101questions Updates, Gets A Lot More Useful

I updated 101questions today to include a single major new feature: a lesson editor.


Creating webpages like this soaks up too much of my time. I have to upload files in three different places. Changing a single word in the lesson means firing up an FTP client. Changing anything about an image takes ten minutes at least. None of this is creative work.

So I put together the task editor I want to use. You can add supporting materials – photos, videos, questions, teacher notes, student notes, links, and more. You can re-order them quickly, all from the browser. More fun is that other users can download them quickly. Click the “Download” button and Internet pixies will zip all the resources up and send the file to your computer.


I’ve been using it for a couple of weeks and I’d like you to use it also.

I’ve added other features some of you have asked for:

Better tagging.

You can add tags like “pizza” or “basketball” or “money.” You can type a few key mathematical terms into the Common Core search bar and it will locate standards for you. Of course, all of this will make the search engine much smarter.


A smarter search engine.

People e-mail now and then telling me in kind terms how awful this spreadsheet is. I’m in total agreement. Unless you’re fluent in Common Core shorthand, it’s impossible to find tomorrow’s topic today. So now you can head to my page on 101questions, click Search, and then click “Search this user.” Type in what you’re looking for. Click “Has lesson” to narrow down my material to everything that’s been a little more developed. Click the grade boxes to tighten the results down even more.


Try it out. Add some tags to your old material. Leave me some comments here. I’ll need as much useful criticism as you can offer. Let’s make this great together.

I'm Dan and this is my blog. I'm a former high school math teacher and current head of teaching at Desmos. He / him. More here.


  1. This is exactly the update 101qs needed! I’ll spend a bit of each session I present encouraging Oklahoma teachers to embrace it. Great job. Keep up the good work!

  2. thanks for all the great work. My students will be using 101 questions and your 3 act spreadsheet to create a series of projects that they will present at a museum in New York City. I am essentially replacing the 4th quarter in 8th grade with a project model that fits with mathematical habits of mind and your work around great investigation. Hopefully I can share more soon.

    My only suggestion for the 101 questions is to get rid of the “skip it I’m bored” button. I sometimes want to skip an image, but hesitate to click the “bored” button (my students and I always strive to avoid the word and idea of being bored with math).

    Also, I happen to like your 3act spreadsheet a lot.

  3. I am looking forward to checking out these updates. Love the 3 acts. I used Fry’s Bank today. One student remembered the episode and the answer. Anyways, I am going to your conference in Reading, MA. My school has decided not to pay, but I am going to pay myself to come and hear you. Looks forward to it!

  4. Small suggestion: When you have Act 2 and Act 3 stuff in there, make them collapsible. I’m imagining a teacher putting this up on the projector, and we wouldn’t want the students seeing the list of Act 2 resources until they’ve answered the question of “what info do you need.” That, or make a projector-friendly view of a lesson; that might work well.

  5. Regarding the spreadsheet: I’ve been thinking this for a long time — wish there was just a *simple tag* like “Exponential Growth” next to “Fry’s Bank,” “Projectile Motion” next to “Falling Glowsticks,” etc.

    Dan, I just tried searching for “exponential functions” under your username on 101qs. Then I tried “quadratic functions.” Both queries returned Fry’s Bank and Falling Glowsticks (plus many other things). Sumpin’ ain’t right.

  6. @James, the standard is called “Linear, Quadratic, and Exponential Models“. There isn’t a ton I can do there.

    @David, thanks for the suggestion. I’ve toyed with the idea of a “Projector” mode. You click it and it basically assembles a slideshow of the math story. Larger videos. Larger photos. Questions sequenced. Nothing earthshattering, but it’d give you some sense of structure while hiding the information. What do you think?

  7. I think it would be good if it linked to any particular blog post that the author did about the picture / video. Like if the Super Mario Bros lesson had a link to where Nora wrote blogged about it.

  8. @Brian, that’s to the author’s discretion. There’s nothing preventing Nora from adding that link. You could leave her a comment on the three-act page asking her to add the link.

  9. @David & @Dan:
    The projector mode would be very useful, and make 101qs.com a one-stop shop for instant lessons. Could I be so brazen as to suggest integration with some sort of student response system for data aggregation (e.g. gather predictions, questions, work samples, etc.)? Great stuff currently, however.