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Discussion: All Tools in Math 5 on Computer
Topic: frog fencing activity

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Subject:   frog fencing activity
Author: Alaska Sunshine
Date: May 4 2008
1. What challenges might you expect your students to have as they work with this
problem? How does or could this activity address difficulties students typically
have with concepts of perimeter, area, multiplication and addition? How might
you extend it?

I teach 4/5 resource math and 6th grade gifted math.  My resource kids really
have difficulty remembering the difference between area and perimeter.  By using
the online geoboard as well as the spreadsheet activity, it would give them one
more connection to the different concepts.  All my students know their basic
multiplication facts, but often get confused when to add around for perimeter
and when to multiply for area.  I think using the geo boards will give a clearer
2. In what way does the computer software benefit the learning of the
mathematical concepts of perimeter, area, multiplication, optimization,

The online geoboard is great because first of all, I don't have to worry about
rubber bands flying around the room.  Secondly, my students love the opportunity
to be on the computer and maintain good focus/attention while on the computer.
The online geoboard allows students the ability to count aorund the perimeter
and count the squares inside that make the area.  We use base ten blocks in my
room, but I can't wait until MOnday to try out the geoboards with them.
3. How would you help students see why increasing one factor and decreasing the
other by the same amount doesn't leave you with the same product? What
properties of multiplication are illustrated by the list of all possibilities on
the chart/spreadsheet?

The communitive property is shown by 1 x 7 & 7  1; 2 x 6 & 6 x 2; 2 x 5 & 5 x 3.
Using the spreadsheet to organize their idata (when given in order) visually
represents lengths of 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 and widths of 7,6,5,4,3,2,1, which my
students would be able to recognize.
4. What kinds of activity structures and patterns of computer usage in class
have been effective and what situations have been ineffective in helping
students learn with such technologies? (See also the Resource Sharing link in
the left nav bar.)

In my room, we use a lot of manipulatives and not many online tools because I
don't have enough computers for all my students and the computers I do have
don't work every day.  THey're pretty old, but good enough to pull up this
website to try out some projects.  Someone in my room seems to be able to crash
the computers.  We have used the online base ten blocks for atea before, but
never the geoboard.

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