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Topic:  Reflections on Graphing Math Tools 
Related Item:  http://mathforum.org/mathtools/tool/13171/ 
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Subject:  RE: Reflections on Graphing Math Tools 
Author:  Suzanne 
Date:  Aug 1 2006 
> Why do they have to be "quickly engaged"?
Sometimes in a middle school classroom when you are dealing with 36 students who
have fleeting attention spans, having students "quickly engaged" can be a
benefit. That's certainly not to say that the teacher would prefer to have the
student slowly and carefully study something and there are techniques that can
be used to encourage that behavior but it's often not the behavior that the
students bring to the classroom.
Just because the student is quickly engaged, I don't think implies that they
will be quickly learning. To me it means that the students will focus on the
task long enough to give it a chance at all.
The Traffic Jam applet is an example of something that my students found quickly
engaging:
http://mathforum.org/mathtools/tool/10/
I didn't, however, use it in isolation. In fact, I mixed and matched using the
applet along with class discussion, paper/pencil work, and concrete manipulative
work but in my experience the applet was something the students continued to be
drawn to and I could use it to get them to think more about math.
Suzanne
 
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