Today in my Advanced Precalculus class, I formally gave kids a name for something we had been doing — working parametrically. And I showed kids on Desmos how to graph parametrically (right now they only were working on circles with different radii and centers, and changing how long it took to go around the circle). So literally going into this, all I did was show kids how to graph a circle on Desmos parametrically.
After that, I gave them 10 minutes to play around. I presented them with some options/challenges:
The stuff they were creating, when given no instructions and just time to fiddle around, was awesome. So many cool moments! So many times kids were showing off their graphs to others! There was one student who realized they could create ovals at an angle, and so they decided to create the Jimmy Neutron logo. And just a short while ago, I get this in my email:
Yay! Huzzah for deciding to give time to play, and huzzah for kids making cool math images for fun!