Friday, October 30, 2015

Desmos and teachers

Parabola, Parable, Mathematical Function  Thank you to Josh Fisher for this lead.  I have used the Desmos app in the classroom for graphing because it does not require students to rewrite every equation before graphing.  It means my students who struggle can complete the graphing assignment before they get frustrated and give up.

Due to an entry in the Mathematics Education google plus group, I learned that they have a teachers section with already created activities for use in the classroom.  The teacher gets a code the students use to sign in and as the teacher you get a list of who signs in. 

They have a pairs game to learn more about parabolas. I saw a parking game where students create the parking space using algebra.  if they spaces are not the correct size, the cars can't park.  They have one where students create the graph that controls the amusement rides.  I saw 8 to 10 activities that will easily fit into lessons without a problem. 

I tried the car parking one and it required placing dividers equally so the cars could park in the slots.  There are 13 different parking scenarios to do.  It was challenging to use my eye to make the lines equidistant but once I had the cars try to park, it was easy to readjust the lines.

In addition, there are the components to build your own activity so you can create an activity geared for the specific standard you are teaching.  You can put in a series of screens that include instructions like "Explain your thinking" or any questions you need answered on a graph.  It looks quite easy to design the activity.

I know this can be done on the computer but I'm not sure it works on iPads.  When I tried it on the iPads, the browsers shut down and the iPad turned off. I'll check with the company to see what is going on.  I think I"ll be using these activities in the classroom.