In my 10th grade mathematics class, students began studying functions in April. We looked at four main functions – quadratic, cubic, absolute value and square root. I placed the emphasis on understanding the transformation of functions – translations, stretches and reflections. As a mid unit assignment, I asked students to create a face using Desmos. Their instructions were fairly simple – they had to use the four functions we had discussed and they had to use a variety of individual and combined transformations. (See the instruction document below.) The results were fantastic, both for this assignment as well as their end-of-unit test results (specifically for the transformations questions, less so for those with function notation or composites of functions). Here are a few of the images students produced:

Dominika’s

Darya’s

Wes’s Cat

There were a surprising number of cats actually. I blame YouTube. Actually, I liked the cats.

Some of the faces had hair, some had defined face outlines. In the end though, they were all different – something that rarely happens. Almost no one followed the instructions for the scaling of their axes – something I will emphasize next time. Also, I want to work on developing a rubric for this – one that assesses the content, their reflection as well as creativity. I’d love to hear feedback about this assignment!

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