So one of the things about #vnps (vertical non-permanent surfaces) in classes is that there is a lot of mathematical work, and a lot of discussion, as we develop the mathematical understanding throughout the class. What is missing is the summary & run-down after the class is over — that is, “the notes”. Not only for the student who was absent, but also for those who want to go back over what was done. And the parents… and the admin… if there is no artefact, nothing was done in the class, after all.

In the past, I would often ask the students to develop this summary as an additional formative exercise (did they get the idea?), using their phones in a manner as I describe below. Unfortunately, our school has implemented a “no phones” policy, so it can be a constant juggle of phones (“I left mine in my room/locker”), permissions & perceptions (having an admin walk by and see a student standing with a phone). It’s just easier to do it myself.

So I go around the classroom and take pictures… a lot of pictures… with my phone. They sync up to my Google Photos collection automagically with my school’s wifi. Then, when I’m ready to create the summary, I open Google Photos and click through the pictures. I do not download the pictures I want! I open them full screen in Google Photos & do a Snip&Sketch (Windows-Shift-S) snipping out what I want — this sends it to the Clipboard — and pasting it into a OneNote page around which I build the notes. I sequence the pictures as we did the class, adding text commentary as I go, including links to other resources. This last page I added a tl; dr since we did a lot… A LOT … of development from factoring through to solving by completing the square, when really, they just wanted to be able to solve by CTS in the HW.

Then, after I’ve added all the text, pictures, links, YouTubes, etc into the summary page I distribute it into each student’s section. In a OneNote ClassNotebook, my page that I just made up isn’t edit-able by students (it’s the archive page) but their copy in their section is completely edit-able by them to add more content as needed.

And that’s it! I’ve got a summary page of the work done on the whiteboard (cough #vnps) all period and the students who were absent can ask “what did I miss” and I have an answer.

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