Monday, May 28, 2018

Teach 180: Exploring the Desmos CL (Day 169)

Because I only had two classes on Friday and I was tired of sorting papers and packing up my classroom, I decided to spend some time playing around with the computational layer in Desmos.  I had learned about the CL when I went to San Francisco last summer as a Desmos fellow Cohort #2.  I had fully planned to dive into the CL when I returned from that weekend, but we still had two math teachers to hire with six weeks until the start of school.  And when I go on vacation in Maine, we go to a place with limited WiFi.

Thanks to @mrchowmath I was able to begin to dabble in the CL in an exploratory way through an Activity Builder he created.  He posted his videos on his website here.  (I am now also noticing that he has some "Breakout Room" activities that he created with Desmos AB, too.  I'll definitely need to look at these this summer.)

What did I learn from Jay Chow's videos?  First, that the computational layer is not as scary as the syntax makes it look.  Second, that the built in de-bugging suggestions are very helpful.  Jay created a google sheet for people to share their "homework" and now I have about a week and a half to try out one of the following.

I am thinking of trying #1 where a student enters a parabola in standard form and the vertex is reported back in a note along with the x-intercepts.  It would be interesting to see if students notice that the x-coordinate of the vertex is the average of the x-intercepts.  Right now my students don't notice this.  It may be because I only have them focus on the ordered pairs or I only have them focus on the graph.  Perhaps having these together will help them to see the relationship better.

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