Getting Started: Activity Builder

At Desmos, our mission is to help every student learn math and love learning math. With that in mind, we’ve assembled a collection of unique and engaging digital activities at teacher.desmos.com. And with our Activity Builder, you can even create your own! Get started with the video on the right, then dive deeper with the resources below.

Pro-Tips

Copy and Paste Activity Screens

Get started with activity building by copy and pasting screens into your own Desmos activities! We recommend checking out these Starter Screens.

Collaborate with Colleagues

You can build and edit activities in collaborations with your colleagues! Learn More.

Note: Only one person can edit at a time.

One Goal per Screen

Keep students focused on one goal per screen by selecting a small number of complementary components. For example, use Sketch + Note + Text Input to ask students to share their thoughts through words and drawings.

Ready to build your masterpiece? Here are some of the Activity Builder components.

Graph

Graph components are the core element of most Desmos activities. Use them alone, or combine them with other components like note and input.

Table

The table component allows students to explore connections between multiple representations—graph to table, table to equation, text to table, and more!

Sketch

Sketch components offer an easy way to gather informal student thinking. With three background options (blank, graph, and custom image) the possibilities are endless.

Media

With the media component, adding images and video to your activity is a piece of cake. Click to upload, or simply use our drag-and-drop feature.

Please remember to add image descriptions and video captions to media you upload. Learn more about writing image descriptions and video captions.

Note

Whether you’re calling attention to some feature of a graph, or asking students to reflect on something they’ve just done, note components can play a key role in an activity. Add text, math, or a combination.

Inputs

Use text and math input components in combination with a graph, image, and/or note to collect student responses and drive class discussion.

Choice, Checkboxes, and Ordered List

We’ve been delighted by the ways teachers have used Activity Builder to spark, capture, and discuss student thinking. To further support those efforts, we now offer multiple choice, checkboxes and ordered lists.

Graphing Calculator

The Graphing Calc component gives students full access to the power of the Desmos Graphing Calculator. Use it to set up some initial equations for students to explore or leave it blank for students to create anything they like.

Marbleslides

Marbleslides is a delightful way for students to explore connections between the graphs and equations of lines, parabolas, and more. Now you can add marbleslides challenges to your own activities!

You can activate marbleslides on the Desmos Labs page.

Card Sort

At Desmos, we love card sort activities and all the rich discussions we’ve seen them generate in classrooms over the years. So we’ve added a card sort tool to our Activity Builder that makes it even easier for teachers to create, deliver, and—most important of all—facilitate discussions around card sort activities.

Geometry

You’re going to love how easy it is for students to explore congruency or generate geometric art using constructions and transformations in our geometry tool.

You can activate Geometry on the Desmos Labs page.

Click on the title of the activity while in editing to find:

Radians/degrees toggle: Use this to change the default angle measurement for all calculations in an activity, including math inputs, tables, graphs, and Computation Layer.

Note that graph settings will not change if the activity settings do. If your activity is in degrees, but has a graph in radians, you’ll receive a warning.

The Scientific Calculator: Turn this on to add the Desmos Scientific Calculator on all screens for students to use while working in the activity.