Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Geogebra/Desmos Functions Resource

I came across this resource page that I made for a presentation back in January.  I thought it was going to continue to get filled out, but I had to move on to other projects.  I wanted to share this in case it inspires any summer learning, and I hope the resources can give an idea of how dynamic graphing software can enhance student learning experience for functions.  A lot of these links are to pre-made Desmos or Geogebra pages by other authors, and some I created on my own.  I linked to blogposts for a few of the activities as well to give a better idea of how the activity was used in class.

You can also open this document in Google Drive and make your own copy at this link.  I've spent a lot of time over the past couple of years thinking about how to use Geogebra (and now Desmos) to improve student understanding of functions.  Most of the textbooks that I've used in Algebra and Algebra II don't go very far beyond "graph this function" for practice problems in these sections.  Geogebra and Desmos offer us a chance to change the task and the types of questions that we ask when teaching functions.  

For the project above I included links to sliders, flashcards, and transformation activities when I could find/create them.  Students can play with sliders when first being introduced to a new function type to help them attend to the structure of the function with its parameters, and they can build on the background knowledge from previous function types.  Flashcards can be used to review vocabulary, and to check for understanding of the values of the parameters.  More on Geogebra Flashcards here.  Transformation activities or "other" activities mostly consist of Geogebra pages where students will find the equation for a given function.  

Though I haven't used all of these pages, the ones that I have used in Algebra II and Pre-Calc facilitated richer conversations, and overall better understanding of functions and transformations in my own class.

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