About a year ago I picked up this fun toy called the Mind Jewel from a local games shop. The toy consists of twelve pentagons strung together on an elastic band. The aim is to arrange the pentagons to make a complete dodecahedron. The task is made challenging because the design of the pentagons prevents the puzzler from taking certain paths. You may be left with the Blob or the Turtle and be unable to fit the remaining pieces.
The puzzle has a solution!
After the AP exams, all my seniors leave campus for a month for Senior Projects, and I'm left with a handful of juniors (and sophomores!) in class. What is a teacher to do but set the students to work? To keep us busy while the seniors are away, I asked them to design interactive Desmos graphs illustrating key concepts we learned over the year. Their creations would then be incorporated into next year's lessons as teaching tools.
Browse the selection of graphs below. Feel free to use these graphs in your class either directly or as inspiration, and let me know how it goes.
I really like this project for several reasons. Students create with a specific audience (here, next year's calculus students) in mind, and the end result of their effort is a something they can show off.
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I started this blog to share my transformation from math nerd to math nerd who loves to share math with young people. I teach high school in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Your comments are always welcome.