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Discussion: Understanding Distance, Speed, and Time Relationships Using Simulation Software tool
Topic: Graphing Tool
Related Item: http://mathforum.org/mathtools/tool/13171/


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Subject:   RE: Graphing Tool
Author: I-Heng
Date: May 18 2007
I think we can have goals and objectives even while students play...that is,
guide the play so students discover something.  For example, when we play games,
we have a goal and yet it's still play.  The art is in providing enough but not
too much guidance...in order to preserve the feel (freedom, openness, choice,
challenge, surprises, etc.) of play.

A little more concretely, I like the idea of 15 minutes of play with the tool
before more beginning structured activities with the tool.  I would guide this
initial 15 minutes with a general goal...maybe something like:

Play with the settings to generate as many drastically different graphs as you
can.

(I'd have to find some way for students to easily record their results...shots
of the graphs with settings, or hand-written quick sketches and the
corresponding settings, or printouts....)

We would then have some shared experience and examples to use as the basis of a
more formal discussion of what's going on with these graphs.

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