Oct 17, 2021

Math Monday: Desmos and Linear Inequalities

How can you use Desmos to build student engagement? Today we’re exploring the different Desmos activities from the Financial Algebra lesson FA-4.2 Graphing Linear Inequalities

The Lesson

In this lesson from the Budgeting & Systems of Equations unit, students learn to graph linear inequalities and model different income constraints with inequalities. Throughout the lesson, there are three different opportunities to use Desmos; however, you don’t need to use all three! The lesson is designed to be flexible based on what’s the best fit for you and your class.

Gamified Practice

Once students have learned how to graph inequalities, they practice with Point Collector: Lines, which is part of Desmos’ featured collection on Inequalities. 

Students compete to find the inequality that gets them the most points: blue dots are +1 but red dots are -1. As they type each inequality, it appears on the graph and their point total is updated. 

An Alternative to On-Paper Practice

When students are ready to practice writing inequalities from word problems, you can choose whether to use the lesson worksheet or the accompanying Desmos activity. In either case, students are completing the same problems: matching inequalities with scenarios and graphing an inequality.

Using Desmos allows for students to complete the same practice with more interactivity. With real-time feedback, students get more “at bats” and opportunities to learn from their mistakes. As they graph and identify solutions, students will be able to see what they get right and wrong immediately, and so will you!

Application Card Sorts

A number of Financial Algebra Application Problems include Card Sorts, which are a great way to introduce real-world connections for students who are still building comfort with the math content. For each Card Sort, you have the option to complete it on paper or with Desmos. 

Want More?

Find out more about Financial Algebra and Desmos:

Looking for ways to make budgeting fun? Check out INTERACTIVE: Money Magic!

About the Author

Kathryn Dawson

Kathryn (she/her) is excited to join the NGPF team after 9 years of experience in education as a mentor, tutor, and special education teacher. She is a graduate of Cornell University with a degree in policy analysis and management and has a master's degree in education from Brooklyn College. Kathryn is looking forward to bringing her passion for accessibility and educational justice into curriculum design at NGPF. During her free time, Kathryn loves embarking on cooking projects, walking around her Seattle neighborhood with her partner and dog, or lounging in a hammock with a book.

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