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Math Forum @ Drexel tPoW: Using Technology to Help Students Solve Problems
presented by Suzanne Alejandre & Cynthia Lanius

NCTM 2005 Annual Meeting and Exposition
Embracing Mathematical Diversity

Session 355 in Anaheim, California
Thursday, April 7, 2005, from 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm
Desert Springs (Anaheim Marriott)

Introduction
What is a tPoW?
What is Math Tools?
Provide the history of the Math Forum's Problems of the Week and the ESCOT (Educational Software Components of Tomorrow) project.
 
Let's do math!
Balloon Booths || submission
Scale the size of a hot air balloon so you can make it fit through a narrow passage and hit a nail to pop it.
 
Miranda and the Rookie
Use a spreadsheet to compare salaries of the star basketball player and the rookie.
 
Types of Triangles
Students use a GSP sketch or an interactive web page to drag and manipulate four triangles. They identify one of each type: scalene, isosceles, equilateral, and right.
 
Mauna Loa
Using the monthly measurement data for 1975 through 1988 from Mauna Loa, predict the CO2 level for your birthday in the current year.
 
Overview of more math
Galactic Exchange II
Using a vending machine (Java applet) determine the relative values of the coins used on the planet Orange.
 
How Many Cubes?
Given the front view and side view of some cubes, students are asked what the larget number of cubes can be used to make the arrangement and what the smallest number of cubes would be.
 
Traffic Jam
Find the fewest number of moves for the ten people to end up on the opposite side from where they started.
 
Counterfeit Coins
Find the fewest number of weighings that will identify which of the nine coins is counterfeit.
 
Runners
Tell how a runner's step size predicts the time it takes to run from the building to the tree.
 
Squares in a Square
If you have a checkerboard that is 50x50 with small squares inside it, how many squares will there be altogether?
 
Questions for Discussion:
How might technology enhance or detract from students' mathematical understanding?
 
How engaging are the problems? Are they at the right level of rigor for your students? Will they challenge students? What learning goals will they help achieve?
 
How might communication (reading, writing, talking, and explaining) around the problem enhance or detract from students' mathematical understanding?
 
What kinds of support will you and your students need to solve the problems and use the technologies effectively? How can we best deliver that support?
 

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