Show and Tell
for Big Kids

by Margaret Sinclair


Math Units: Contents || Student Center || Teachers' Place

Instead of requiring my senior students to do an essay on a math topic, I tried the following activity-based independent study. The students loved it! We used the last few days of the course to present the demonstrations. It gave them an overview of what computers can be used for in mathematics, ensured that they had some time using one piece of software, allowed them to venture into the online math environment, and was lots of fun.


Software

My students used The Geometer's Sketchpad, Maple, and a spreadsheet called Aseasy 5.7. Other possibilities are Mathematica, MathView, JavaSketchpad, Mathcad, and many spreadsheets, the most available of which are probably MsWorks, ClarisWorks and Microsoft Excel.


Directions

Work in the lab 4 days:

Investigate one of the following topics on the computer with a partner:

This list is not exhaustive. If there is a topic you would like to pursue, please see me.

On the last two days of class be prepared to present a three-minute demonstration of your findings using the computer. In the demonstration explain briefly what your project is about and show how the computer program helped in investigating.

Hand in a disk, to include the animation/graph/sketch and a brief explanation of the mathematics involved.


Evaluation

The project will be assessed as follows:


Related sites you may wish to visit:

[Vectors, a unit by Gene Klotz]
[Graphing with Spreadsheets - Suzanne Alejandre]
[Corner for Interactive Geometry Software]

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Margaret Sinclair