In this article, we discuss funky protractor tasks, which we designed to provide opportunities for students to reason about protractors and angle measure. We address how we have implemented these tasks, as well as how students have engaged with them.
Hamilton L. Hardison and Hwa Young Lee
The paper discusses technology that can help students master four triangle centers -- circumcenter, incenter, orthocenter, and centroid. The technologies are a collection of web-based apps and dynamic geometry software. Through use of these technologies, multiple examples can be considered, which can lead students to generalizations about triangle centers.
Chris Harrow and Lillian Chin
Exploration, innovation, proof: For students, teachers, and others who are curious, keeping your mind open and ready to investigate unusual or unexpected properties will always lead to learning something new. Technology can further this process, allowing various behaviors to be analyzed that were previously memorized or poorly understood. This article shares the adventure of one such discovery of exploration, innovation, and proof that was uncovered when a teacher tried to find a smoother way to model conic sections using dynamic technology. When an unexpected pattern regarding the locus of an ellipse's or hyperbola's foci emerged, he pitched the problem to a ninth grader as a challenge, resulting in a marvelous adventure for both teacher and student. Beginning with the evolution of the ideas that led to the discovery of the focal locus and ending with the significant student-written proof and conclusion, we hope to inspire further classroom use of technology to enhance student learning and discovery.
I always seek activities that might stretch my students yet would be accessible to them; that might require logical thought yet would contain counterintuitive elements; that might provide the opportunity to venture into new mathematical realms yet would have a simple starting point. This article and the activity that inspired it did indeed arise by way of a relatively straightforward problem that I proposed to one of my classes.
Readers comment on published articles or offer their own ideas.
Processes using linear measurement can be adapted to teach complex topics such as polynomial multiplication, rational exponents, and logarithms.
Maria L. Hernandez and Nils Ahbel
luidMath™ (www.fluiditysoftware.com), a new mathematics software tool for Tablet devices, computers, and interactive whiteboards, can create a dynamic graph or table with a simple gesture and recognize written expressions as the mathematical relationship they intend. The software uses a stylus as its input device. By changing constant values in an equation to parameters, the user can create sliders instantly and see graphs and tables change dynamically. The CAS (Computer Algebra System) functionality allows simplification of algebraic expressions and solution of equations and can perform all the calculations from algebra through calculus. FluidMath uses standard mathematical notation to explore explicitly and implicitly defined functions, parametric functions, polar functions, and recursively defined functions.
Maurice J. Burke
A tool that combines the power of computer algebra and traditional spreadsheets can greatly enhance the study of recursive processes.
Gregory D. Foley
Ellipses vary in shape from circular to nearly parabolic. An ellipse's eccentricity indicates the location of its foci, but its aspect ratio is a direct measure of its shape.
John F. Mahoney
The author presents an activity in which the lines in students' hands are analyzed, with curves and lines fit to each one.