Desmos Graphing Calculator

More happy discoveries with the excellent Desmos Graphing Calculator ….

Points of Interest

Click on the image of the cubic graph below and select points on the graph such as axes intercepts and stationary points.
Cubic - points of interest

Parametric Equations

These can be entered (as can coordinates) using square brackets; the domain can be edited.

The sliders feature can be used too, for example try this graph of a circle given in terms of its parametric equations. Selecting the slider allows editing, for example as here it is possible to set the interval so that only integer values are possible.

See also Pretty GraphsDesmos Delights, Graphing Inequalities and these posts on my blog for students: Explore Straight Lines and Explore Graphs.

By Colleen Young Posted in Desmos


Some updates this week…

WolframAlpha Exercises

With the approaching end of term in mind (UK) and several classes who have now completed exams I was considering useful activities for these students. It seems a good time for them to get more familiar with WolframAlpha. Readers familiar with this blog will have seen the various WolframAlpha pages here. The slideshows are also available on Mathematics for Students and I have added some exercises for students to try.


The post on Arithmagons remains consistently popular; several updates have been added to the post.

A happy discovery this week – David Smith’s The Maths Teacher site has a great collection of videos for both GCSE (age 14-16) and A Level (16-18). What I like about this site is that transcripts are available for each lesson, also exercises with worked solutions. Depending on their revision or learning needs I know some of my students can find videos too slow, they would have the choice of just using the transcript or even just the exercises with worked solutions. Many of the GCSE videos would also be useful for younger students. (See the Videos page for links to more videos).

David Millward’s PowerPoints are proving popular.

Imaginary Exhibition

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All photographs by David Young.

A trip to Barcelona earlier this year turned out to be quite mathematical! I posted some pictures earlier of a visit to the Casa Milà in Barcelona. Whilst in Barcelona we also were also fortunate to see the Imaginary Exhibition which ‘invites you to have a look at mathematical creations “through the eyes of mathematics“’.

The information for visitors includes a reference to the Surfer program (free to download) which allows users to experiment by creating formulas themselves or to change the formulas provided.

Lovely Puzzles!

There are many excellent sources of puzzles available. Now discontinued, a column in the New York Times – Number Play was great. At the time of writing the problem is 100 lockers which has a rather satisfying solution! This could be a good end-of-term activity for students. Note the TEDEd lesson video here.

Staying with The New York Times, remember that is the home of the excellent Set Game illustrated in the above image. How many sets can you find? Check the rules. A new puzzle is set every day.

Erich's Puzzles
Other favourite puzzle sites are provided here in the Puzzles collection. Erich Friedman’s Puzzle Collection for example includes numerous mathematics puzzles.


Updated – February 2022 – some 10 years later! A brilliant site – highly recommended. To access all the resources requires an annual subscription, incredible value in my opinion for the extensive library of high-quality resources. There are free resources (do a search on free) available in each section which will give you a really good feel for the excellent resources available.

Mathspad – Number Tricks

Some favourite resources from popular posts:

Blog PostMathsPad ResourceCategory
Bar Modelling Using Bar Pictures to Solve EquationsAlgebra
ProofNumber tricksAlgebra
Standards Unit – SoftwarePlans and Elevations ToolGeometry
Plans and ElevationsPlans and Elevations ToolGeometry
ArithmagonsNegative ArithmagonsNumber

Back in 2012, I wrote…

Whilst looking at some TES Resources I came across an excellent interactive from MathsPad, a site with a growing collection of resources for teachers and students. The site is easy to navigate with a clear menu at the top of the various pages.

The various interactives are attractive and display very well on the interactive whiteboard. Many of these would make excellent starters or plenaries.

To access all the resources requires an annual subscription, there are free resources (do a search on free) available in each section which will give you a really good feel for the excellent resources available. I like this on matching surds for example. This is a site well worth exploring.