Today was turn in day for the annual Desmos Coat of Arms Project in my Integrated 1 class, an assignment designed to introduce students to the behavior of lines and curves when their values are adjusted. Students are asked to create a coat of arms that includes the first letter of their name, favorite operation, favorite number, and a free space. Work cannot be copy/pasted from another source, and there must be a minimum of 40 equations. Here is an example: At the time they start this project, they have some background in graphing lines in the form y=mx+b, and graphing vertical and horizontal lines. Constraining domain and range has also been introduced, but only at a basic level. At the start of the project, students are shocked that I am asking for 40 whole equations (!), but by the end, most have more than twice that. Not only that, they are begging for formulas for circles, parabolas (side opening, shifted, etc), odd functions, inequalities, constrained inequalities, and more. In some cases, I'm learning along with them. Students got remarkably good with inequality shading this year (above). Never ever have I been asked so many times about parabola and curve behavior. This student did her number in Korean! :D This student got gasps from her classmates when hers was displayed on turn in day. She asked me not one question during the project duration. My classes surprised and amazed me (as they do every year) and I am so proud of their integrity and how they worked through the hard stuff, helping each other along the way.
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Jennie ReynoldsMathematics teacher, and percussion club director at Union Middle School. 