Amazing Alfred

Have I mentioned that I love my job?

After a great first week back in the classroom, my Saturday night just ended on an even higher note. First, I got this notification just before heading out for an elegant dinner with my wife:


I ignored it for the time being. When I returned home and fired up my email, I found this lovely spreadsheet:


Not only is it amazingly cool that a student is working some Desmos/Google Drive combo magic on the weekend, but his challenges are pretty slick.

Alfred’s Match My Graph #3

At this point, all Alfred has seen in class is Match My Graph #1-2 in the Linear Functions set. I think it’s pretty cool that he’s considering how to increase the difficulty for the next linear challenge, without ramping things up too quickly. (There’s a slope pun in there somewhere.) Some linear-functions-in-slope-intercept action seems perfect! Here’s what he created:

amazing-alfred-3As if that wasn’t cool enough, there’s even an answer key—made with a list!—that can be toggled on and off. (Alfred mentioned that he would present these to other students without the answer key. But when collaborating, having the answer key in there is a nice touch. A scholar and a gentleman!)

Alfred’s Match My Graph #4

In my linear series, I included several more linear functions (for a total of eight), but Alfred appears ready to tackle quadratics. First up in his mind: Vertical dilations, with vertices fixed at the origin. To be honest, that’s probably the exact move I would have made. I especially like how he avoided pure symmetry across the y-axis by plotting points where x equals –1 and 2 (rather than –1 and 1, or –2 and 2).


Alfred’s Match My Graph #5

It wasn’t until #5 that I paid attention to Alfred’s directions. (I suppose students aren’t the only ones who skip those from time to time.) I like his language here: “…through the color-coded ‘objective’ points…” And mathematically, he seemed to think that translations would be a good next step.


I think I know what he has in mind for challenge #6. (Maybe dilations and translations together?) I’ll have to wait to find out as the link in the spreadsheet for #6 has a typo.

Future Math Teacher?

I can’t wait to get started on the Match My Graph: Quadratic Functions sequence, especially since I’ve been given this great head start! I also wonder if this student has a future in math education. (He’s mentioned it as a potential interest before…) There’s a great deal of thoughtfulness that went into each challenge. And his excitement can’t be denied.

Math on the weekend for the win!


Alfred is the name of several fictional butlers, not my student. In the interest of privacy and awesomeness, I’ve selected a name from this most excellent list.

Leave a Reply