Desmos Basics


Desmos Basics

Let’s face it, there are just TOO MANY GOOD THINGS in the world of Desmos. I have collected some of the things I have made and some of my favorite files I have saved here. I don’t know how to attribute them if they are yours. Desmos doesn’t keep track of that once we have shared a link. I am more than happy to attribute you here if you let me know.

Are you a math teacher? Have you used If not, what are you waiting for! Go now! It will change your teaching (and your learners too!)

If you want to try some basic to intermediate Desmos challenges, this document is for you! It will give you ideas to get you started and working towards Desmos mastery. Michael Fenton has the original set of challenges on his site:

I give this assignment to every algebra class: Write your name in Desmos. It solves domain & range issues every time. Of course, if you are awesome like Desmos is, they write their name with style.

If you want a list of Mind Blowing Desmos files that is here too. Michael Fenton started it. It isn’t all mind blowing, I have some of mine there, so clearly not mind blowing if I made them!

Algebra Instruction w/ Desmos

How about an awesome demonstration that all translations are the same? Yea, I have that for you too! – by @gwaddellnvhs

Exponential shifts and dialations – by @gwaddellnvhs

A general demonstration that ALL functions x^p are translatable – by @MathButler

What is a “Relative” max or min? One that can be seen in the Loupe.

Is your function really an “odd” function?

Rational Functions fun– having learners discover their own rules. – by @gwaddellnvhs

Unwrapping the Unit Circle – by @gwaddellnvhs

Conic Section reflections

Definition of “Work” in Physics. Great demo

A demo of why Parenthesis are so important in Desmos. Using Logs – by @gwaddellnvhs

I was asked why differences of squares factor but sums don’t.


New Section – Stats with Desmos!

Learners have a difficult time seeing how moving a point around changes R and changes the residual plot. This file helps them see that.  Version 2 (really it is version 20) of the same file allows for ANY data points to be entered and the residual plot is 10 units below the smallest data point. Also, the movable point and the associated residual point are colored.

The normal curve in Desmos. Great for class demos

A dynamic approximation of the LRSL

Using regression to find the minimum of a function and another version by @Desmos

The Anscomb data set in Desmos – by @gwaddellnvhs

Marathon times regression

US Population regression

Ebola infection regression and a continuation with more data


 Modeling using Desmos

If you are interested in a modeling progression (and I use Desmos to demonstrate the modeling) the links below will be of interest to you. I start by using the Graphing Stories website to build skills for the more complex modeling. [Note: If you do 1 and 2, you need to understand what the area under the curve represents. It is called “Absement,” the “absence” of “displacement”. ]

Modeling does not need to be difficult; both the CCSS and Moody’s Mega Math Challenge have good definitions.

1. Easy/beginner:  Modeling water poured into a cylinder: Video and Desmos file

2. Easy/beginner to intermediate: Removing cups from a stack: Video and Desmos file. Make it more difficult by doing partial times

3. Intermediate: make your own story to fit the graph: Desmos file

4. Intermediate: If you want to do displacement, you can use Dan Meyer’s Speed v. Time videos

5. Advanced: Lunar escape velocity modeling (root function): PDF File and Desmos file

6. Modeling the definition of the trigonometric functions; unpacking the unit circle Desmos file



 Posted by at 1:33 pm

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