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Topic: Jeff's Monday ToolFest Question

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Subject:   RE: Jeff's Monday ToolFest Question
Author: Craig
Date: Jun 13 2005
You mentioned using tools in a "lab" setting; I did just that several times this
year with my Geometry students, less often with my Statistics students, and
occasionally with my Algebra students.  With a lab, I would have a few questions
for the students to explore, and make available either a prepared Sketchpad,
Excel, or Powerpoint file, or a selection of java applets students would use to
explore the questions.  "Lab reports" would consist of answers to the questions,
with explanations; sometimes I would ask for a "screen shot" or other graphic to
support, and sometimes students would turn in the file they were working with (I
taught them how to use text boxes in Sketchpad and Excel).

Another way I used tools was for classroom demonstrations (I had the luxury of a
projector connected to my computer).  Often, the tool would capture student
interest, and students would ask for the tool's url for their own exploration.
I would occasionally get feedback in daily homework showing that students used
the tools on their own!

My classroom had four networked computers for student use. Sometimes I'd have
group activities during the period, with one or more of the tasks requiring use
of a particular tool.  I would direct groups back to a computer (with six groups
and four computers, I sometimes had to be an air traffic controller) for those

Still another use I found for tools was for independent student work or review.
I posted several tools on my course web site, and some students would use them
for practice (one algebra student frequently tried to finish in-class work
early, and always asked to go use the "shooting balloons" tool to practice
linear equations).

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