What’s new? May 2021

Previous updates

2019-20: Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec | Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug

2020-21: Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec | Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr

Desmos classroom activities

As noted last month, we have started working on Desmos classroom activities for a number of topics. We have added a few more to our growing collection, and will continue to do so over the coming weeks. Where available, you will find links to these in the expandable Teacher resources boxes under a topic’s set of slides.

Desmos classroom activities allow you to set work to students and see how they are performing, either in real time, or at some later point. Here is a view of the teacher dashboard (on the left) as a student works through a task (on the right). Note that our tasks contain randomised questions. Therefore, for any given tasks, students in general will get similar, but not identical, questions to each other. As a teacher, you can quickly see the type of questions that students are seeing, but you can also dig deeper to see the specific question that each student sees. Whilst you can monitor students’ progress on a question-by-question basis during a live lesson, you don’t have to do this in real time. You can simply check how students fared at a later time, if you wish. This makes these activities suitable for use as homework tasks.

Find out more here.

You can preview the activity on finding the nth term of quadratic sequences here.

Shortcut and Mashup questions

We have continued to add questions to our shortcut and mashup collection which now features over 50 questions. I recently tweeted the following, which I’ve used as a starting point to get students to observe what’s going on and why:

Target X

We have continued to add to our series of Target X sheets, and we have added a few more this month. These sheets contain questions from a mix of topics, are designed to be used with students targeting GCSE grades between 4 and 9. Target 4, Target 5, and Target 6 sheets contain four questions, whilst Target 7, Target 8, and Target 9 sheets each contain two longer questions. The sheets are designed to take students around 10 minutes.

Each sheet is available in three “fixed” versions A, B, and C; these are PDFs containing fixed questions. Additionally, each sheet is also available as a “dynamic” version, which you can use to generate and unlimited number of questions similar to those in the fixed sheets.

More Target sheets for grades 4-9 will continue to be added!

Delta exercises

We have continued to add a number of Delta exercises to our slides, most recently for topics A4a, A23a Part 2, G20a Part 1, A17a Part 1, and G1d.

Here are the questions in the Delta exercise from A17a Part 1, on solving equations. This is aimed at reinforcing a student’s understanding of the solution satisfying the equation—without just being an exercise in substitution. Effectively, students still have to solve equations here to identify the missing numbers.

And here is the Delta exercise from A4a, which is about collecting like terms. This activity provides an opportunity to get students thinking about more than just collecting like terms. For example, an efficient way to approach question 1 would be to find the sum of all 8 cards, and then find the difference between this sum and \(25x+4y\) to identify the one card to exclude from the set of seven. Some students might instead approach this by finding the sums of different sets of seven cards until they get the correct sum—and this is likely to take much longer.

GeoGebra applets

We have continued to add and update GeoGebra applets across the site.