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Topic: math and communications
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Joanna Yantosh

Posts: 14
Registered: 12/3/04
math and communications
Posted: May 12, 1994 7:41 PM
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After being taught to use the Internet by the Geometry
Forum in October, we were eager to get our students involved in a math
project using the Internet. Annie Fetter, Project Coordinator of the
Geometry Forum, put us in touch an Instructional Technologist at a State
University outside Pennsylvania. She was interested in locating several
elementary math teachers willing to assist her with a math and
communications project. We saw this as our opportunity to implement the
NCTM standard relating writing and mathematics. She wanted her present
group of student teachers to have firsthand experience working with math
and elementary school students. We immediately responded to her request and
the ground work was set for the project.

Our goal was to have our students begin talking and writing about
mathematics. We decided to involve our 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th grade math
students. Each grade was divided into small groups of three or four
students. Twelve small groups were formed and matched with twelve different
student teachers.
This project began mid-January with the student teachers sending a
problem for his or her math group. We talked to our students about
electronic mail and the speed in which it is transmitted. We looked at a
map and located Iowa, estimating its distance from Pennsylvania. Some
problems were very easy at first, others quite challenging. Our students
worked cooperatively to solve the problem and recorded their results in a
log book, explaining how they arrived at their answer. It was
interesting to observe the groups in action, agreeing and disagreeing on
how to solve
the problem. There were times when some groups had a hard time figuring out
what to do so they had to e-mail their student teacher and ask for help.
Most weeks, the problems went smoothly and the children went to the
computer room and e-mailed their solutions to their student teacher. Our
students were always asking, "Did we get e-mail today?" The enthusiasm for
using this technology was great to witness. The children were in awe every
time they watched their work get transmitted.
As a culminating activity in May our students posed the final
problem for their student teacher. It was interesting to see the types
of problems our students sent. They were given the option of using some
source to find a good question or writing their own problem.

After several weeks into the project we sent pictures of our
students to the student teachers. The student teachers reciprocated and our
students were so excited. It added a very personal complexion to the
project. We made zerox copies so that each child in the group received his
or her own copy. The original photographs were used to create a bulletin
board for math month. As a side benefit to this math project, our students
learned how to use the Internet to send and receive e-mail.
Caroline Brennan and Joanna Yantosh

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