Website review by Emily Pohlonski, Common Sense Education | Updated December 2016

# FooPlot

Plot points, make graphs with basic but functional tool

Learning rating
Community rating
Based on 3 reviews
Privacy rating
Not yet rated Expert evaluation by Common Sense
6–12
Subjects & Skills
Math, Critical Thinking

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5 images

Pros: Kids can make a variety of graphs without an expensive graphing calculator.

Cons: It needs way more support in terms of tutorials and sample lesson plans.

Bottom Line: It's free, it's simple, and it does the job; you can plot functions, polar equations, parametrics, and points.

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?”

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.

##### Engagement

FooPlot isn’t flashy or fun –- it’s just a tool that makes graphs. If you have the need to make a graph, it'll be reasonably engaging, but overall it's missing relevance to really draw kids in.

##### Pedagogy

Graphing is done quickly so that kids can focus on the concepts. Kids get to see immediate results when they change a parameter, which is helpful for getting a real understanding of the math involved.

##### Support

It's accessible in five different languages -- very cool. But it lacks tutorials and extensions that would help students use the tool to their best advantage.

Common Sense reviewer
Emily Pohlonski Classroom teacher

#### Community Rating

Featured review by
Philip K. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
The Academy of Science and Entrepreneurship
Bloomington, United States
Easy to use tool for creating function graphs to use on worksheets, lessons or presentations.
Overall, FooPlot is a free and simple resource that would enable one to create good quality, copyright free graphics to embed in worksheets, lessons or websites. For use in a class activities, I would likely turn to other utilities that offer more functionality and real time interaction for students.