This year in Algebra 1 and Algebra 2, students have been using an online graphing calculator at Desmos.com to visualize and explore functions. Some of our work has included using equations to create pictures with graphs – including points and linear equations for Algebra 1, and quadratics and conics for Algebra 2.
The editors at Desmos have created an ongoing series called “Daily Desmos.” Users submit their graphs, and selected entries are posted publicly. You can find the Daily Desmos challenges online, and you try to re-create the graphs. They are categorized as basic or advanced – and there are some tricky problems to solve in there. These challenges are not only motivating for students, but they require them to think analytically about how equations and graphs are related. Students become skilled at completing these challenges by deepening their understanding of changing variables, and how they effect visualizations.
Algebra 2 student David has been working on some original graphs as an extension to his regular class work. This week, he submitted one of his pieces to the editors at Desmos.com for them to consider for their Daily Desmos series. The graph was quickly accepted, and posted under their advanced challenge section. This graph represents David’s deep understanding of graphing and of math as a creative process. It has been joyful to see how he has pushed himself with this work. You can check out his graph here: http://dailydesmos.com/2015/05/11/drowning-0-advanced/