Guess Who & Polygraph Lines

As we come to the end of the semester review days are here. To help grade 9s review properties of linear relations we played Guess Who. Last September I ran Guess Who with my grade 12 Advanced Functions class with great success. I made up a new sheet for grade 9 with a variety of linear relations (graphs, equations, and tables).

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Guess Who game sheet

The students played a few rounds each! The questions coming out were pretty good! I overheard lots of “Does is show direct variation?”, “Does it have an initial value?”, “Is your graph decreasing?”
All great terminology I love hearing from my grade 9 applieds!!

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After a few rounds of “low tech” Guess Who, we broke out and “high tech” Guess Who —– Polygraph – Lines

Students use a class code to access the game. Round 1 is playing the orginal guess who with pictures of people against the computer. 
The system then links you up randomly with another student in your class. You take turns each choosing a graph and asking questions to guess your opponents graph! 

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Again, great questions and discussions here! I could see the deep thinking about what questions to ask to eliminate options. Desmos once again out does it! Linking up digital resources while keeping learning social!

These students have been great to teach this semester! I’ll miss them next year!!

Show what you know in Gameshow!

IMG_3350Last week, Kyle Pearce wrote a post on running GameShow by KnowledgeHook. I was drawn to this idea mostly because of review time coming up and wanted a nice way to practice EQAO multiple choice type questions. GameShow is great for that. I love that it works on any device. Students can use their phones, iPads, laptops, etc to submit their answers.

Today I created a custom GameShow to practice simplifying algebraic expressions with my students. KnowledgeHook has a bank of questions already to go…..I just did some picking and choosing of questions I wanted to tackle and added them to my newly created custom gameshow.

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I stressed to my students to not worry about any time in the game. These multiple choice questions are not about speed. Let’s make them about accuracy. They played in teams of two with whiteboards beside their devices. I asked them to show full solutions on their whiteboards.


What was awesome while playing our GameShow today was that once students submit their answer they can upload a picture of their work!!!


On the teacher side, I could see how many solutions were uploaded for each answer option.Screen Shot 2015-06-03 at 12.22.07 PMAs a class it was great to choose correct answers and analyze them. All answers are anonymous until the teacher clicks the reveal.  It was equally rewarding to analyze the incorrect answers and talk about how we can make them better!!! Students seeing each others’ solutions is powerful! 


Since I asked for all solutions to be uploaded the students started putting more effort into their answers! I find when we use other software like this, putting in an answer is like a game. “How fast can I get it in” Uploading slows it down and puts an emphasis on the solution! Like it!!! That’s the way a gameshow should be played!!!!

This program is super new so head on over to . It’s free. And has content build right in. Even if you’re not from Ontario you can have access to the free bank of Ready Made gameshows or create your own. You actually don’t even need to teach math to make use of the gameshow!!!

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Make it Parallel – An Activity with Parallel Lines

I find making the relationship among parallel lines and transversals real-world tough. So instead of real-world I went with Fake-World but making sure I incorporated space for curiosity and inquiry.

Here’s what we did…

I started class with a What do you wonder? What do you notice?

We recorded our wonderings. IMG_3327

Most students didn’t know what to say about it. Next I replayed the video and said, “I want you to yell NOW when the two white lines are parallel”

Kids were yelling out at about the same time……”Good, it’s awesome you guys can ball park when two lines are parallel”. Now Let’s create parallel lines.

I had already set up situations like this all over the hall, classroom, and outside. The prompt from me was “Create another line that cuts the transversal and is parallel to the first line. ” I also gave each group a set of pull back cars to “test out” their newly formed parallel lines…..We used them to show that the two cars won’t cross paths. Screen Shot 2015-05-26 at 11.58.44 AM

I let each group struggle with how to figure this out. I gave them all a metre stick, protractor, and markers/chalk.

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We had discussions on how we know the two lines are parallel. I pushed each group to develop the angle relationships around the transversal.

Once each group had made the new path, they were to grab their iPad and access the Explain Everything file on Parallel Lines & Transversals. They were to use the interactive features such as the protractor, and pen tools to determine the answers to the questions.




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That was out lesson on discovering properties of parallel lines and transversals. Feel free to drop me a message for any improvements/feedback!!

Check out more great Explain Everything activities:

Cathy Yenca (@mathycathy) – Using Explain Everything for Hands-On Digital Puzzles

Kyle Pearce (@mathletepearce) –

From me:



Explain Everything….more than a screen recorder

I’ve been loving the app Explain Everything more and more! Yes it’s great because when students record their work it forces them to think more about language and ideas than they are used to. I like that! That is what drew me to the app in the first place. But I’ve been loving it even more….. I’ve been using it lately NOT to record work. I’ve been using it to deliver content to students in a new way. We can use the app as a sort of enhanced digital workspace! Here is an example: 20140523-111859-40739536.jpg

Click the picture to download the Explain Everything file

I created this for my lesson on periodic functions. Here is why this is awesome……

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