Project 1: Advanced Graph Sketching
A Math Lab for Math 3201

  General Information

Lead Teacher(s): Blaine Priddle - Mathematics Teacher
(bmpriddl@calvin.stemnet.nf.ca)
School: Musgravetown Regional High School
P.O. Box 33
Musgravetown, NF
A0C 1Z0
Tel: (709) 467-2717
Grade Level: Level III
Number of Students: 15 - 20
Project Start and Finish Dates: Undetermined. However, it is suspected that this project will take place sometime between March and April of 1998. Given the semesterized schedule of our school, this project will last approximately two weeks.

  Project Overview

Any topic in mathematics that deals with graphing is usually hard to implement in the classroom. Accurate graphs are difficult to draw freehand. Graphics calculators and computer programs can be used, but it is often difficult to give a demonstration in class with such technology.

This project will use the Internet to help overcome such barriers. A Web page will be developed that will allow students to participate in a number of math labs concerning advanced graphing techniques. This page will supply detailed instructions of each lab, a set of questions that require students to implement the knowledge they have learned from the various labs, and a freeware program to help students plot graphs. The labs are based on the Mathematics 3201 curriculum, but any student who would like to learn more about graphing could access this page.

  Curriculum Connections

Mathematics:

After completing the various labs and questions on this Web page, students will have met the following learning outcomes in mathematics:

  • Students will be able to sketch the graphs of equations of the form y=cf(x) and y=f(cx) for any real value of c, y=f(x-h), and y=f(x)+k.
  • Students will understand the mathematics behind each manipulation, and understand why the graph changes as it does.
  • Students will recognize the importance of computers and computer programs in mathematics, and how they can be used as an effective tool for studying mathematics.

Technology Education:

After completing this project, students will have met the following outcomes in Technology Education:

  • Students will demonstrate an understanding of the impact that technology has had in the field of mathematics, and realize that technology is an integral part of mathematics.
  • Students will realize that any future career in mathematics will require a considerable degree of computer proficiency.

  Resource Connections

The STELLAR Schools Internet connection is a crucial part of this project. The Internet will allow entire classes with an adequate number of Internet modules to access this project. Without the Internet, students would not have access to the freeware graphing program, which is a vital part of this project. In essence, the Internet provides the teacher with the most effective and efficient medium for such a project.

Other resources:

  • WINPLOT (a freeware graphic program created by Richard Parris and used with his permission.)

Please see http://academy.exeter.edu/~rparris/ for details.

  Evaluation

The learning outcomes listed above will be evaluated in a number of ways. First, the questions provided at the end of each of the six labs will help to determine if the learning outcomes for each lab have been attained. As well, this project will contain a list of comprehensive questions that will require students to use a combination of outcomes from each lab. Students will also be expected to prepare a presentation on what they have learned from this project.

It is hoped that this project will generate an enthusiasm for mathematics. Unfortunately, many students are not interested in mathematics. A project where technology and the Internet — two areas where students today have a great deal of interest — are used to enrich the mathematics curriculum should generate enthusiasm for the discipline. If this project generates such excitement, then it is a success.

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