Tuesday, June 9, 2015

First 2 Desmos Lessons Ever... I'm a Believer!

So I've used Desmos to graph equations, plot x-y tables, and CPM uses it for their answer keys and during the lessons as well. A high school colleague used the Central Park activity and really enjoyed it. I tried it out last night, and saw how rich of an activity it was and how it progressed nicely in difficulty. It's quite intuitive as well. I also saw that they had a new activity called Polygraph that dealt with a variety of topics, and one was specifically lines.

I thought this would be a perfect activity for my 7th grade accelerated class and I almost want to scrap my lesson I prepared for my 8th graders tomorrow and do this lesson since the laptops are still in my room.

So, back to the lesson. I've never seen SO many kids, SO engaged at once in the process. It started off easy, but once it got a little bit harder it got quieter and they were concentrating more. Marina pointed out, "look after I submitted my answer I can see what Arthur submitted." *That* is cool. Instant feedback. These students don't ask for help much but you can track their progress on your own computer after they join the teacher's class code. Super high tech. I knew who had trouble starting and who was stuck at certain points.

Also, it progressed from estimates, to calculations, to expressions, to algebraic expressions. Pretty awesome.



After that, they played Polygraph. Wow. It's basically like Guess Who. They put up a bunch of graphs and you pick your favorite 1. Then a student is partnered with someone else in the class and the student who joined has to ask yes/no or short answer questions. Some student made mistakes in picking which answer choice for the question they asked. They were talking about positive and negative slope, certain points, if it was proportional or went through the origin, etc. 



Also, one student who has gone to Kumon a lot who knows a lot of procedures, said "he didn't like Polygraph because their partners vocabulary wasn't specific enough."

I did have one issue when a student read a partner's name and it was inappropriate for school. That student lost his laptop privileges for 5 minutes and then I talked to him and gave him a second chance, but he'll have to tell his parents what name he typed into the screen.

Overall, it was a great lesson. Students finish the Parking activity in about 30 minutes, and I have valuable formative assessment.

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