Teachers will love that all of the saved plots are considered public domain; they can be used to create worksheets, presentations, or assessments without copyright concerns. Teachers can also use FooPlot to provide inquiry opportunities for kids. Prior to learning about how a particular function looks and responds, give kids a chance to manipulate it using the Fooplot tools. Kids will be able to figure out for themselves how changing a function changes the graph. Give them prompts like, “What happens to the shape of the graph when you plot an even exponent as compared to an odd exponent?”Continue reading Show less
FooPlot is a free online tool that lets kids plot functions, polar equations, parametric equations, and points. It's pretty simple to use; you can layer different graphs on top of each other, and a tool bar lets you find intersection points and roots. Other tools let students trace points on a graph, move it, and zoom in or out.
Once a plot is created, it can be exported as a PDF or other various file formats for later review. FooPlot could be used in middle and high school math classes ranging from pre-algebra to pre-calculus.
One of the best things about FooPlot: It allows kids to quickly see multiple representations of the same mathematical idea. They immediately see that if they change the equation, the plot changes too. There certainly aren't any of the bells and whistles featured in tools like Desmos or ExploreLearning Gizmos, but it's a serviceable tool that can be used in lieu of a graphing calculator. Most of the tools are easy to use, with the exception of the Zoom Box button, which doesn’t respond consistently.
As with any tool, there are limitations. FooPlot only finds the roots or intersections for some functions; it won't find them for polar plot types. Since FooPlot uses Newton’s method, it won't be able to find roots for certain functions, like those that exhibit fractal behavior or those you can’t differentiate.
Key Standards Supported
Expressions And Equations
Use variables to represent two quantities in a real-world problem that change in relationship to one another; write an equation to express one quantity, thought of as the dependent variable, in terms of the other quantity, thought of as the independent variable. Analyze the relationship between the dependent and independent variables using graphs and tables, and relate these to the equation. For example, in a problem involving motion at constant speed, list and graph ordered pairs of distances and times, and write the equation d = 65t to represent the relationship between distance and time.
Construct a function to model a linear relationship between two quantities. Determine the rate of change and initial value of the function from a description of a relationship or from two (x, y) values, including reading these from a table or from a graph. Interpret the rate of change and initial value of a linear function in terms of the situation it models, and in terms of its graph or a table of values.
Describe qualitatively the functional relationship between two quantities by analyzing a graph (e.g., where the function is increasing or decreasing, linear or nonlinear). Sketch a graph that exhibits the qualitative features of a function that has been described verbally.
Graph functions expressed symbolically and show key features of the graph, by hand in simple cases and using technology for more complicated cases.
Reasoning With Equations And Inequalities
Explain why the x-coordinates of the points where the graphs of the equations y = f(x) and y = g(x) intersect are the solutions of the equation f(x) = g(x); find the solutions approximately, e.g., using technology to graph the functions, make tables of values, or find successive approximations. Include cases where f(x) and/or g(x) are linear, polynomial, rational, absolute value, exponential, and logarithmic functions.
(+) Use inverse functions to solve trigonometric equations that arise in modeling contexts; evaluate the solutions using technology, and interpret them in terms of the context.