Monday, July 11, 2016

Smart Graphs App

Smart Graphs is a great free app put out by the Concord Consortium that meets common core standards.  This app uses graphs to help teach very specific topics from Algebra I and II.  It has 19 graph related activities spread out over four topics

Smart Graphs covers linear equations, quadratic equations, transformations of functions and exponential expressions.

Each section is broken down into subtopics.  For instance the transformation of function is broken down into translations, dilations, reflections, all of them and inverses so students get practice with each topic.

Linear equations have both linear and systems so students can do both.  One of the sections under linear equations is called points, intercepts, and slopes, Oh my and it looks at the x and y intercepts.

The quadratic equations section focuses on graphic quadratics, quadratic word problems and quadratic functions in vertex form which is something my students do not get enough practice in.  The exponential function covers graphing, growth and decay.

Once the student selects a subtopic, the first screen has a short review of the material as a reminder before the student gets the questions.

The material in the review is quite specific with good definitions.

Once done with the review, the app moves on to the questions with two possible answer forms.  The  first is a multiple choice answer.

If the student selects the incorrect answer, it tells them it is incorrect but it will not give the correct answer.  The student must go back and try again. Once they have selected the correct answer, it provides and explanation.

The other type of answer is the one where the student finishes the graph.  The way that one is corrected is by comparing their answer with the one given by the app.

I've noticed that it can sometimes be difficult to get the curve you desire but as far as I'm concerned if you get pretty close, that is great and is fine.  it gives students a chance to learn to compare graphs.

Now for the extras offered at the website associated with the app.  If you go to the developers website, you will find lesson plans for every subtopic in the app.  Each lesson plan is divided into three parts so you know the essential questions and standards, the assessment and the learning stage itself in nice detail.  In addition, there is also a ready to go assessment sheet which asks students to practice what they learned.

These extras are available for all subsections on the app.  Check it out.