R2D2 – Pear Deck/Desmos Mash Up!

School is just right around the corner for us up here in Ontario and I can’t stop thinking about that first day. As for my grade 9 applied class’ first day I have ran the R2D2 problem in the past with great success.
Now, over the summer I’ve seen great improvements in Pear Deck and wanted to get into it! Also Desmos has been busy and released Activity Builder!! So let’s mash these two apps up with some R2D2!!

So here is the R2D2 problem presented with Pear Deck and an extensions with Desmos….

Act 1: The video

and this is what Pear Deck will show after you insert the video…..love how the video will be displayed on the projector and not on each individual device!!!


I like using Pear Deck here for asking for wonderings and notices because it allows students who normally won’t shout out answers to have a voice in the room. Students get to input their responses and the teacher can show them on the projector.

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For generating estimates I absolutely love how they put our Too high and Too low guess on a number line…..it gives us the visual of where our actual estimates will lie.


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Act 2: Gathering the Info

In the new version here I get students to draw their estimates of the dimensions of both the board and the post it note…..this pushes them into drawing diagrams.



Revealing the dimensions….


Students are ready to solve….



Act 3: Revealing The answer

The Extension: How many rectangles can we make that have an area of 609 post it notes?
To extend I want students draw out different rectangles and label their dimensions! They can use Pear Deck’s white board!


But then they can enter them into Desmos through a pre-made activity I created in Activity Builder. (the Pear Deck file links to the Desmos activity).

For each rectangle the student can come up with they find the perimeter and plot the length vs. perimeter in the Desmos graph. The teacher on the projector can use the Overlay function and show all the different rectangles students are coming up with…essentially showing the pattern that emerges! Using the pattern students can read off the minimum perimeter!


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If you have a Pear Deck account Grab and download the file below!

Link to the Desmos Activity


Around this time of year we get bogged down. The semester is ending, we’re getting our exams in order, EQAO is here, kids are realizing that this is the end too!, extra help sessions at lunch.
I was feeling the crunch a bit this week and then read this post from @stoodle

I thought I would throw a list of my ten good things from 2014 together. It’s good for my self reflection and to remind myself I did some good this semester. I’m going to tag a few teachers on Twitter and challenge them to put a list together.

Here are my ten good things from 2014

1. I’m adaptable. I try lots of new strategies, tools, tech out in class and when something doesn’t go as planned I make do!

2. Students seem to not hate me

3. I’m not afraid of technology. If I see something that will enhance my students’ learning. I’ll give it a shot! My favourite this last semester: @PearDeck

4. My students now use Desmos as part of their vocabulary.

5. My use of open questions gets kids to think first. They try it first —instead of waiting for me to show them.

6. Because of Twitter and my pln I have grabbed lots of ideas and have tons of strategies for lessons.

7. Using estimation180 is making students see reasonableness in their answers. The estimating we do as warm ups is carriying through to solving problems. They are better are judging whether their answer makes sense or not.

8. I love creating three act lessons like here and here. Vowing to do more in 2015!

9. Changing my assessment practices has been working great this year. Mastery of learning and Standards based assessment is my new norm.

10. I’ve always felt that I’m disorganized but the other day my senior class called me the most organized teacher in the school. Maybe they were being sarcastic?

What are your ten good things?

Logarithmic Warm Up

Our goal in Advanced Functions today was to graph y = log(x) and transformations of y = log(x). Here was what we did as a warm up/minds-on. Everyone started with a whiteboard and a device of some sort (SmartScreen Shot 2014-12-08 at 2.16.38 PMphones, iPads, tablets—I have access to a set of iPads for anyone without a device. This class being a grade 12 class….just about everyone has their own device).

I had them log into a PearDeck file I created.

I gave everyone in my class a number. Some got integers 1-20 and some got fractions 1/4 through 1.

My instructions:

1. Take your number, n, and find log(n). Write your number and log(n) as an ordered pair! (n, log(n))

I started the PearDeck presentation which showed them this slide……and gave them all a movable point.

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2. Move your point to the location of the ordered pair you have! So my students started moving their points around and on the projector screen we can see everyone’s points all at once in real time! So we are basically watching the creation of y = log(x).


Sorry for the poor quality of pic…it was on the fly

You could see the looks on their faces as the graph was being created….pretty cool

From here we took a note on the properties of the function….then kept using PearDeck to analyze transformations of y = log(x). We saw Graphs then –> wrote equations and then saw equations –> drew graphs. We could do everything right in PearDeck so we could see all of our answers all of the time! PearDeck works through your Google account…..give it a try!