News & Announcements
Online Calculator in Mathematics Standards of Learning Assessments
Beginning in the 2022-2023 school year, students will only use the Desmos Virginia Calculator within TestNav during an online growth assessment or SOL test. Hand-held calculators will only be used by students completing a paper test or by students with disabilities who have an IEP or 504 accommodation that requires the use of a hand-held calculator. For questions regarding other scenarios where a student might use a hand-held calculator, contact your Division Director of Testing
Overview & Implementation
Desmos online calculators, which include a four-function, scientific, and graphing calculator, are available free to the public. The online calculators can be accessed with a computer, tablet, or other personal device.
Beginning with the FALL 2022 test administration, the Growth Assessments and the Standards of Learning assessments measuring the 2016 Mathematics Standards of Learning that are administered online will include access to Desmos Virginia versions of the online calculators. Grades 4 and 5 Mathematics tests will have the Desmos Virginia Four-Function Calculator in the tool bar for the calculator active items of the test. The Grades 6 and 7 Mathematics tests will have the Desmos Virginia Scientific Calculator in the tool bar for the calculator active items of the test, and the Grade 8 Mathematics test will have the Desmos Virginia Scientific Calculator in the tool bar for the entire test. End-of-Course (EOC) mathematics tests will have the Desmos Virginia Graphing Calculator available for the entire test. Additionally, for 2022-2023, the online growth assessments in mathematics will no longer have separate non-calculator and calculator sections. This same change will also occur in the Standards of Learning (SOL) online mathematics tests beginning in spring 2023. Since there will no longer be separate non-calculator and calculator sections, for all online grades 3-8 mathematics growth assessments and online spring 2023 SOL mathematics tests, students will be provided with access to the appropriate Desmos Virginia calculator in the toolbar of the online testing software (TestNav) for those test items where a calculator can be used. The Desmos Virginia calculator will not appear in the toolbar for those test items where a calculator cannot be used. For questions regarding various scenarios involving online and paper tests, calculator accommodations, and access to an appropriate calculator, contact your Division Director of Testing. All Science SOL tests measuring the 2010 and 2018 Science Standards of Learning will include access to the Desmos Virginia Online Calculator beginning in fall 2022.
Desmos Standard Online Calculators
Desmos Virginia Online Calculators
- Desmos Virginia Four-Function Calculator
- Desmos Virginia Scientific Calculator
- Desmos Virginia Graphing Calculator
The Desmos Virginia Calculators (four-function, scientific, and graphing) that will be embedded into the TestNav application will emulate many of the capabilities of the free, standard versions that are available on the Desmos webpage, with a few differences. Teachers and students are encouraged to use and be familiar the Desmos Virginia Calculators.
The Desmos Virginia Calculator – handout (PDF) provides a list of features disabled in the Virginia testing versions of the Desmos calculators.
The standard and Virginia versions versions of the Desmos scientific and graphing calculator are also available as apps that allow users to access the calculator without using Wi-Fi or data.
Apps for Public Facing Versions of Desmos Scientific and Graphing Calculators
Apps for Desmos Virginia Calculators
Using Desmos as an embedded calculator in the testing environment creates a standardized and consistent testing platform as every student will be using the same calculator on the Standards of Learning assessment. The Desmos graphing calculator allows users to view and manipulate multiple representations simultaneously, promoting a deeper conceptual understanding of mathematics. Desmos has features that promote student inquiry and help students understand the rich connections and complexity of mathematics. Today’s students are connected to technology through the use of smartphones, tablets, and other devices. The ability to leverage Desmos as a form of instructional technology that melds into the current ways students are accessing information can translate to higher student engagement and meaningful math inquiry.
Desmos is currently available on assessments in a number of states and is now included as an embedded tool on the calculator portion of the new digital SAT, PSAT 10, and PSAT 8/9. The College Board has created a Student Digital Test Preview which includes the link to the Desmos graphing calculator, along with options for accessible testing features.
Desmos and Special Education
Individualized Education Program (IEP) teams will continue to determine a student’s eligibility to use a calculator on non-calculator items using the Calculator Accommodation Criteria form, as well as use the Calculator Accommodation Criteria form to determine if a student requires the use of a handheld calculator instead of the Desmos Online Calculator. If a student requires the use of a handheld calculator, calculator application, or software that goes beyond what the Desmos Virginia Calculator offers, a Special Assessment Accommodation Request and the completed Calculator Accommodation Criteria form, must be submitted to the Department of Student Assessment, Accountability, and ESEA programs.
Frequently Asked Questions
The FAQ: Special Education and Desmos document addresses frequently asked questions concerning the implementation of Desmos and Special Education.
The Virginia Department of Education, as part of its work to support the implementation of the 2016 Mathematics Standards of Learning, has resources and webinars that include Desmos as an instructional technology tool in mathematics classrooms.
In addition, Desmos provides many free, online tutorials and resources for teachers and students.
2016 Mathematics SOL Practice Items in the TestNav8 online test delivery software provide access to the appropriate Desmos Virginia Calculator. School divisions are encouraged to use Desmos in mathematics instruction.
Desmos Classroom Activities Log: Updated Fall 2021
The 2016 Mathematics Standards of Learning assessments include access to an online calculator from Desmos within the secure online test delivery software, TestNav. Desmos has developed a bank of mathematics classroom activities located at Desmos Classroom Activities that support and enhance classroom instructional practices utilizing the Desmos calculators.
Many of the existing Desmos-created activities, as well as activities created by Virginia educators, have been reviewed and aligned to the 2016 Mathematics Standards of Learning and included on the Virginia Department of Education Desmos Activity Log. This log, an Excel spreadsheet, contains a tab for each grade-level/mathematics course from Kindergarten through Algebra II. Each grade level sheet includes a list of SOL-aligned Desmos activities with a brief description and direct link to the activity on the Desmos website.
Directions for Use
In order to utilize these activities in their classrooms, teachers will need to login to teacher.desmos.com by using an existing Google account or by creating their own Desmos Classroom Activities account. Activities from these logs can be saved to their accounts where they can use the activity as-is or copy and edit the activity to suit their needs. Teachers also can create codes for their classes to be able to use many built-in features such as the teacher dashboard and classroom conversations. Refer to Desmos Classroom Activities for detailed information about features and use.
The Virginia Department of Education would like to thank the team of Virginia educators who reviewed, created, and aligned activities to the Virginia 2016 Mathematics Standards of Learning. A special thank you extends to Hampton City Public Schools and Frederick County Public Schools for sharing their Desmos activity alignments, which were referenced to create this VDOE document. It is important to note that while this log contains many activities, not all Standards of Learning have a corresponding Desmos activity.
Desmos provides many free, online tutorials and resources to allow teachers and students to learn more about functions of each Desmos calculator.
Additional support and user guides are available. User guides for the graphing calculator are available to provide instructional support to students. A professional development pack is available that includes notes and presentation slides to support learning opportunities for teachers and students.
Desmos Support Topics include:
An additional component within Desmos includes a bank of Desmos Classroom Activities that allow students to collaborate and provide feedback in mathematics classrooms. Teachers can modify or create their own activities.