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Math News

by Sara Boden

October 14, 2020

The 8th graders have been working on tables, graphs, and equations. To reinforce these skills, they did an activity on desmos.com called “Turtle Time Trials.” It was the first time this class had used desmos so I had them work in groups. The activity started with an animation of two turtles racing and they had to write a story that went along with it. Then they completed a table of values that they used to figure the speed of the second turtle. They had to defend their answers by explaining how they got the answer and how it made sense to them. The next section had them create a graph for a race with three turtles. The graph was challenging for them because they had to figure out how to transfer the data from the race onto a graph. Once they had something graphed, they were to push play and see how their graphs matched up to the actual race. By doing that, they observed the relationship between the speed of the turtles and the slope of the lines that represented them. After learning the basics, the students were given a race with four turtles. That challenge gave them the equations of the first three participants and then they had to write their own equation for the fourth. That fourth equation they entered controlled the moves of the fourth turtle, allowing them to experiment with different equations and outcomes. At this point in the activity, they started to really have some fun. The last part of the activity had the students create their own race by graphing up to four different lines on a graph. Each line represented a different turtle and controlled their moves. This was my favorite part of the activity because I saw them making connections that they may not have otherwise made by just doing traditional book work. They really enjoyed this activity and I will for sure be using this resource again. If you have 20-30 minutes of free time, you should try it out yourself! The website is www.desmos.com and you can search for “Turtle Time Trials” in the activity section. Below are a couple pictures taken during the activity. 


https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/OqzuRjh1i1DozrU_3KMJRvDBDPtuADLtfxsggMCpfzHhOi8o-OTcycnWtZuGB97rRsqUwFOBXAVl-XksIwDYDL9ZyNhvu-FGkVMxDzBJd9owQoSb3FWcDrVgDhiwpnB8NQeKymv_  https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/wfTeggIqFpOjTkFxIxQ6j3xXa3LrjUiLUCJK5WGRleYa5z2GMv1UcInWEe62CT-om_8qA20IFx_ipFc3vuc_HIBVhvor3B4DVKtw7EQcQXsGTmo2xwWrVusnkxMP9Rryz4qOF7f1

Left to Right: Peyton Fulton, Colton Walters, Nicolas Farabee                 Left to Right: Anna Peterson, Celsie Stein, Bethany Demars



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