This post is created as a part of Georgia Professional Learning course. Creating differentiated instruction involves using best tools to make learning fun. We will discuss Desmos, a web 2.0 graphing calculator to facilitate student learning about marvelous mathematics.
Not to give away my age, but I learned to graph with paper and pencil. Graphic calculators were not out till I graduated from the college. Graphing was tedious and time consuming. Teachers pulled their proverbial hair out when the students failed to grasp graphing function. Then came graphing calculators and sanity everywhere was restored. Desmos graphing calculator with online presence and apps for android and iPad app is another example of technology making life interesting.
I am using Desmos to differentiate instruction in my Algebra 2 classroom. The ease of use and accessibility of Desmos as on the go instructional tool allows me to reach my students regardless of their comfort with mathematics. With minimum fuss, the students can observe the rules of transformation in action while working at their own speed and I can assist them as needed without hurting their dignity.
Let me share two screenshots from the concept Transforming Basic functions.
Parent Graph: y = X^2
Manipulating the graphs, no problem! Having fun? Definitely.
Parent Graph: y=x^3
As you can see, graphing is no longer boring task but can be a fun learn used in exit tickets, team competitions and real understanding of concepts. Students can continue creating graphs while waiting for lunch to be over or little brother to come our of the school, they may go to Red Bubble and make $$ by selling their creations. Students look forward to the summative assessment Desmos Art Project for Graphing Functions, to show their prowess and earn bragging rights. I can truly says that this tool has made math enjoyable for my kids and me. I still can remember the day when my 14 year old student came early to class so he can show me the cool logo he created and share his knowledge with the class! I was in teacher’s heaven that day.