Life on the Descoast: My LfU Application in FPC Math 10

LfU: Learning for Use

The LfU framework seems fairly “user-friendly” in that different educators can adopt the framework, yet still allow their own pedagogical styles be honoured. Using combinations of high tech, low tech, modern and traditional, as long as educators create an environment that creates opportunities for learners to be “mcr-ed” (“motivated”, “constructive” and “refiney”) with their knowledge, they are towing the LfU line! The key take away for myself was that LfU focuses on the application of knowledge as opposed to specific inquiry or learning models. (Edelson, 2000)
For those of us who have drank, er guzzled, the EdTech Kool-aid, technology use in combination with the LfU framework is unquestionably going to be a good time. Although prior to ETEC 533, I was utilizing LfU principles unknowingly, what is distinctly different now, is that I am choosing activities with more purpose, as opposed to simple hunches. It is not the first week during my MET experience that I have read about the affordances of constructivism, situated learning and reflection, however, what the LfU framework does, is it packages these principles up in a clear, understandable way. (Similar to Newton’s Three Laws! At least for me…)
So, the topic that I would like to touch on is one that I have taught for my entire career of 18 years—linear equations. I haven’t taught it the same way in all of these years; as technology has evolved, my approach has definitely evolved! Once we have already reviewed the concept of Cartesian Coordinate System, graphing with a table of values, domain/range and a bit of slope, I then move towards equations of lines beginning with horizontal and vertical.

  1. Motivate — Experience Demand and Curiosity
    • Desmos Faces: Through an inquiry process, students eventually construct a simple face using horizontal and vertical lines. There is a collaborative component to the pre-made, online activity, as well.
  2. Construct — Observe and Receive Communication
    • Not gonna lie— I utilize “Direct Instruction” to introduce slope-Intercept Form. In combination with Desmos simulations, my students practice from textbook questions. I show them how to use Desmos to their advantage, when completing their work.
  3. Refine — Apply and Reflect
    • Desmos Art Project: Students recreate a graphic of their choice using a minimum of 75 equations. Students may choose to use higher order functions (curves), but linear equations can also be used entirely. 10% of their mark is based from their reflection. Although some students only share their reflection with me on the Google Classroom, students that opt to publicly post their reflection on the Class Blog will have one of their blog contributions satisfied. I will say that the Reflections have been better quality when I have provided students with topics to discuss.


Please feel free to “Make a Copy” of the Desmos Art Project and supporting documents. Although I have only had two classes attempt this project, it has been very rewarding for my students and myself.  I have only used this project with Gifted Math 10 students so far.  I think for a Regular class, it could work with some adaptations for students who are extremely overwhelmed.

Reflection Guide


This project reflection guide and rubric was gratefully adapted from…


Edelson, D.C. (2001). Learning-for-use: A framework for the design of technology-supported inquiry activities. Journal of Research in Science Teaching,38(3), 355-385.

1 Comment

Filed under Constructivism, educational apps & programs, ETEC 533

One Response to Life on the Descoast: My LfU Application in FPC Math 10

  1. Dana Bjornson

    Looking back on this post, I would like to add a new step, under the “Construct”:
    Prior to introducing the Art Project, the class completes the Desmos Marbleslides that utilizes linear equations.( Gamifying the learning process is a huge carrot for students, and at the very end of this activity, learners can take their learning to as far as they wish. This is a fantastic activity that checks some inclusion boxes, as well. Some students will complete the minimum number of equations, whereas some students will reach for stars (no pun intended). Any fan of Shelley Moore, will understand the Baked Potatoe Metaphor: everyone gets the potatoe (the basic assignment), and others will add more toppings!

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