Hello Again (and Histograms)

Hi there!

So I haven’t exactly been pumping out record numbers of blog posts since I shifted from the classroom to my current gig at Desmos. This lack of posts is partially related to general busyness, but it’s also related to this question that I’ve been wrestling with for the past few months:

I’m not in the classroom, so… what would I even blog about?

Over the past few weeks, it’s gradually dawned on me that my next hundred posts can be about the same things as my first hundred or so: trying and tinkering and learning and struggling and failing and succeeding, and so forth.

So here goes…

Custom Polygraph

Back in December 2014, Desmos released Polygraph, a small collection of activities designed to develop students’ informal language into formal vocabulary. If you’ve ever played Guess Who, you’ll understand the rules right away: use yes/no questions to narrow down the field until you’ve singled out the winning face (or graph).

Near the start of the summer, Desmos released Custom Polygraph so teachers build their own polygraphs to address whatever vocabulary they want.

Polygraph: Histograms

Earlier today I built a Custom Polygraph focused on histograms. My hope is that it will get students talking about shape, center, spread, and related concepts/vocabulary. I’d love some feedback, especially if you use it with students (or if you play a practice round with colleagues).

You can take a look at it here:


Also, I used this graph to make the pictures:


In a future post I’ll share my thoughts on what makes an effective Custom Polygraph, though that’s a work in progress, so I welcome your own insight, either on Twitter or in the comments below.

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