Discussion:  Factor Tree tool 
Topic:  (no subject) 
Related Item:  http://mathforum.org/mathtools/tool/415/ 
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Subject:  RE: (no subject) 
Author:  Eric Goolish 
Date:  Apr 28 2004 
Looks like I found the same math tool as two of my classmates. Anyways, I agree
with both of you on the benefits of the GCF, LCM, and Venn Diagram. However, I
do not like that when you type in one factor, it automatically gives the other
factor. I feel that this does not reinforce knowing BOTH factors and can make
this applet a guessing game. Also, it automatically highlights the number when
it is prime and moves on to the other factor. Here, students do not need to
know the number is prime. By the same token, if a number is composite, the
applet asks for factors. Giving the BIG hint that the number is not prime.
Overall, some of the 'automatic' functions of this applet prevent students from
thinking for themselves.
eric
www.mste.uiuc.edu
On Apr 06, 2004, jon wrote:
I also appreciated the way the applet set up the calculation of the GCF.
However, I thought that the applet wasn't really conducive for creating a more
intuitive approach to calculating the LCM.
Also, it seems almost too easy for students to just punch in random numbers to
get the correct factorization. For some students, this may simply become a
guessing game.
jon
On Feb 10, 2004, MikeE wrote:
http://matti.usu.edu/nlvm/nav/frames_asid_202_g_3_t_1.html
I enjoyed the way the calculation of the GCF is explained. Using the Venn
diagrams is much easier than strictly relying on rules based interpretations.
The feature I most enjoy is the factor tree matching factors from both numbers
as they are moved to the common factors region.
I also appreciated the applet's ability to handle multiple representations of an
answer.
It would be beneficial if the applet would prompt for a correct factor instead
of simply flashing a cursor when a mistake is made.
 
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