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; I have updated this with Jonathan Hall’s Addagons and Productagons activity from his excellent  Flash Maths site. The activity will provide an endless supply of arithmagons where the operation can be addition or multiplication; it is also possible to specify the number types required and to choose which parts of the arithmagon are displayed first. This can be displayed full screen making it excellent for the interactive whiteboard.

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).

I’m Looking For…
In the never ending quest to bookmark good sites and more importantly find them again I am reorganising the links pages – a project which will continue over the summer. Note the updated end of term activities.

David Millward’s PowerPoints are proving popular; I have also added a Worked Examples page under Resources – just some Statistics at the moment, but more to come in future.

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. One that non US readers may be unfamiliar with is a column in the New York Times – Number Play. A new puzzle is published every Monday. (The blog can be followed on Twitter: @NYTimesWordplay.)

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 with 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 image above.How many sets can you find? Click ‘How to play’ in the menu on the left for the rules. A new puzzle is set every day.

Erich's Puzzles
Other favourite puzzle sites are provided here on Mathematics – Games. Erich Friedman’s Puzzle Collection for example includes numerous mathematics puzzles.

By Colleen Young Posted in Uncategorized


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 but there are free resources available in each section; I like this on matching surds for example
This is a site well worth exploring.