Monthly Archives: May 2017

2017 Desmos Art Project


Our results were  so successful last year that we made only small changes to this year’s Grade 10 graphing/art project.  I made some small changes to the guidelines and the rubric to simplify and clarify things for students, and as always, the files are below in case they might be useful for you.  I’ve also included a pdf of this year’s student work in case some exemplars would be useful.


A few reflections from this year…

  • This is my sixth or seventh year doing some version of this task, and it was nice to focus on improving student work rather than improving the project
  • I am super proud of this year’s student work.  I had worked with many of these students as 8th graders, and it was very gratifying to see their growth over this longer time.  Some students who were not my strongest in Grade 8 did really impressive work this year
  • This project is time consuming for students, especially those who decide on ambitious piece.  Interim deadlines are key, and I think I will add one more next year to keep students on track so they are not in a panic just before the final deadline.  Although students were really proud, this did take a little of the joy out of the last few hours of work.  (But I think was in part because they had a big science test on the same day as this project was due)
  • Some of the more ambitious work included shading using inequalities, which were restricted by complex functions.  The functions were correct, but the software was a little buggy in rendering these, so they didn’t always look perfect.  A couple of students were a little frustrated by this – the one and only time I’ve seen students frustrated by Desmos
  • Drawing with graphs remains a powerful way to motivate practice and students’ interest in understanding how equations relate to functions
  • Asking kids to commit to re-creating something forced them to be purposeful and deliberate in every choice


Here are the guidelines and student work.  I also give students some sentence frames along with suggested vocabulary to help them with their reflective math writing.  Find me on twitter, by email, or in the comments below to continue the conversation!

Desmos Art Project Student Work 2016-17

Desmos Drawing Project Guidelines and Rubric_Revised

Desmos Drawing Project Reflection Assistant