## Here is the full set of 36 Marbleslide Challenges I'll be using at my school this year:Marbleslide Challenge Set

Important tip!

Before doing these challenges with your classes, I'd highly recommend running through at least one of the original Desmos Marbleslides activities with them (Lines, Parabolas, Exponentials, Rationals or Periodics): https://teacher.desmos.com/search?q=marbleslides

Poster templates!(Update)
Jessica was awesome and made poster templates for each challenge and for the weekly scoreboard. You can make a copy here.

Difficulty

These challenges should work for students of all levels from Algebra 1 onward (and they are even fun and challenging for teachers too!)  Each challenge should be possible to complete using linear equations, but can be solved more elegantly with higher level equations. If students aren't being challenged enough, encourage them to use fewer and more sophisticated equations.  The difficulty increases as the challenges go on, so you might want to leave older challenges open all year and encourage students not to skip too many.

Unlocking Challenges each week
You can use the teacher pacing option on the teacher dashboard to restrict students to the first 3 slides to start, then each week go back into the activity to unlock the next challenge using teacher pacing again.  Not sure how to use teacher pacing? More info here.  You could also just consider giving them the entire challenge set unlocked, and if you do let me know because I'm interested to see how that goes!

Scoring/Prizes
I give these as an optional activity for students to work on if they have some extra time in class or just on their own time.  You might even consider it as a fun optional alternative to certain homework assignments. You could not score them if it's too much work, but they love having their answers highlighted and the competition and you can just score the best few.  At the end of each week I make a quick scoreboard for the top scorers and post it with a screenshot of the some of the more interesting graphs. Here's how I score them:
• 1 point for each star
• 1 extra point if they use only 2 equations
• 2 extra points if they use only 1 equation
• 1-2 points if they have a particularly creative solution. This could be creative mathematically or artistically.
• 1 point if their solution is very consistent (If you watch a student's solution it might not work perfectly because there is some variation depending on your screen size.  If there's doesn't look like it get all the stars but your dashboard says they did, trust the dashboard)

You might want to consider giving out prizes for students who get all the stars each week.  Some teachers are giving out Desmos stickers this year, and I was giving out treats last year while school policy allowed for it.

You can hide students using the gear button in the teacher dashboard if you want to highlight or screenshot awesome answers, but make sure to not forget about those hidden students in following weeks!  If you have large classes, you might want to split them into different class codes to make things more manageable.

The Learning
What I loved about doing Marbleslides Challenges last year was that it gave some of my students the need and motivation to learn and explore all sorts of graphs and equations outside the regular scope of class. Last year I had students figuring out how to use and transform equations that they wouldn't learn about for years in regular school curriculum.  Every once in awhile I'd give them a tiny little piece of info to move them forward "Oh here's an equation that looks cool" or "Hey, it's a little easier to work with that function if it's in this form" and then let them figure out the rest.

If you have need help getting started or have any questions leave a comment here or tweet at me @SweenWSweens . Feel free to tweak things however you think will work best for you, and let me know what works and doesn't in the comments!

Special thanks to Julie who had the awesome idea of putting Marbleslide Challenges together in one activity and then managing the year with Desmos Activity Builder's teacher pacing option.  I loved the idea, and got these challenges together quickly for the start of the school year as a result!

## Tuesday, June 6, 2017

### Can't Stop Distributing Music Video

Hey everyone!  It's time for another math music video!  Some of my current and former students, and the faculty and staff at my school have been working hard to put this together for the end of the year. Here is "Can't Stop Distributing", lyrics are below:

Lyrics:

You got this problem inside your class
Let’s take a look, and break it down, don’t go to fast
All though my classroom, all through my school
We’re learning math, no limit, when we learn the rules
We’ve got to just break down this problem
Got to learn this pro-per-ty
You’ve got addition or subtraction, here we go
there’s an ex-pres-sion on the outside
(ya) Got those two pa-ren-the-ses
I know that you can do this problem, now you know

That you multiply, when things are real close
Each thing inside, is where the outside goes
To each term, you will draw an arr-ow
And Multiply in, Multiply in, Multiply in

