Saturday, December 19, 2015

Desmos Marble Slides: Parabolas

Desmos just released their newest set of activities on Tuesday, aptly named "Marbleslides".  I decided to use the last day before Christmas vacation to let my algebra 2 students give the Parabola challenges a try.  I forced students to work as pairs instead of having them work independently.  I have found that my room is very quiet when students work on Desmos activities by themselves.  I wanted more collaboration and thinking out loud; I wanted more noise.

It appears Desmos hit a home run with their latest release.  More than once I had students arguing about whose turn it was to run the controls.  Many students left class with a new addiction.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Desmos Activity Builder Part 2

In case you missed my first post 5 short weeks ago about Desmos Activity Builder, please feel free to check it out.

It appears as though Santa came early because this was on my wish list.  Great new via Twitter today:

We are now able to copy someone else's activity and customize it to make it fit our specific needs.

For example, we used this activity on rotations by Andrew Stadel in geometry class a few weeks ago.  I now have the ability to duplicate the activity and make small tweaks to fit the needs of my specific students.  I don't have to try to re-create the magic that Andrew already created, yet I now have the ability to put my personal spin on these activities.

One final thought:
This open sharing of resources that is taking place is so powerful.  I love it that the people at Desmos and anyone who shares their wonderful creations through Desmos are not concerned about getting paid or someone else copying their ideas.  Sites like have some great resources, but it bothers me when teachers aren't willing to share resources with each other without getting something ($$$) in return.  The folks sharing via Desmos are willing to share resources for others to use and potentially for others to improve.  It's such a different mindset when compared to those teachers willing to share but only if they get something in return.

Happy customizing in activity builder!