Using Desmos Polygraph to Establish “Intellectual Need”

Have you seen Dan Meyer’s fun little “Pick a Point” geometry task?

If not, watch this before reading on.

Today, AFTER I’d already introduced polynomial vocabulary (not the most interesting topic) I had students play Desmos “Polygraph” with tasks created by John Stevens and me.





And then it hit me.

I just passed up the opportunity to establish intellectual need.  I *TAUGHT* the vocabulary, then used Polygraph to practice it.

Which was fine.  First, I used a Nearpod lesson to introduce the vocabulary.  The Nearpod lesson continuously asked students to create polynomials with varying characteristics.  They clearly applied the vocabulary and created a variety of polynomials (correct and incorrect ones) that far surpassed your average textbook’s bone-dry examples, while creating interesting and misconception-revealing non-examples.

Nearpod Draw It Prompt: Create a monomial with a degree of 5. #nailedit

But… couldn’t I have applied Dan’s “Pick a Point” strategy on a grander scale, asking ALL students to play a round or two of Polygraph with little to no vocabulary to lean on… first?

The answer is yes… I could have… and probably,  I should have… and definitely, I WILL do that next time. 🙂

What math topics and concepts come to your mind that might benefit our students more if they’re given a shot at a Pre-Polygraph and a Post-Polygraph once “intellectual need” is established?

This entry was posted in Algebra 1, Pre-Algebra and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Using Desmos Polygraph to Establish “Intellectual Need”

  1. Christine says:

    I would say angle relationships is a great need for vocabulary!

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