Teach them to fish

Two weeks ago, I had my pre-calculus students do an investigation about the characteristics of the graphs of power functions using the Desmos iPad app, which I wrote about in an earlier post.

Last Tuesday, they had a quiz that included the content of that investigation, and on Monday night, I was surprised and delighted to find an email from one of those 11th graders with the screen shot below attached and a question that said something to the effect of,

“I’ve been drawing all these graphs to practice and I’m a little unsure of why the graphs shown have this shape. Is it this reason?”


Possibly one of the best emails I’ve gotten lately because this boy was using a tool he had for a helpful purpose that I didn’t suggest. And you know what? That student got full points on the quiz.