Des-man

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

1

2

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.

3

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

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5

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

  • By Desmos rocks my world | Mary Likes Math on July 10, 2014 at 8:46 am

    […] Fawn’s Des-man which inspired the desmos team to create this awesome version of the project […]

  • […] In each class, we spent about half of it just catching up. I talked a lot about D.C., what an honor that was. Told them that they made me look good at the Conference for all their hard work on Des-Man. […]

  • By 124 – “Des-man” | 180 Days of Math at Mesa on July 11, 2014 at 2:36 pm

    […] wrote a short post about using Desmos today to create our “Des-man” — really nice […]

  • […] Des-Man (Fawn Nguyen) […]

  • By Technology | Middlin Thru Math on September 2, 2014 at 6:44 am

    […] use graphing calculators with my students or myself.  I have bookmarked some pretty cool lessons that other teachers have done using Desmos, but until I learn to use it better I don’t feel […]

  • […] in manipulating their equations.  This is an activity conceived of by the incomparable Fawn Nguyen, and one that I use every year.  I have written about it before as well.  This kind of task gives […]

  • By Conics Project – algeotrigcal on February 10, 2016 at 3:51 pm

    […] Here’s my intro assignment {pdf, docx download} (this class had never used the Desmos calculator before). I stole it from somewhere and added the last two pages, but I can’t find the blog post I got it from. The last page is Fawn Nguyen’s Des-Man. […]

  • […] and how manipulations of equations lead to transformations from a parent function.  I jumped on to Fawn Nguyen’s Des-Man project as soon as I saw the idea, and have done some incarnation of this work each year.  Each […]

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