Investigating Mathematical Models and Concepts Using Virtual Manipulatives and Applets

Unfortunately, there is no microphone in here, so everyone needs to be very, very quiet...

The person sitting next to me (from Indiana) just noticed that this is aimed at K-5 education, but I am interested in seeing the different applets that I have not seen before.

"How can we appropriately use virtual manipulatives in Mathematics education?"
  1. Needs to be done in context
  2. Address worthwhile math with appropriate pedagogy
  3. Take advantage of technology
  4. Connect different math topics
  5. Incorporate multiple representations
It is important to use as a presentational model by adults in instruction and as a representational model by students.

The first site that we looked at was the National Library of Virtual Manipulatives (NLVM). It was mentioned that after using the algebra balance scales in practice that students would draw a scale to help solve problems. It is important so have these models to take students from looking at tools as models of thinking to models for thinking. A very interesting idea, as isn't that what math is all about? A student should be able to take a situation, analyze it to figure out what the problem actually is, decide upon a way to solve, and then apply it. And of course, this is for more than just solving math problems.

...for some reason, I lost part of my blog. BAH!

Well, trying to get to what I was covering...There were a few other sites that were mentioned, such as Shodor, Illuminations, and FunBrian. FunBrain is aimed at K-8, but Shodor and Illuminations have content for all grade levels.

Another applet I would like to mention is the Seeing Math applet. You can download it to your machine and run it locally without a need for an internet connection.

To leave comments or learn more, visit Jennifer Suh's site. Another site that is credited for the presentation is Educational Java Programs.

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