Q&A #1921

Mathematics and laptops

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From: Suzanne A. (for Teacher2Teacher Service)
Date: Aug 27, 1999 at 00:38:35
Subject: Re: Mathematics and laptops

Dear Dufeu, What a wonderful opportunity! Jenny gave me such a nice introduction that I couldn't resist providing a few details that I thought you might find helpful. I think you might be referring to the Glencoe _Mathematics, Applications and Connections_ (MAC) text but just in case you might also have the Interactive Mathematics book by Glencoe I thought I would point out this work in progress that I have been writing this summer and will continue revising as our seventh grade teachers (including me) use it this school year. You can see my year of plans here: http://mathforum.org/alejandre/frisbie/math/7th.math.html I would like to suggest something that I have developed the last three years and that is the idea of combining a manipulative approach to a mathematical topic and a technological approach to a mathematical topic and then a paper/ pencil (formalization) approach to a mathematical topic. It is important to build a bridge between the technology representing a problem and the actual physical representation. Visiting a problem using both techniques addresses a variety of learning styles, brings the abstract into the concrete, and offers interaction with the computer as students investigate, discover, form hypotheses, draw conclusions, and benefit from the quick feedback and the interest a computer provides. Once students have had these experiences it is important to arrive at a synthesis by spending the time necessary to internalize the concepts. Manipulatives can provide space for group work, computers can afford individual explorations, and the synthesis can take place during a full-class discussion. Students can then demonstrate their individual understandings through the writing process. Here are a few of my lessons that use that idea: Traffic Jam Activity http://www.rialto.k12.ca.us/frisbie/coyote/math/jam.html Tangram Activity (not as developed but with possibilities) http://www.rialto.k12.ca.us/frisbie/coyote/math/tangram.html Locker Problem Activity http://www.rialto.k12.ca.us/frisbie/coyote/math/locker.html Finding Sums Activity http://www.rialto.k12.ca.us/frisbie/coyote/math/sums.html Practicing Arithmetic Skills http://www.rialto.k12.ca.us/frisbie/coyote/math/arithmetic.html These activities are more hands-on but the web resources listed would be great for students to explore if they all had laptops! Leonardo da Vinci Problem http://mathforum.org/alejandre/frisbie/math/leonardo.html This was a collaborative activity between three schools: http://mathforum.org/alejandre/frisbie/survey/ using http://www.rialto.k12.ca.us/frisbie/coyote/math/spreadsheet.html Then another idea that I have used is to make good use of the Ask Dr. Math Archives to introduce a mathematical topic or reinforce or revisit. You can see examples here: http://www.rialto.k12.ca.us/frisbie/coyote/math/dr.math.number.html http://www.rialto.k12.ca.us/frisbie/coyote/math/dr.math.stat.html http://www.rialto.k12.ca.us/frisbie/coyote/math/dr.math.area.html http://www.rialto.k12.ca.us/frisbie/coyote/math/dr.math.prob.html There are other resources on the web also. Cynthia Lanius has written some great interactive pages that I think you might find interesting: http://math.rice.edu/~lanius/Lessons/ Last but not least I would highly recommend the POWs! http://mathforum.org/pow Have great fun and please write and let us know what you use and how it works and any other details! -Suzanne A., for the Teacher2Teacher service

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