If you haven’t scrolled through the goodies over at Daily Desmos before, scurry over there now! (If the link brings you nowhere, know that Dan Anderson is doing a bang-up job of migrating the site over to a snazzy new WordPress venue, and that it’ll be back up soon.)
What’s Daily Desmos? Well, I’ll link you to our How to Play page, but basically it’s a collection of graphing challenges created by a motley band of math teachers. Each week, Monday through Friday, someone presents two graphing challenges—one basic, one advanced. The most straightforward challenges are just a graph and the challenge is to create an equation that will create that graph. Straightforward, but necessarily all that easy. And other kinds of challenges have cropped up along the way—dots to be hit or avoided, animations, partial pictures, and more. At this point we’ve created hundreds of challenges, and there’s no sign of us slowing down. Definitely try some out for yourself!
So what’s Phase Two for Daily Desmos, you ask? Well, we thought that we’d try to take all of the groovy graphing juices we’ve got flowing and focus them through some new constraints and with some new goals in mind. For the next several weeks we’re going to be operating with a theme of linear functions. We hope that this will help us to create challenges that might more easily fold into classroom use. Also, it’ll be interesting to see what new perspectives on the good ol’ straight line we’ll produce, given the milieu and habits we’ve worked to establish over the last months. We’ll tackle other function families in the future.
And there’s another component to Phase Two. These weeks will be a testing ground for interesting linear graphing challenges—generating ideas, throwing them up against the wall, and seeing what sticks. In the background we’ll be working to craft a sequence of linear graphing challenges that could help a student who’s new to linear functions to ramp up their understanding and fluency. The end product will be posted as a stand-alone problem sequence on the Daily Desmos site. The effort will be spearheaded by the inimitable and prolific Michael Fenton. I can promise that whatever we put together won’t be a mere bottomless pit of procedurally generated “graph this linear function” exercises.
And where do You come in, dear reader? Well, as Dan already blogged, we’re looking for some new Daily Desmos crewmembers. What does that entail, you ask?
- Every couple of weeks, you’d create two graphing challenges. Whatever floats your boat. According to a theme, if one is operative. And you can even tap your colleagues and students as collaborators!
- Then you’d post your challenges on the site. This is pretty simple—if you write a blog, you basically already know how. And if you don’t, we can have you up and running in a few minutes.
- You can sign up for a fixed term—a couple of months, say—or have it be open-ended and then bow out and take a break when you feel like it.
Creating challenges for Daily Desmos has been a ton of fun for me. I’ve learned some graphing tricks in the process, it’s been a creative outlet, and I’ve gotten to work with some really fabulous and passionate tweeps. I can heartily recommend signing up. If being a part of Daily Desmos sounds intriguing to you, just tweet at me or another crewmember, or shoot one of us an email.