I love my animal project (original post found here) but I have been wanting to incorporate more technology. I have shied away from Desmos and like products because domain/range restriction is needed to create a picture...
Then I realized that my Algebra I students learn how to graph piecewise functions. A match made in math heaven. Students were asked to create any picture they wanted (I also encouraged them to explore functions that have not been covered in class) using functions covered in class (linear, constant, and absolute value) and make a picture by restricting the domain. To submit, they e-mailed (before the class of the quiz) their creation to me and I printed it off. This picture counted as 20 points on their piecewise functions quiz. I created a simple rubric that is attached on the file below.
I like giving students the opportunity to earn quiz points outside of class. Alternate assessment anyone?
Instructions (steps 1-3 were completed in class, they started 4 in class but had time at home to finish):
1st: Create an account at Desmos. Feel free to play around on the calculator that shows up for a minute or two.
2nd: Watch entire video (it’s under 5 minutes) by Bob Lochel from mathcoachblog.com to learn how to resist domain, change the color of the graphs, and enter piecewise functions. Watch this Video
3rd: Think about what you want your picture to be and then create! Refer to the rubric below for how you will be graded. I have included an example of a similar project that I completed a few years back on a similar program. If you would like to explore with different functions that we have not covered in class, feel free to!
4th: When your creation is complete share the graph with me (included my e-mail and such)
The students enjoyed this and I had a great experience using Desmos.
1) Will use again
2) Will provided more guidance on what to draw (school spirit, holiday theme, etc...)
3) Maybe add color in there some where?!?! That just takes more time though.
It would be interesting for older students that have more functions in their tool belt.
In February I attended the Designing Making Experiences Conference held at the Castilleja School's Bourn Idea Lab in Palo Alto, CA. It was a crazy week for me personally, I got engaged the weekend before and was busy updating resumes for my move to Nashville and starting to plan a wedding so I was concerned that I would not get the full experience. I was wrong about that!
The conference gave my math department chair at Marist and me the opportunity to see a maker space lab in all its glory. I was foreign to the idea but soon became excited about the idea of having a space allowing kids to create. A maker space is like the 21st century "shop class" and is filled with power tools, 3D printers, arts and crafts supplies, and other items that let students create. What students create can be tied to a particular standard in an academic class or just a random thing. During the conference, we created as well! Each participant was also expected to create a project that could be brought back to their school. I had a hard time thinking of something that I could use. The first produced nothing and I was frustrated. However, after racking my brain and thinking of the topics I was covering and piecing together what I have seen other teacher's do online and in-person, I adapted a probability carnival project from Tom DeRosa.
The overview is that the students (in pairs) design a unique carnival game that involves probability. The students must be able to find the theoretical probability (this was a struggle for some who wanted to add in elements that involve skill such as make a basket). Make sure to stress to students not to make it too complicated. To collect the experimental probability, we threw a carnival. I invited parents and the entire school to come play the games. It was a blast! We had tons of classes, teachers, parents, and administrators stop by to play games and win prizes. My students loved it. After the carnival, the students had to complete a write-up which included a probability analysis comparing their theoretical and experimental probability. The part I will change for future years is the write-up. They were not as detailed as I would of like and I will provide more direction in the future.
This has been one of my favorite projects since the whole school community got involved. Now I just need to grade...
Educator who loves math and working with students.