Math Forum Internet News

Volume 2, Number 32

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11 August 1997                                  Vol. 2, No. 32


  Geometry Turned On | Geoboards | Flash Cards for Kids


       Edited by James King and Doris Schattschneider

This book contains 26 papers about aspects of dynamic 
software for geometry. The book does not itself include 
software, but downloadable files for many of the papers 
are available from the Web site. The editors write:

   "Although this volume is printed in a conventional 
    manner, with illustrations in every article, most 
    of the illustrations beg to be played with. You will 
    read descriptions of how certain configurations behave 
    when manipulated, but not be able to tweak the diagram
    on the printed page. We want you to be able to 
    experience some of the explorations described by our 
    authors. To make that possible, dynamic sketches that 
    use Geometer's Sketchpad or Cabri II have been made 
    available by several of the authors and are posted on 
    this Web site maintained by the Math Forum." 

The book's major headings are:

  - Personal Reflections on Investigation, Discovery, and Proof
  - Making Geometry Dynamic in the Classroom
  - Dynamic Visualization in History, Perception, Optics, 
    and Aerodynamics
  - The Worlds of Dynamic Geometry: Issues in Design and Use

The Math Forum offers demo versions of the Geometer's 
Sketchpad and Cabri, along with directions for setting up 
your Web browser to use them as helper applications:




Even secondary school students sometimes have trouble
distinguishing between perimeter and area, or understanding
units like in^2 (square inches). These new Web pages for
teachers offer suggestions for using the geoboard to explore
the length and area of two-dimensional geometric figures.
With geoboards, students can see square units and are more
likely to count them to estimate area, so 'square unit' 
takes on a whole new meaning.

Tom's Introduction for teachers includes pages that 
describe the materials needed, discussion and activities
for investigating length and area (in particular Pick's 
Theorem), and sample pages of dot paper to print out. 
Five lesson plans focus on:

  - Lines
  - Squares
  - Rectangles
  - Parallelograms
  - Right Triangles

and a short Bibliography rounds out the unit.

For other Web resources by Tom Scavo, see Tom's Math Lessons:



A page set up to help kids learn basic math skills while 
on the Internet. When you figure out the answer to a problem 
posed by the program, enter your solution in the box and 
press the button that says "That's the answer!" If you're 
right, you'll see, for example, "Correct: Your last answer 
was: 7 * 7 = 49." If not, you might see: "Almost: Sorry, 
the expression 2 * 1 * 4 * 4 * 1 * 7 * 8 * 3 * 2 calculates
to 10752. Let's try another."

Choices include Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication, 
Division, and Addition and Subtraction, with three options 
for number size (0-9, 0-99, and 0-999), and two levels of 

  - Simple: two numbers (in "Addition and Subtraction" 
      there are three numbers)
  - Complex: up to 10 numbers

The program can keep score of your responses to 100 attempts.
The page and the program were developed for K-12 students
for a 'tech day' at Tomas Rivera Elementary School in 
Riverside, California.


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