ZPC Podcast Appearance

Earlier this week I gave a talk at the AIMS Center on using Desmos to facilitate classroom discussion around digital activities. While on campus, I stopped by their podcast booth for a 20-minute conversation with Chris Brownell. Dr. Brownell is the Director of Mathematics and STEM Education Programs at Fresno Pacific University—home of the AIMS Center—and also the host of the podcast Zone of …

WNBA Scoring Averages – Activity Analysis

Here’s an image from an activity (WNBA Scoring Averages) that I wrote earlier this year. When we dropped the activity into the search pool at teacher.desmos.com, I didn’t think it was a world-changer, but I was pretty sure it wasn’t untouchably awful. Hang on a sec while I fire up our database to check how many times it’s been run since it arrived on the …

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Home Run Kings – Activity Analysis

Earlier this year, I wrote a Desmos activity called Home Run Kings. Here’s the blurb from the activity page: In this activity, students interpret quantitative data in order to predict whether Bryce Harper—a promising young professional baseball player—will break the all time record for most career home runs. I like some things in the activity. I’m not so sure about others. I …

Dusting Off the Blog

Hi there! It’s been a little while since I posted anything here. That’s about to change. Here’s why, in bullet-list form: When I started this blog, it was a place for me to share and reflect on what I was doing in my classroom. Successes. Failures. And everything in between. When I joined Desmos last August, I was no longer sure what to write about …

Conference Time!

If you haven’t picked up on this yet, I love math education. And while I love connecting with folks on Twitter and through blogs, conferences are the absolutely best. Hands down, no contest. I’m pretty pumped for this week. Here’s a few reasons why: NCTM in CA! I get to attend the biggest math conference in the land—in my home state! Desmos Happy Hour and …

Coin Combinations

Consider: What do you notice? My first observations included, “Hey! Sodas cost $1.50.” What do you wonder? The first thing I wondered was, “How many coin combos are possible?” And immediately after that, “Are pennies allowed?” (Check the picture for the answer.) And with my teacher hat on… “What strategies would other students and teachers use to answer the “how many combos” question? Sequel …

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Tesla Model 3

I’m fascinated by the pre-order hype surrounding Tesla’s latest car, the Model 3. Model 3 design sketches pic.twitter.com/P5ucOBRUZ7 — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 3, 2016 With a little help from Skitch, let’s turn this scenario into a math problem. Throw that image on the screen and ask students: How many orders in 24 hours? What info would help you figure that out? Ideally, after making some predictions (and …

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Cue Rockstar Math Edition

Last February I attended and presented at the CUE Rockstar event in Petaluma, CA. It was a blast. The only way it could have been any better was if it was 100% focused on math. (No offense other disciplines. Math is just my first love when it comes to teaching.) Well lo and behold, guess what’s coming up on May 14-15?! An all-math CUE Rockstar! And check out …

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Points, Lines, and (Maybe Not) Inequalities

One of the things I love about Twitter is the opportunity it provides for feedback on creative work. And thinking about teaching and learning mathematics is some of the most creative work I know. I’m still amazed when folks I’ve never met in real life take time out of their day to help me improve. Here’s a case in that beautiful point. Points, …

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Sliders with a Purpose

Back in August 2015, Desmos released its Activity Builder, a tool by which teachers (and Desmos folks like myself) can build custom Desmos activities. Over the past few months, I’ve seen a number of Activity Builder screens like this: In fact, I’ve created a number of Activity Builder screens like that. However, I’ve also seen quite a few screens like …