Dynamic Transformations using PearDeck and Desmos

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.

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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.

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Day 3- Dilations

Screen Shot 2016-02-17 at 4.02.35 PMFor 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 activitScreen Shot 2016-02-17 at 3.59.52 PMy 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!





Teach My Lesson: A Day of Dilations

This is the final week of the MTBoS blogging initiative! mylesson

This week I have been teaching geometric transformations.  Every day has had the same start. I had students check their homework by going on Haiku the moment they walk in. Students can check their work at their own pace and have the answers directly on their screen.

When they are finished checking their homework, my students then enter our class code in on PeardDeck . PearDeck creates interactive lectures. I embedded a Desmos Activity into the first part of my lesson for every transformation. As soon as my students log into PearDeck they are taken directly to this activity and are able to start at their own pace.

Today, students were learning dilations. They started working on the Desmos Activity I created that explored dilations using tables. Most of my students finished in about 2o/25 minutes. When they finished, I changed the slide to discuss as a class what they found out about dilations.

Next, students were able to practice dilations on PearDeck together. I gave my students a shapes and the dilation and they drew the dilation on their slide (I let them draw pictures if they finish early). I was then able to overlay all of the drawings to see if any of the students were off, and I could show individual students work as well.

When I PearDeck I usually bring in my Ipad so I can control the presentation from anywhere around the room. I could also see every students’ work on my iPad while they were working. This allowed me to see and fix student mistakes instantly.

We practiced 4 dilations together, then they were taken to another Desmos Activity. This activity is a polygraph game that I created for students to practice describing all of the transformations they learned so far (reflections, translations, dilations). Students played this game for about 10-15 minutes at the end of class. Students LOVE polygraph. I literally had to kick students out of my class because they didn’t want to leave.

Some student comments I heard today were….

“Class is over already? I don’t want to go to my next class!”

“I love this! Can we do this more often?”

“This is so much fun”

I love polygraph because students were talking mathematically, getting excited about math, and I could see all of the questions they were asking eachother. Although I don’t always play polygraph in class, my typical class consist of a PearDeck presentation and depending the lesson, a Desmos Activity. Screen Shot 2016-02-04 at 7.38.58 PM

Feel free to checkout my past Peardeck presentations and Desmos Activities and reach out if you have any questions.