Friday Fave for December 15

The Friday Fave is feeling nostalgic this holiday season, and is thinking back to the activity that started it all.

Desmos released Penny Circle a bit more than four years ago, in July 2013—our first activity. Penny Circle was well received by students, teachers, and curriculum aficionados alike. Embedding the Desmos graphing calculator into an online modeling activity that runs on any web browser, and supplementing it with tools for collecting and sharing data, and for teachers to see student work in real time gave teachers and students a new kind of mathematical power.

But the years did not treat the underlying technology kindly. Browsers evolved. Our ideas about how to use technology to support teachers’ work evolved.

All of which is why we’ve rebuilt Penny Circle using the Activity Builder platform. What originally took months to build took us a couple of weeks to rebuild from scratch inside of Activity Builder, a testament to the power of this platform.

So now is the time, fellow citizens of the math-learning internet! If you’ve not used Penny Circle before, it’s waiting for you here. If you used it a while back and it was showing its age technologically, try the updated form!

When your students are arguing over whether and why their data is linear, quadratic, or exponential you’ll be glad you did!

And while you’re thinking about modeling activities, here are a few more favorites the Fave recommends.


Mocha Modeling: Starbucks Locations

Card Sort: Modeling