Desmos Art Project (Update)

I’ve been having my Algebra 2 students create a piece of art using different functions and transformations for several years now. I’ve blogged about it in the past, but have changed several things along the way to make it go more smoothly. So here’s an update.

Day 1:

I hand out the directions and give students a minute to read through the first page. I ask then ask them to fill out the column describing the different shapes of the functions, and remind them that they can type and equation into Desmos if they’ve forgotten what something looks like. I check their tables, and then they work through a Desmos Activity that teaches them how to restrict domain and range, etc. Usually there is about 10 minutes left after they finish, and I get them logged into the Desmos app and they start deciding what art they want to make.

Days 2 – 3:

They work! I answer lots of questions and they submit a screenshot at the end of each hour so I can track their progress.

Day 4:

Ideally, students are close to wrapping up. I ask them to use their completed art to finish the rest of their tables, listing an example of each function type and describing one of each type of transformation. They save one last time and share email their link to me.

Things that have been a game changer:

Having students work through the intro activity on Desmos to practice their restrictions on domain and range before they leap in has helped a lot. Also the ability to log into the app and save vs. having to use the browser has led to less tech issues. Many students like the option to insert and image in the background of their graph and use it to guide their equations.

This is still my favorite project! My students always go above and beyond. I’ve taught them how to turn absolute value graphs sideways, turn circles into ellipses, and use trig function graphs. The directions only require 10 functions, by the average is around 50.

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