Monday, March 29
1:00 PM-3:00 PM
Room 3

Using technology and TACTivities to engage learners in mathematics classrooms

Workshop (Live Presentation) ID: 58542
  1. aaa
    Angie Hodge
    Northern Arizona University
  2. aaa
    Cindy York
    Northern Illinois University
  3. Eric Stade
    University of Colorado Boulder

Abstract: Teachers often use hands-on activities and manipulatives to engage their students in the learning process. The COVID-19 pandemic, however, has made this type of learning less accessible with the use of remote teaching. Teachers are left with the challenge of how to motivate and engage their students without being able to provide them with concrete items that help students be actively involved in the learning process. In this workshop, we provide one way in which teachers can still provide their students with these hands-on experiences using tactile learning activities that we call TACTivities. The term “TACTivity” is a portmanteau of the words “tactile” and “activity.” Thus, a TACTivity is a tactile activity. We emphasize that with TACTivities, it is the students, and not (just) the instructor, who are engaging in the tactile experience. We provide options for virtual TACTivities, as well as ways in which some of the activities can be printed and completed remotely. Our TACTivities were originally created for the mathematics classroom, but they could be modified for any grade level and any subject area. An emphasis on free technologies to make the classroom more active will also be emphasized.


Participants will come away with an understanding of what a TACTivity is and how to utilize them in an online or remote setting with or without technology. Participants will better understand active learning and how to engage their students in the classroom (f2f, online, remote). Participants will be able to create their own TACTivity to use in their subject area with their students. Participants will be able to identify free technology tools to use with student engagement.

Topical Outline

We will lead interactive discussions on the basics of the active learning framework, and what it looks like in the classroom (in-person or virtual) in a way that all teachers can understand and use it in their own classrooms. This framework is used in the design of each TACTivity, and in the implementation of the TACTivities. Once we have established the goals and guiding framework for virtual TACTivities, we will lead interactive discussions on the specific virtual learning experience sought when using TACTivities. Most of our examples are from the field of mathematics, but we will also provide ways in which these TACTivities could be modified and used in almost any subject area. Since TACTivities can be modified to fit the specific content, we are also to provide ways in which they can be adapted to fit any grade level. Next we will engage the audience in completing a TACTivity or two. This will lead into participants starting to design their own TACTivity.


None needed.

Experience Level



The lead instructor has led several workshops on active learning across the nation. Two of the instructors have presented interactively at SITE in the past. All instructors have written articles on active learning and all instructors were part of the original team that created TACTivities. One instructor has mathematics education expertise. One instructor has mathematics expertise. One instructor has technology education expertise. All instructors have expertise in active learning and professional development of teachers.


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