Secondary math teachers often struggle to find ways to make tools in their classrooms such as interactive white boards (IWB’s) useful. This equipment with accompanying software just doesn’t always meet their needs for higher level math. Seeing Math has a solution…well, several solutions, actually.
Seeing Math‘s secondary division provides several cool downloads of applications which can help higher levels of math come alive on your IWB. All of the tools are free and are copyrighted under the GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL), which means they are available for public use. The tools offered are as follows:
- Qualitative Grapher – “Highlight the meaning of a function, and see how it can be seen as something changing over time, with this tool that links a motion model to a graph.”
- Piecewise Linear Grapher – “Highlight the language of domain and range, and the ideas of continuity and discontinuity, with this tool that links symbolic and graphic representations of each interval of a piecewise linear function.“
- Linear Transformer – “Highlight the meaning of each component of a linear function’s symbolic expression with this tool that links symbolic and graphic representations of translating (dragging) a line vertically or horizontally, rotating it around a fixed point, or reflecting it around the x- or y-axis.”
- Function Analyzer – “Highlight the rationale behind symbolic operations used to solve a linear equation with this tool that displays changes in the graphic and area models of functions as you change the value of each symbolic element.”
- Quadratic Transformer – “Highlight the meaning of each component of a quadratic function’s symbolic expression with this tool that links symbolic and graphic representations of translating (dragging) a parabola vertically or horizontally, dilating it, or reflecting it around the x- or y-axis.”
- System Solver – “Highlight how symbolic operations on a system of linear equations do (or do not) change the graphic or tabular representations of the system.”
- Plop It – “Highlight how changing a data set affects the mean, median, and mode with this tool (created by The Shodor Education Foundation and modified by The Concord Consortium) that allows you to add and delete data graphically.”
- Proportioner – “Highlight proportion and scale with this tool that allows you to compare image dimensions by using one image to “paint” another.“
Seeing Math also includes online versions of these tools as well as sample lessons. For more information on Seeing Math, check out their website.
Have you ever used the interactive tools from Seeing Math? What uses could you see for such tools? How would one use these tools in a constructivist manner?
Zac Early is an instructional specialist with the eMINTS National Center and honestly forgets most of what he learned in his high school math courses.