can’t use some of the tools within the powerpoint - animations etc. and the fact that screen sharing means you can’t see the students camera is one of the reason I use Zoom rather then the classroom - particularly with students who I know will turn their camera off and do something else.

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We were told to use Oak academy as school if we needed to set cover but found that for many of the GCSE topics it actualluy didn’t cover them very well or in the right depth so we stopped using it.

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Admittedly, I rarely use it myself.

I used to use PowerPoints a lot when Tutorful used the old classroom, but in the new classroom these were rendered useless if they had animations and had to either be loaded as a PDF or were unusable. I have not been able to use them by sharing my screen because my pupils can only see the first slide and although I can change slides my pupils still only see the first slide. It’s quite frustrating because I have some really good PowerPoints and they are a useful teaching tool. Also, if loaded in the classroom, I used to be able to cover up the answers with a shape in the old classroom, or the ‘rubber’ in the new classroom as it covered a part of the board with white which could then be moved to reveal the answer. That option has now been removed as the rubber works differently and the shapes are just outlines so cannot be used to cover the answers. This has further reduced my use of PowerPoints.

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@cattyclaws

The old classroom was based a software platform called LearnCube. You can actually access a basic version for free on their website or subscribe for the virtual classroom, which is what I do. Most importantly for me, you can share screen while retaining control of the board, and both you and the student can annotate the shared screen.

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I’ve never tried MyMaths or Oak Academy.

I mainly use physics and maths tutor for example exam questions for A level and just cut and paste them into my own pdfs :slight_smile:

I can’t seem to get the triangle to work :frowning:

I can drag the corner to make a right angle with the shift key, but how can I get it to snap to the grid after that?

Thanks!

Hi @JaneMcK

Thanks for your reply.

For using animations or Oak Academy, you would have to screen share, we are aware of the issue of not seeing the students whilst sharing your screen. Fortunately, we are currently investigating ways to improve the whole screen share experience as we know at the moment, it’s not the best it can be to make your online lessons feel at ease.

@cattyclaws thank you for your description of how you’d go about (or how you used to) using the PowerPoint function when we were using LearnCube as the old classroom. This will massively help our further investigation.

Once we have had a deeper look at this, I’m very happy to organise a call with anyone who would like to discuss the screen share function (not just for Powerpoints but for everything related to screen share) so we can see what works for you and what is important to you.

If you are happy to have a call in the near future, please DM me with your email address and we can organise a good time :slight_smile:

Wishing you a lovely Monday!