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Published byBethany Stark Modified about 1 year ago

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The DESMOS Graphing Calculator: Elegant Intuitive Flexible Free!!!

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There are a lot of good reasons to consider using the DESMOS graphing calculator as a tool for mathematics instruction in TD classrooms. Here are ten of them:

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10. It meshes with NCTM, CCSS & TDS recommendations & practices: From Principles to Actions - Tools and Technologies: “an excellent math program integrates the use of mathematical tools and technologies as essential resources to help students learn and make sense of mathematical ideas, reason mathematically and communicate their mathematical thinking.” From The CC Standards of Mathematical Practices: ”make sense of, model, persevere, reason, look for precision, use structure, look for patterns” (selected words and phrases from the eight practice standards) From the TDS Transformation Manual: “In a TDS school, student centered classrooms provide cooperative learning and critical thinking (and) allow sufficient time for not only explicit instruction but also modeling, demonstrating and exploring.”

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9. It is platform and device agnostic: Works on both Apples and PCs Works on desktops, laptops and tablets Can be accessed from the internet or downloaded onto a device

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8. It has built-in interactive functions for display and exploration: Linear: six including slope/intercept and point slope Parabolas: four including standard and vertex form Trig: five including all trig functions and unit circle Transformations: four including translations and scaling Conic Sections: four including circle and ellipse/foci Polar Graphing: four including polar rose and logarithmic spiral Calculus: four including tangent and secant lines

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7. Multiple representations can appear on the same page... or not (your choice). It can represent all of our four-ways template categories: Tables Graphs Functions Written Explanations ALL ON THE SAME SCREEN/PAGE!!!

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6. Built-in and student-created sliders make every variable interactive and easier for students to explore and understand

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5. Although the learning curve for Desmos is not at all steep, there are quick, easy, online tutorials available at desmos.com. Check out this site for things such as: A downloadable, printable Quick Start Guide The Just Add Sliders interactive tutorial The Tables of Data interactive tutorial

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4. You won’t be alone: teachers across the country are using Desmos, writing lessons for it and sharing information about it with other teachers Check out these addresses for some examples of what teachers and students are doing with Desmos twitter.com/Desmos sites.google.com/a/bbns.org Just type Desmos into your search engine to check out what’s new

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3. Putting domain or range restrictions on functions is a snap!

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2. Projects can range from basic to advanced:

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Basic:

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“We’ve finished conic sections. Now, use what you learned to create your favorite cartoon character.” “We’ve finished measuring the growth rates of our plants in different soil and weather conditions. Now, graph the data points and work up an equation that will come close to showing the growth rate of each one.”

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Advanced:

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1. Saving and sharing work involves nothing more than creating a free Desmos account for a class, for a course or for a student.

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Did you catch the slide where it mentioned that the Desmos graphing calculator and everything about it is totally free? Well it really is free. It doesn’t cost a single penny.

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“In times of change learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists”- Eric Hoffer

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Without question we are in a time of change and we need to help students become learners ands well as become learned. So, here’s my suggestion:

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Go to the Desmos.com site, download the calculator and experience for yourself its power and potential as an instructional tool.I think you will find that it is worth doing.

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Wayne Watson wwatson@jhu.edu

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