Draw the lines and multiply, you just dis-tri-bute

Dis-tri-bute, come on
Product outside, Sum inside
You just dis-tri-bute, come on
Multiplying what’s inside, you dis-tri-bute (You just dis-tri-bute)

You just dis-tri-bute, (You just dis-tri-bute)
You just dis-tri-bute, come on

Oooh, here’s one more difficult
There’s much more there, two expressions look at it all
Now just don’t panic, don’t lose your cool
You’ll get it down, don’t worry, focus on the rules
We’ve got to just break down this problem
Got to learn this pro-per-ty
Two groups of adding or subtracting, here we go
Now there’s a left side and a right side,
Two sets of pa-ren-the-ses
I know that you can do this problem, now you know
That you multiply, when things are real close
Terms on the left, just distribute all those
From each term, draw a set of arr-ows
And Multiply in, Multiply in, Multiply in

Draw the lines and multiply, you just dis-tri-bute, yea
Dis-tri-bute, come on
Check to see if things combine
Once you dis-tri-bute, yea
Multiplying what’s inside, you dis-tri-bute (You just dis-tri-bute)
You just dis-tri-bute (You just dis-tri-bute)
You just dis-tri-bute (You just dis-tri-bute)
You just dis-tri-bute (You just dis-tri-bute)
You dis-tri-bute, come on

Distribute
Distribute
Distribute
Distribute

(You just distribute)
Draw the lines and multiply, you just dis-tri-bute, yea
dis-tri-bute
Check to see if things combine
Once you dis-tri-bute, yea
Multiplying what’s inside, you distribute

Everybody sing
Draw the arrows, multiply in (you just distribute)
Draw the arrows, multiply in (you just distribute)
Don’t forget about combining (once you distribute)

Draw the arrows, multiply in

Break it down

Draw the arrows, multiply in (You just distribute)

Don’t forget about combining, come on

## Friday, April 21, 2017

### New Marbleslide Challenges

I've been periodically adding Marbleslide Challenges to the master list, and I just added a few more. If you didn't read my original post where I explained how I implement these in my classes, check it out here. Enjoy!

Challenge #12 - https://teacher.desmos.com/activitybuilder/custom/58fa0259e0d8b633f260dd64/

## Friday, February 17, 2017

### Desmos Marbleslide Challenges

This year I've implemented Desmos marbleslide challenges throughout my classes that have been really exciting, fun and educational for my students.  If you aren't familiar with Marbleslides you are totally missing out!  The basic idea is that marbles will fall down from a certain point on a graph, and students need to graph equations to help them collect all of the stars on the screen.  The full, official marbleslides activites are here https://teacher.desmos.com/search?q=marbleslides and they always leave kids wanting more.

The original activities went so well last year, that I decided to regularly give more marbleslides challenges throughout the year.  I wanted to give activities that anyone familiar with graphing lines could complete with some effort, but that could also provide further challenge for students who know more about graphing.  I started creating single page challenges and posting an advertisement for them on my door and in my classroom along with a high score board from the previous week.

I award scores(not for a grade, just for fun) based on number of stars obtained, creativity, consistency and on using fewer functions. All of the challenges can be completed with multiple linear equations, but I challenge students who know more to use fewer, more complex functions.

I knew that this would be a fun activity for my students, and could help provide some extra challenge, but it has far exceed my expectations for what it could be.  These  challenges have gotten some of my students really excited about math, graphing and learning about equations.  It has created a need for them to learn more, completely on their own, about different types of graphs and how to manipulate them.  I have had students in my class who have only formally learned about straight lines pulling out answers like this:

Every once in awhile I'll drop a little clue for a new type of equation that might help, and they run with it or search things out on their own.  Here are a few more mind blowing examples from students who've gone way above and beyond my expectations:

(The bearded face is part of the challenge.  The student answered by making a hat!)

The challenges have also helped me to further differentiate and more easily manage my classroom.  Whenever students finish an assignment or assessment early, I point them to a challenge and off they go.  I'm really happy that I started these challenges, and if you try them at your school I hope that work out as well for you as they have for me!

If you'd like take a shot at one of the marbleslides challenges yourself, give this one a try.

If you want to try to implement these are your school, here at the first 8 challenges I used this year, and I will continue adding to this list.