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Friday Fave for January 18

We learn through relationships and connections with each other. Teachers can build these relationships by valuing students’ ideas,making connections, and building on these ideas. As a result, students learn that they have ideas that are worthy of consideration, and they learn to consider the perspectives of their peers.

How do we get students to feel safe and share their ideas?

Desmos designs activities that are easy to start and difficult to finish so that all students can understand the task and contribute to the learning of the class. Tasks using this structure help ensure equity in the class since students are building mathematics that comes from their own understanding.

Anonymize is a Desmos tool that replaces students’ names with mathematicians’ names. When students work in a Desmos activity they can share their ideas and the teacher can use students’ responses to facilitate discussion while keeping each student’s identity hidden.

Animation showing how to replace student names in the teacher dashboard with mathematicians' names

On some Desmos screens, after a student shares a response, they get to see the responses of three of their classmates, and revise their own thoughts if they choose.

Animation showing a student typing a response and then seeing other students' responses

With the snapshot tool, teachers can record student work—either different strategies for the same solution or entirely different solutions—present this student work in collections to the class, and use the thinking of the students in the room to facilitate class conversations around the content.

Animation showing the process of capturing, organizing, and presenting student work snapshots

When students feel that their ideas are valued, they become more likely to share their ideas, leading to a increasing diversity of ideas shared in each lesson. Students’ ideas are this week’s Friday Fave.

Here are four activities for eliciting students’ ideas in your classroom:
Avi and Benita’s Repair Shop
Point Collector: Lines
Picture Perfect
Translations with Coordinates

Desmos Collaborates with the New York Times Learning Network and the American Statistical Association to Improve Statistical Literacy in K-12 Education

Desmos is excited to announce a collaboration with the New York Times Learning Network and the American Statistical Association to help students experience the power of statistical literacy in the world around them in a feature called What’s Going on in This Graph?

This feature began in Fall 2017, with the New York Times Learning Network selecting a particularly relevant or newsworthy graph from the New York Times’ original reporting and the American Statistical Association hosting a live, worldwide discussion about the graph on the NYTLN website. Desmos will now use its Activity Builder technology to help its worldwide network of teachers host those discussions inside their own classrooms, asking students to interpret the graphs in rich, interesting ways.

“These graphs from the New York Times are full of facts and relationships that students can notice and wonder about,” said Dan Meyer, Chief Academic Officer at Desmos. “We hope that this collaboration will help all the students and teachers who use Desmos to read news articles with sharper eyes.”

“The American Statistical Association is proud to be in partnership with the New York Times Learning Network to host WGOITG and now to collaborate with Desmos to expand the reach and classroom discussion,” said American Statistical Association member Sharon Hessney. “With our weekly online moderation and support materials, the outstanding Times graphs, and the interactive Desmos platform, students can engage with timely graphs and statistics. There are graphs with a discussion for students of any grade and any course.”

“We think the award-winning graphs from The New York Times and the Upshot section are a gold mine for teachers,” said Michael Gonchar, an editor with the New York Times Learning Network. “Through our partnership with the American Statistical Association and new collaboration with Desmos, we hope to make more math and statistics teachers aware of how these graphs, on topics ranging from climate change and student debt to Facebook friendships and running speed, can be used in class to connect today’s world to what students are studying in class.”

Friday Fave for January 11

The Friday Fave is working to stave off the mid-winter blues by thinking about delight.

At Desmos, one of our core values is Design for delight. So when we built Penny Circle, we made the pennies bounce off each other, and we made them non-identical.

An animation shows pennies being dragged into a circle. They bump into each other as though they were real pennies.

We made a robot celebrate your mathematical victories in Adding Whole Numbers

An animation shows playing cards being dragged onto two different mats on a table, with the goal of getting the sum of the cards to be the same on both mats. 7 and 6 go on one mat; 8, 2, and 3 go on the other. The robot scans the cards and throws up its arms to celebrate the student's success.

And we made Marbleslides, where you can launch your marbles into the air and through the stars.

An animation shows marbles being launched on a graph; they drop, roll along several graphed lines, through stars that serve as targets, and then down off the bottom of the screen

Of course, we don’t delude ourselves that the electronic world is the primary source of delight in classrooms. We understand and celebrate that there is delight in a clever new student solution, in persistence paying off, and in just connecting to each other as human beings in a shared community. But isn’t it lovely when electronic math lessons bring a spark of delight too?

Delight. This week’s Friday Fave. Find it in lots of places at, including these activities:

Adding Whole Numbers

Marbleslides: Lines

Coin Capture

Transformation Golf: Rigid Motion