Your Friday Five for Jan. 29

This week’s newly searchable activities on teacher.desmos.com include a modeling task, a comprehensive review of function families, a guessing game, and an opportunity for philosophical argumentation.

Star Wars Earnings

Brian Marks of Yummy Math asks algebra students to use data and linear modeling to predict the total box-office earnings of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Functions Review

Katie O’Brien stretches the minds of Algebra 2 and precalculus students with a task that requires matching functions from a wide range of functions families to given sets of points.

If you—like me—are fond of inverses, make sure to check out screen 9 where Ms. O’Brien has students drag points to indicate an inverse.

Where Will They Meet?

Predict, verify, reflect is a cycle we love to set up in Activity Builder. This week, the Desmos Teaching Faculty brings you an activity that has students go through this cycle several times as they solve simple systems of linear equations graphically but strategically.

What’s My Base?

If you have students who you have just introduced to logarithms, you and they may very much enjoy a little game of strategy and insight. In What’s My Base, I use tables and hidden folder to challenge students to figure out the base for each of several different logarithms. When teachers played on Twitter, we generated a surprisingly wide range of strategies. Your students be at least as creative and insightful as the teachers were, don’t you think?

Investigating Rate of Change

Mr. Rothe asks students to think about the effect of a coefficient on the steepness of a line in the coordinate plane, and vice versa. The activity starts gently, and over the course of some 30 screens builds in complexity and surprise, culminating in a coefficient-less Bonus Round.

Any activity that allows middle schoolers to argue about whether an equation that has no coefficient is the same as an equation with coefficient equal to zero is going to be time well spent.