Desmos Suite

by | Jun 4, 2017 | 0 comments

The Desmos offerings are a maths explorers playground! The Desmos suite is amazing for genuine inquiry and investigation. The tools are superb and highly recommended!

Rolfe Kolbe

The Offerings: (more on each below!)

Desmos Calculator: is at the core of the suite with great graphing, functions, plotting, evaluating, transforming and more!
Desmos Learn: has activities, training and the option of creating your own lessons or sheets
Desmos Geometry: Is a newie for Desmos and brings geometry properties to explore and work with.
Desmos Teacher: this is a biggie with activities for teachers and classes.

The Desmos suite can be logged into with a Desmos account or by login with Google which means work can be saved, accessed and shared and embedded easily. Teachers can also track classwork and activities when content is shared that way. It all works well in the browser on iPads but there are also apps for working offline and a little better interactivity.

Desmos Calculator

“Graph functions, plot data, evaluate equations, explore transformations, and much more – for free!” Yes! is a superb tool for investigating properties and patterns. Users can easily graph to compare and contrast and recognise features. The tool changes the emphasis of a lesson to be about what is happening and why as opposed to labourously plotting and hand drawing each graph. Users can go into far more depth with the content and they ask different questions as they explore.

Here are three really simple examples of Desmos Calculator progression with Parabola exploration.
NOTE: click on the “edit graph on Desmos” for the real fun and investigation to begin.

Desmos Geometry:

It is exciting to see this new offering from Desmos. it is in beta version at the moment but still a great tool for easily exploring geometrical properties. NOTE: more Content from Desmos Geometry soon once we can save our work. For now, check out the great features highlighted on the page.

Desmos Teacher:

Wow wow wow! Desmos teacher has great interactive digital activities for teachers and classes. the activities are fun and authentic. We will put up more examples of lessons in action here but one initial example that had immediate success was with year 8 maths as we finished off equations.

eg1: Desmos Polygraph for mathematical language

We used the linear functions bundle with the purpose of exploring solving equations with graphing and extending appropriate mathematical language and literacy. The session worked really nicely with a game similar to “guess who” where students had to guess the graphs and subsequent solution in front of their partner. It was great to hear students using mathematical language to describe the features of the graphs in front of them in trying to work out which was in front of their partner.

The student went to and signed in with Google using their school username and password. then they entered the classroom code and it paired them up against someone else in the class to challenge. They then went about trying to work out which functions and the subsequent solution that was on their partner’s screen.  It was great to hear the dialogue and read the descriptions being typed on screen. After a little while we wrote some of the terms that were being used on the board and then asked if there was better language and better ways of describing what was going on. It did not take long for the natural move to extended work but also to reinforce the terms we should have been using ie intersect instead of cross. It also led to the students working out the way the quadrants are named as well as extending to gradients.

It was certainly a worthwhile activity and achieved goals in an authentic and fun way. We look forward to running more of these activities especially with the goal of explicitly using mathematical language well. STAY TUNED FOR MORE!


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