Tips for Successful Lab Sessions

by Margaret Sinclair

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  1. Choose multi-purpose software - to allow investigation of a variety of topics in grade nine and beyond. Programs such as Geometer's Sketchpad and most spreadsheets are flexible enough to use throughout high school and beyond.

  2. Have students work in pairs - to cut down on the demands on your time, and give students someone with whom to "talk math."

  3. Prepare lab sheets - to save your sanity! They should outline the assignment clearly and include basic computer procedures.

  4. Allow at least 3 classes in the lab so students have time to become familiar with the program and to complete the assignment. (After school time may also be needed.)

  5. Assign homework! This could be connected with the unit - but do not expect students to carry over skills unless they have been explicitly taught. It's often better to assign a project or to have them work on improving basic skills.
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Margaret Sinclair