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  Houston Feb 4, 2006
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Philadelphia Teacher Workshop June 21-22, 2007

Using Math Software Tools in the Middle School Classroom

a workshop for middle grades teachers

Steve Weimar and Annie Fetter, Facilitators

Thursday, June 21, 2007

8:30 Welcome and Introductions: Establishing Themes for the Workshop
  • What are you trying to figure out or improve in your teaching? What role does technology currently play and what are you hoping to get out of this workshop?
  • NSDL and Math Forum environments in which we will be working: Math Tools and PoW
  • What does the development of Algebraic Reasoning look like in your classroom? What does the development of Problem Solving look like?
9:30 Math Playground: Algebra Puzzle
  • Solve several of the puzzles. Find as many different ways to solve a puzzle as you can.
  • Share the strategies you used.
  • Reflect on the importance and challenge of the math and the value that the tool adds to the exercise
  • How do you know what/whether math learning happens?
10:15 Runners Graph Activity
  • Handout and individual exploration
  • Record everything in a MS Word document that you can see about mathematics from the graphs. (Ex. There are two runners. Both functions are continuous.)
10:30 Runners Graph Sharing Activity
  • In a group, everyone shares one of the things they saw, going around the group repeatedly until all ideas have been listed.
  • Now make your list as complete as possible.
11:00 Tool Activities

With a partner,

  • Go to: NCTM Electronic Example: Understanding Distance, Speed, and Time Relationships Using Simulation Software
  • Play with the tool to get a sense of what it's doing. (Access the directions for using the interactive figure.)
  • Explore the following activities:
    1. Figure out how to set the parameters so that you generate the same graphs as the ones that we observed earlier on the Runners Graph Activity Handout.
    2. Set the parameters so that the runners' graphs are parallel. What has to be true?
    3. Set different parameters and predict what the graphs would look like.
    4. Have one partner set parameters and draw the graph. Cover the parameters and have the other partner figure out the parameters by looking at the graphs.
    5. Design a recording sheet that can be used for assessment for students to use as they work with this tool.
11:30 Lunch
12:15 Math Tools Registration
  • If you are not a registered user, register in Math Tools.
  • View the discussion posts listed under What's Hot? on the Math Tools homepage.
12:30 Participating in Online Discussion
12:45 Learning about Math Tools
  • Introduce Math Tools
  • Search, browse functions, save to My Math Tools, rate tool, discuss tool, explore.
1:15 Balloon Booths
  • Explore the tool and problem.
  • Try an online survey to check your understanding.
  • Reflect on the importance and challenge of the math and the value that the tool adds to the exercise
  • Rate and save in My Math Tools
2:15 Paper Pool
Explore the tool and problem.
  • Find the sizes of ten tables that would require 5 hits each to sink the ball.
  • What relatively prime-sized tables result in 11 hits? (relatively prime: for an m X n table, m and n have no common factors)
  • Write the rule (maybe two rules) for how many hits it would take to sink the ball, for an m by n table.
  • Try an online survey to check your understanding.
  • Design an activity (and possibly a variation on the tool) that you think would work better with your students.
  • Reflect on the importance and challenge of the math and the value that the tool adds to the exercise
  • Rate and save in My Math Tools
3:15 Reflection Time
Please use this online form. Identify a few things that you did today that were particularly useful to you. How? Why?
3:30 Dismiss

© 2014 The Math Forum @ Drexel, part of NSF's NSDL
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant DUE-0226284. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.