Desmos has an Antiderivative Buffet activity that is simply wonderful. Kids have to create a derivative, submit it, and then antiderive their peers’ challenges. Because it’s a Class Gallery activity, you can’t edit it and I was running into some issues when I tested it a couple weeks ago. Let me tell you all, if we didn’t already love Desmos enough, let’s add customer (?) service to our list of adorations. Every issue I ran into was fixed within hours. Incredible.
I gave some restrictions to what the kids could submit so they didn’t all just give me polynomials. They loved it. “This is a great Desmos!” I was tempted to scrap what I had planned for the rest of the hour and just have the kids play all class, but sixty minutes is a long time.
Here are some of the challenges they created (named anonymized):
Since they could see their peers’ names, the best part was when I’d hear, “Bob! You almost got me! That was a good one.”
And with immediate feedback, Mrs. Peterson just sat back and listened to their wonderful math conversations.
One of our amazing counselors emailed last night to say that a former student’s house burned and the family was left with very little that was salvageable. Everyone is safe, but much was still lost. As the Union family always seems to do, everyone has been pulling together to support where they can.
Then today the mom emailed me. She explained about the fire and said that one of the things that was lost was the vinyl decal I made each kid and sent to them via mail this last spring. Her daughter was waiting to put it on her own car. Mom asked if there was any chance I had another.
My throat tightens just typing that. I wanted to write back, “How many do you want? Five? Fifty? Want me to make one for everyone in her dorm building?”
It’s amazing how when people ask for so little our hearts automatically want to give so much more. And when people feel entitled, we (probably rightfully) recoil a bit and tend to want to give less. I think about this a lot—how gratefulness begets generosity.
I emailed back and said I would put a new decal in the mail this weekend.
What a joy it is when others allow you to be a part of the reconstruction and restoration. Even if that restoration just looks like a little vinyl sticker.