This is a simple thing, but it took me some digging to find some straightforward instructions. For my own future use and hopefully to save some others the same searching here they are:
1. Make sure your local repo is up to date
git pull origin master
2. Create a local branch
git checkout -b [local branch name]
3. Perform your changes to your new local branch.
4. When ready to commit to github:
- If you want the github branch name to match your local name:
git push origin [local branch name]
- If you want the github branch name to be different than the local name:
git push origin [local branch name]:[remote branch name]
Also, as a bonus, to delete a remote branch use:
git push origin :[remote branch name]
Thanks to Joe Savak and his post here
which I based my instructions on.