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Discussion: Research Area
Topic: February 2003: Question 3


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Subject:   Post a Story
Author: Suzanne
Date: May 4 2003
George's idea about comparing the three different applets that simulate balance,
made me think that if you use one of those three applets with students you might
have some thoughts to share.

We have a form here:

   http://mathforum.org/te/exchange/enter.story.html

and when it's filled out a web page is automatically made. You can get the idea
of how it might look by viewing the two samples linked from that page. We'd love
to have folks who have stories to share as George and Alice have described, try
their hand by using our new Story page.

If you have questions about how it works, my email link is on that page, and
I'll be happy to help.

- Suzanne

On May 04, 2003, George Reese wrote:
[snip]
For example, suppose you're teaching equation solving using the metaphor of the
balance. That's what Hands-on Equations does. There are also some applets out
that simulate an actual balance.

Virtual Manipulatives has one
http://matti.usu.edu/nlvm/nav/frames_asid_201_g_4_t_2.html?open=instructions

Illuminations has one (four really)
http://illuminations.nctm.org/mathlets/shapebalance/index.html

And MSTE has one
http://www.mste.uiuc.edu/steigerwald/balance/default.html

How could these tools be used most effectively? It seems a network of teachers
is the ideal group to test and compare them. Not just a Consumer's Report kind
of thing, but also some follow-up data on which tools seem to work best in
which types of situations. There's a broad network out there of people who are
working with students every day, and they have a lot to share. Math Tools is a
great opportunity for practitioners to share what really works.

I do hope more people post, either with their names or anonymously. It's the
ideas that matter, not the identities.

-George




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