I decided to teach geometric transformations (excluding rotations) using a dynamic approach. I also added in absolute value transformations so they could see transformations in point-slope/vertex/transformation form.
Day 1 – Translations
I started class by having my students sign into my PearDeck presentation for the day. When they signed in they were taken directly to a Translations Desmos Activity created by Andrew Stadel to introduce Translations. I had students sign into their accounts, so they could go back and look at their work on the activity later. Students worked through the activity at their own pace and once they all finished we moved to the next PearDeck slide.
Instead of standing up at the front board and “lecturing” about translations and how to do them, we were able to have a discussion! Students already knew how to translate figures! I used the drawing tool on PearDeck to practice translations. Students were asked to describe translations and then actually then translate them on their screens. While they were practicing, I was able to see the work of EVERY student on my Ipad. This allowed me to see instantly when a student was going in the wrong direction or plotted a point incorrectly. If I wanted to sit in my chair in the front of the room, I could still see every students’ progress and work as it was happening.
Day 2- Reflections
Reflections started the same way. Once they logged onto PearDeck they were taken to Cathy Yenca’s Reflections Desmos Activity. After students
explored on Desmos, we
came together as a class and practiced reflections on PearDeck.
Day 3- Dilations
For Dilations, I decided to create my own Desmos Activity to start the lesson. After they worked through the activity we had a great conversation of dilations and scale factors. This conversation helped WONDERS when I introduced similarity the following week. Students then practiced dilating images through PearDeck.
I also created a Desmos Polygraph to practice the transformations we learned so far. Students LOVE playing polygraph. It truly does help them speak mathematically and it’s a lot of fun 🙂
Day 4- Absolute Value Transformation
I created my Absolute Value Desmos Activity by editing an activity created by Faith. As we did the previous days, students started with the activity and then we moved to practicing and discussing in PearDeck. In class, we called point-slope/vertex form transformation form. I have been introducing this form all year, so my students had seen it before. I think that it’s important to make the connection from geometric to algebraic transformations. We didn’t spend a plethora of time on it, but I think it really helps when they move on to Algebra 2.
Anyhow, using Desmos Activities to discover and learn transformations and PearDeck to practice worked out beautifully. Check out my Desmos and PearDeck pages to learn more about each of them!
4 thoughts on “Dynamic Transformations using PearDeck and Desmos”
Thanks for posting this. I’m intrigued to know more about the conversation with your Transformations Polygraph. At the start of the year, I began making one, but decided not to as I thought the activity builder might be a better place for students to practice their vocabulary and comparison of attributes. Would you be able to share some of the dashboard conversations and how you structured it?
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For the conversations students asked a lot of the basic questions to start “Is it translated/reflected/dilated”. Once they narrowed down the type of the transformation they had a hard time describing what was going on. Some students asking about the different quadrants the transformation was in. This is when we had a discussion about how we could narrow it down further by looking at corresponding coordinates.
I liked using it because it helped them practice distinguishing between different transformations. I also liked the questions and discussions we had as a class. Id be interested in having students play in the beginning of the unit and the play again at the end. I’ve done that before in my algebra 1 class and that promoted good discussion as well.
Why excluding rotations?
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I actually only spent a little bit of time on rotations in order to do absolute value transformations. We did a brief Peardeck with practicing rotations but that’s about it