Q&A #135

Technology for advanced 5th-7th graders

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From: Vasha (for Teacher2Teacher Service)
Date: May 14, 1998 at 22:12:01
Subject: Re: Technology in 7th grade math

Hi Michelle, I'll have to admit that I don't teach 7th grade math, but I get very excited about using technology in teaching. I do teach high-ability fifth graders and some examples of their work may be useful. For Internet resources, I highly recommend the Eisenhower National Clearinghouse website at http://www.enc.org/ Their "Action" section lists the 13 top science and math sites each month under the heading "Digital Dozen." Past months are archived there for teacher use. Look for lessons by Cynthia Lanius and Suzanne Alejandre on fractals, cartography, tessellations, magic squares, and more. My kids have learned so much through these sites! Cynthia Lanius' math lessons: http://math.rice.edu/~lanius/Lessons/ Suzanne Alejandre's math lessons: http://mathforum.org/alejandre/ We also have a class set of calculators available for use. Students don't rush to use them for day to day work, but when interesting questions come up, use of calculators allows more time for logical reasoning. When looking for results from a penny campaign, or finding ratios between objects, or figuring expenses after coupons and taxes, much more time is available for exploring different angles of the problems or testing different strategies for finding solutions than would be possible if all calculations were done with pencil and paper. Finally, due to grant writing success, we have LEGO Robotics equipment and software. These materials facilitate the use of graphing in investigations of temperature, reaction time, and speed. The LEGO Dacta people in Connecticut have excellent materials to support work with mechanics, mathematics, and technology. Give them a call at 1-800-527-8339. Good luck in your endeavors with technology! - Vasha

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