Fellows’ Fave

The Des-Blog is home to the Friday Fave, which is a weekly post about some of the favorite activities amongst the Desmos Teaching Faculty. This week we asked the Desmos Fellows to share some of their favorite activities, and to tell how these activities help students learn math.

Which One Doesn’t Belong?

First off, if you’ve never heard of the WODB puzzles, head here for a brief introduction. Two of our Fellows Fave submissions this week included a WODB task.


Shelley Carranza found her most recent favorite after a visit to Paul Jorgen’s class, where he displayed the above Desmos graph and asked students to find a reason why each of the parabolas didn’t belong. Students argued their positions using graphs and expressions, and built off of each others’ thinking as they reviewed concepts and vocabulary from the unit.

Allison Krasnow also shared a WODB activity that she recently used with 4th grade students. Allison used the dashboard to chose slides where the majority of the class had chosen 1 image and no one had chosen 2 or 3 of the images. She then challenged students to come up with a mathematical reason for why the other images didn’t belong. Allison also supported students in developing academic language by having them discuss and then rewrite their explanation using sentence frames.


A Day on the Town with the Bugs

Bob Lochel shared this delightful introduction to parametric functions where students explore whether or not bugs traveling along intersecting paths will ever meet, and consider why this is so.


A Leaky Cup

Anna Scholl’s students collected data about the water level in a A Leaky Cup and used Desmos to build a model to predict when the cup would be empty. Anna’s goal was to have students build a model using regression. Before students reached that part of the lesson Anna found that they were applying their knowledge of function transformations (a theme of the course) to try to fit a model. Groups then compared models and strategies using the dashboard before learning about regression.

Land the Plane and Game, Set, Flat were also mentioned as recent favorites.

If you’ve been following along with our work in the fellowship program you know that Marbleslides has been a recurring favorite, not to be left out of this Fellows’ Fave edition. We’ll leave you with this recent lunchtime conversation between Paul Jorgens and a student of his who had recently been introduced to Marbleslides:

“Mr. Jorgens. You have to tell me how to stop them!”

“Stop who?”

“I need to know how to stop lines.”


“Let me show you.”