Monday, May 8, 2017

Part 3: 3rd @desmos print and student products

Today concluded the first of two days with our local librarian Debbie who brought in her 3D printer today. It is called an Ultimaker 2 Go. She started by showing the objects she had printed off of thingiverse as well as a model of herself using some sort of XBox 3D camera? We also passed around the sample from my previous blog post of my daughter's name plate "Everly."

Then I hooked up her laptop to the classroom display so she could introduce students to the history of 3D printing to it's many uses from decorating food, creating space parts, prosthetics, hearing aids, and much much more.

As students listened, they had a chance to ask questions after 15 minutes. Only 1 student asked a question. They were surprised that it would be free at the library. I think the hour time investment of orientation is not appealing to them.

Students were given time to continue working on their graphs. Students who had finished were following the steps in my slides to prep it for printing. In essence, it's changing all the equations to the color black, turning off the grids and axes and turning on the projector mode. Then export as a .png, convert it to .svg, import that file to Tinkercad, add a prism or cylinder as a plate, and turn the name into a hole. One student, Chloe, went through this whole process.

Three students prepared their graphs and emailed them to me, and I added them to the Padlet wall.

While students worked we printed out the name plate for my niece Callan. It came out on gray filament. I was able to pass it out with 15 minutes left in the class. Students thought it would be hot but it had already cooled off. The extruder on the machine though gets up to 200 degrees Celsius, which is almost 400 degrees Fahrenheit. A student pointed out that that's how hot an oven must get, which I agreed. It is kind of like baking something at high heat.

Then we started Chloe's printing. One obstacle we faced was her creating a Tinkercad account. Debbie suggested I look into whether there is a teacher account so students can login using that.

What I like about Chloe's is that she used a cylinder as the name plate background. Debbie shrunk it to cut down on the print time. What I love is that one of my students gets to see how math and their own work results in a real artifact from my math class. What a feeling. I personally remember that feeling from my woodshop and ceramics classes in middle and high school respectively. I do remember making a Factor Book in 8th grade Algebra with a Southpark theme but that's a different kind of artifact!

Here are my 5th period students getting a final look at the printer before class let out:

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Number Tic-Tac-Toe by @mburnsmath

It all began with a tweet by Marilyn Burns a few days ago...

I figured I would introduce it to my 7th and 8th grade math support for students who had finished their homework. I left the directions on the board. Students enjoyed it immensely! So much so, that other students who were still working on their homework stopped and joined in. This class can be hard to motivate at times so to see them want a play a math game was great.

Students liked that they could beat me at the game sometimes. I was really impressed with some of the strategies they were using. We will definitely return to it.

In 6th grade math support, we focused solely on the game. I left the directions on the board and had students practice with their table partner. They asked if they could use their partner's numbers to make three in a row, and I said yes. Also, some were caught repeating numbers so they had to restart.

I played a student and saw that there was a 9 in the middle. They knew they couldn't but anything less than 6 because than I could put a small number and win. So, they put a 7, pushing the sum over 16. I was very impressed.

I then printed out a 16 team elimination bracket by googling for it and randomly put the students names in the columns, making sure their first round game would be against someone different than their practice partner.

During the practice I could talk strategy and give suggestions, but once the bracket started I couldn't to be fair to both players. Students got ultra competitive! I mean, these are kids that have been disenchanted by math for a long time and they were loving this game. I couldn't believe the spark it provided for students. On Monday we have a semifinal match to finish to decide who plays against Faby for the championship (to win a confiscated ring pop...!)

So, thank you so much Marilyn Burns for inspiring my math support students to have fun with a really cool math game.

Here are the rules from the tweet:


Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Part 2: Student rough drafts & my 2nd @Desmos 3D print

Previous blog post

Last week on Monday and Tuesday 8th graders took the SBAC English test for periods 1 through 4 with our 1st period class. Then we had our regularly scheduled 5th and 6th periods. So, for 5th period I had 2 extra periods. What would I do? A head start on writing their names with linear equations on a properly scaled graph that looks the Desmos default graphing window.

As you can see in the top left picture collage, I had students mark off their intervals by 0.5 and label the whole numbers. I then demonstrated how I could write Maria's name using horizontal, vertical, and diagonal lines. I then displayed my color coded graph so students could see how I wrote the equations with the domain and range restrictions.

Many students started and were successful with a lot of noticing of vertical lines being x=-2 if the line went through -2 on the x axis. They then realized they would have to limit the range to stop it from going all the way up and down. 

Some students realized that they couldn't use y=mx+b for some diagonal lines when if they extended it the y-intercept would be off the page. So, there was a need to introduce y=m(x-h)+k or vertex form of a linear function. I told students it basically meant a line with a slope of m still, but it passed through the point (h,k).
Above you can see a student color coding the parts of her name to the equations she wrote. In the top right of the collage, this student finished first... Possibly because her first name had no diagonal lines.

Students were really open to helping each other answer each others questions about their graph and equations.

As you can see, students who had finished were able to use the Desmos iPhone app to start inputting their equations and see their creations come alive. For students whose parents restricted downloading of apps I instructed them to go to in Safari and make sure they logged into their school gmail account to save their work.

I thought about how I could scaffold this activity better to reach all of my students on day 2, and I came up with the following Google Slides. I'd love some feedback on these. The lesson plan is to introduce learning goals and success criteria first (which can later be used as a rubric possibly). Also, show students the artifact that they could eventually print out with all their hard work. Then, instead of telling them exactly how to write each equation, I showed a slide with the equation matched to it's line segment on the graph. I asked students to notice. The slide right after that is a summary of the discussion points I anticipate that we would review. Some of the language refers to a YouTube video called Slope Dude Says under my Jokes tab at the top of the page where an increasing line is "puff puff positive," a decreasing line is "niiice negative" and a horizontal line is "zero fun." I showed this to students because they kept forgetting to put the negative sign after correctly identifying the vertical and horizontal growth of a line.

Below is an idea I had to help students setup their graph for export. I want them to notice all the options that are on in the default Desmos graphing window after clicking on the wrench icon in the top right of the screen. To prepare the graph to export it as an image, students will notice the grid, axis numbers, gridlines, and x and y axis need to be unchecked. The graph also needs to be in projector mode. I screen shotted these when I was on my iPhone app so they could see it easier.

Also, all equations must be the color black, and Desmos shared with me a faster way to do this. You click the gear icon to the right of the plus button in your equations window, and then can click on each color and change it to black.

The default settings are above. You can also see that I haven't changed the color of the lines yet.

The above settings show the correct settings as well as the equations in black.

If you look at the slides, I show the example of "Mr. Joyce." When I printed this, it printed as individual letters. My next iteration is below. I spelled out my daughter's name with parabolas, absolute value, linear, and exponential functions. This time though I created a rectangular prism around the name. I then matched the heights of the prism and the letters and then changed the letters to a "hole" in Tinkercad. So, as you can see, the letters made a hole in the prism. I want to compare this to an embossed or raised look where the letters are sticking up above the plate next time and see which looks better.

So, we have our 2nd week of 8th grade testing next Monday and Tuesday and I have arranged for the local librarian Debbie to come in with the portable 3D printer, give them an introduction, answer questions, print out a sample so they can watch it work, and then have them finish their graphs and prep them to be exported so they can put it in Tinkercad and make the name plate. Then they can export it as a .STL file and be ready to go. Once again, I learned all of this by reading John Stevens' blog post, which is linked in my first blog post, entitled "My First Desmos 3D print."

I also created a Padlet wall so students could post their work for myself and other students to see.

On to part 3 of the series with student products...