Friday Five for the First Friday in February

This week we have modeling, art, geometric relationships and a switcheroo of the axes that will provide great conversations in algebra classrooms everywhere!

Who’s Faster?

This one’s short but it will make your brain ache. In a good way! How can I tell who’s faster when time is on the vertical axis? What does this even mean? Good times! Direct from Desmos’s own Michael Fenton to your algebra classroom.

Roll the Dice

Luke Walsh (Desmos trivia! Luke is at the helm of the Desmos Twitter account!) brings us a new modeling task. Roll a bunch of dice (electronically or IRL). On your next turn, roll the same number PLUS however many evens you had on the last roll. Repeat and keep track of the associated ratios. Then build a model. If you do this with actual dice, you’ll need a lot of them. Either way, a great activity to model in a new context.

Intro to Rational Functions

Hannah Schuchhardt brings Algebra II students a lovely introduction to rational functions and their graphical properties. This activity is simple and straightforward—it’d be easy to get it up and running on Monday morning for sure.

String Art 2.0

How do I get kids exactly one ton of practice writing equations for line segments, while engaging in purposeful image making? Is that the question you’ve been asking yourself? Well cheer up then! Laurie Baker brings you the answer to that question with String Art!

Maybe you’ll inspired and want to set up your own string art challenges? If so, just duplicate Laurie’s activity and modify to your heart’s content.

Modeling Perimeter and Area

Daniel Henrikson starts students off with a single constraint: sketch a rectangle with length and width differing by four units. Pretty soon, points are being plotted, loci are being imagined, and relationships are being modeled. If you’re introducing students to using algebraic symbols to capture geometric relationships, here’s a great activity to use. But if we’re being perfectly honest? Most calculus classrooms would be happier places with a bit of this sort of modeling from time to time.