Just how fabulous is Desmos.

Following up on last Friday’s lesson, I had the kids create “Des-man” on Desmos. I made these very simple sketches, showed them to the kids, and told them the minimum requirements:

  • face and mouth must be parabolas
  • eyes and nose are linear equations



Not only was this so great to reinforce slope, y-intercept, and all the coefficients, it also allowed us to talk about domain and range.

What I heard around the room (that I can remember):

  • Oh, I get this now! I see what changing this number does!
  • Oops, I made his face too wide!
  • His smile is crooked. But I think I’ll leave it because he looks cool that way.
  • Ha!! I see my mistake, I said x had to be greater than 4 but less than 2. Silly me.
  • I want the eyes to be oval shaped though. My plan is to make 2 parabolas opening into each other.
  • Can we work on this in 6th period too?

When I saw two students whose graphs were circles for faces, I knew they’d copied these from Desmos gallery as we haven’t — and won’t — learn circle equations in Algebra 1. I reminded them of the minimum requirements, but I told the class that they may copy equations and tinker with them to add other features, such as hair and whiskers.

(I actually said “whiskers,” and Lexi had to tell me, “Whiskers? On a man? You mean beard or mustache?”)

People don’t have whiskers? Really? Good to know.

I made my guys’ eyes elliptical and tweeted it, the good folks at Desmos responded.


Click on the second image below or here to use the slider a. So cool!



I think we got a lot of mileage from this activity. It’s a good sign when teacher instruction is minimal and student engagement and discussion are high.

Just in case you missed the Grand Opening of Daily Desmos about 3 weeks ago, brought to us by Michael Fenton, inspired by Dan Anderson.

Team Math kicks ass.

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8 Trackbacks

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