Create 2 – Web Tools for Differentiation of Teacher Instruction

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.




Desmos is a fantastic Online Graphic Calculator

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

Transformation of y= X^3 using Desmos , an online graphing calculator

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. 

Create 2 – Web Tools for Differentiation of Student Assessment

Content, Process and Product can be differentiated online

This post is created as part of Georgia Online Professional Learning  course. Here, I will share an artifact to demonstrate how a web 2.0 tool can be used for differentiated instruction and assessment.

The content differentiation requires  educators to be proficient in the subject they are teaching and  know their students  to device the content geared toward the student’s abilities and interests. Process differentiation can be achieved easily with preplanning and organization. Product differentiation is the easiest of all three of them.   


By providing clear, detailed guidelines that the students must meet & concepts that they must illustrate to show their understanding of the content being studied, an instructor can differentiate the product that the students will look forward to producing with pride. 


Collaboration allows us to share and use tried and true artifacts from our colleagues rather than reinventing the wheels. During web walking, I came across Amy McNabb‘s post about  Desmos Graph Art Project which she has created and used in her class for differentiated summative assessment  The students are asked to show their content mastery of graphing basic functions by creating a picture using Desmos, an online graphing calculator.  Along with clear guidelines and a rubric, Amy has provided an example of the product to assist her students further.  She have used Google Form as an exit ticket to gauge student reaction about the project.  We can see that, the students find the project fun, challenging and have responded with gusto.  Please click on the link for the original blog post from Amy where she shows the some examples of art her students created using ingenuity and Desmos, a web 2.0 tool. What an excellent way to achieve differentiated assessment while inviting students to have fun.  Thank you, Amy McNabb, the Mathematician for sharing the project on your blog.