Imagine this....students working in pairs or even groups of four in front of their computer. You hear, "What if we move the y-intercept and make it a negative since we have already tried changing the steepness." They click LAUNCH, get all the stars, and fist bump and high five! Another group checks the clock and sees they are running out of class time and hurry their group to think of something because they HAVE to figure this challenge out. It is magic! The dreamy kind of lesson where the kids are super engaged with a meaningful, challenging activity! Where even though they are having to make tedious changes to their dozens of equations they keep trying because they want to see their marble go through the stars.
What is this amazing activity? Desmos Marbleslides. Stop reading this and go read Dan Meyer's Blog about it. Then go play! It is so super fun! Marbleslides starts you off with this "even your baby cousin" could do it activity. The kids hit the launch button and they were immediately hooked!
The goal is to create equations of lines that will make the purple marble hit the stars. When it works, SUCCESS! flashes on the screen. I love that!
I liked that I could see their attempts. It helped me see their thinking. It also showed how they worked the same challenge in different ways. I showed them screenshots of this and the conversations were amazing as they compared and argued about whose was the best.