By Connie Rivera
This post is the final part of a 5-post series based on the work of Dan Meyer, well-known for his use of technology to help people develop a conceptual curiosity for math. His work is relevant for traditional students, adult students, and teachers. The first four posts in this series are Approaching Technology with a Mission in Mind, Finding and Organizing Inspirational Sources, Capturing Perplexity, and Sharing Perplexity.
We’ve shared a perplexing idea with our students. They’ve got a ‘bee in their bonnet’ that’s needling them to learn more – to find out the answer. When students are ready to resolve this perplexing curiosity we’ve shared, what tools do we have for them? Math is a tool we use to help students resolve perplexing questions. Let’s look at some technological tools to support the math students need.
Tools for Students:
- Virtual Manipulatives – National Library of Virtual Manipulatives (NLVM) has a wide selection of interactive manipulatives. I’ve used Rectangle Multiplication with my students in connecting area to multiplication. There are area representation manipulatives for Division and Multiplication with Integers as well.
- Excel – Excel is a useful tool for students to make use of data to resolve a complex question.
- Thinking Blocks – is available as an app and on the internet. Thinking Blocks offers a way for students to model word problems with whole number operations, fractions, and ratio and proportion.
- GeoGebra – is an advanced tool. GeoGebra is an amazing free math software that brings together algebra, geometry, graphing, etc. You can watch a short tutorial to get you started.
Lastly, here are some resources that offer perplexing questions for students to resolve:
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to find one new perplexing question and share it with your class. Guide your students through resolving perplexity this week.
Connie Rivera is a teacher of adult basic skills and high school equivalency preparation. She is also a math consultant, providing math strategies and support to programs implementing the College and Career Readiness (CCR) Standards for Adult Education. Connie is currently the President Elect of the Adult Numeracy Network (ANN), the adult affiliate of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM).