Desmos – Graphing Calculator

Update – note that all the Desmos posts now have their own page.

Checking Twitter this morning I noticed Richard Byrne’s post (Free technology for Teachers) on the new graphing calculator from Desmos.

This is easy to use and the ability to set up a page then save the url means teachers can set up pages for students to explore families of graphs.

(See Explore Graphs.)

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Manga High

Update: for more on Manga High including the excellent prodigi quizzes see this post.

I have been meaning to try out Manga High, a games-based Mathematics site for a while now – particularly as it is now free to UK schools. Registration is a simple process as is signing up your students. There are many documents available for teachers – see Resources. I received a quick and supportive reply to a query I sent.

I set my very able Year 9s (age 13-14) some challenges on Quadratic Equations as we have been studying them recently and also asked them to explore the resources on the site. I asked for their views, including whether they thought this would help other students. There is no doubt that they were all highly engaged in what they were doing. I wish to explore the quizzes further as these do look promising.

So here are their first thoughts; I’ll update this as more comments come in.

Clara and Emily
We found this website very useful as it was fun yet educational, and we got very competitive playing the quizes which made us want to continue. We think that others will really enjoy this too, particularly year 7s, as it is a fun way to learn. :) We would like to keep using it!

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Prime Factors

Many resources are available online for studying the prime factor decomposition of a number.

From CIMT  there are Interactive Exercises on Prime factors and on Highest Common Factor and Lowest Common Multiple. 

From Spencer Riley’s TeacherLed the Prime Factor Tree resource provides a very attractive prime factor tree showing the prime factor decomposition for any number from 2 to 99.

From the National Library of Virtual Manipulatives comes this Factor Tree Resource.

Note the choice of Computer or User which means the user can select a number to decompose into prime factors.
By choosing two trees, the highest common factor (referred to as the greatest common factor) and lowest common multiple can be found.
Once both factor trees are complete the prime factors can be dragged to the given Venn diagram and the HCF and LCM checked.

A companion blog to this on Mathematics Starters includes information on Alec McEachran’s Primitives application  which provides an excellent visualisation of  the prime factorisation of a number.

This WolframAlpha widget gives the prime factor decomposition and divisors of a number. The widget allows you to change the displayed number.
[wolframalphawidget id=”35e7132c1742eaa9dacfedd5607b5f94″]

datapointed visualisations factorisation

Factorization by Stephen Von Worley

For two stunning vizualisations try Stephen Von Worley’s data visualization on factorization and Jeffrey Ventrella’s Composite Number Tree.

Jeffrey Ventrella's Composite Number Tree

Jeffrey Ventrella’s Composite Number Tree

….and for a little fun try Manga High’s Sigma Prime!
(For further details on Manga High and student comments see this recent post.)

By Colleen Young Posted in Number