A few days ago I posted a really neat activity where kids use the online graphing calculator Desmos to fit 20 polynomial curves based on their zeroes and one additional point. I called it the Great Polynomial Challenge. I made these by creating an image in Desmos, saving it as a GIF file, and then importing it back into Desmos.
To be honest, it was a bit of a pain and the results were good, but not great. Since it was an image, and not an actual graph, zooming in would make it blurry and zooming out would eventually make the polynomial “end.”
Still, I thought it was a great learning experience.
Recently, though, I’ve been playing around with the Desmos Activity Creator. This is a really great tool from Desmos that allows math teachers to create activities where kids can explore, create, model, etcetera. Their award winning Marble Slides are great examples of activities.
O.k. Maybe they aren’t award winning, yet, but should be.
Anyhow, the point is I converted the Great Polynomial Challenge into a Desmos Activity that you can use with your students and try yourself.
If you’d like to take the Desmos Polynomial Challenge yourself (please, please, please try it!!!) go to:
and type in the class code: w4fv
You don’t even have to put in your real name. Take the challenge and see how you do. I’ll eventually post the answers in a password protected post. Remember, all teachers can get the password by emailing me: [email protected].
Now, if you’d like to have your students try this activity AND you have a Desmos account (you really should get one – it’s quick and easy), click on the following link:
You’ll be able to then set up your own “Session” and have your own classroom code (that was that weird w4fv from above). Once you start a session, then it is basically open forever, or at least that’s how it seems. You’ll be able to see which of your students have done the activity and what results they are getting.
I think the worksheet I posted for the Polynomial Challenge still works well in terms of collecting a “hard copy” of their results. Here’s the worksheet again:
I hope you take the challenge and let me know what you think about my first official Desmos Activity. I think it does a really good job of allowing kids to dynamically experience the connection between the graphs and equations of polynomials.