Thursday, May 15, 2014

Using spreadsheets in Math class

Yesterday, I did a quick search on using spreadsheets in the mathematics classroom and most of the activities dealt with finance or something similar.  I did not find much on using them with various functions so I was a bit disappointed.  Then about the same time I went to bed, I wondered if I could use a spreadsheet to prepare tables for graphing linear equations or systems or inequalities. 
I noticed that my students seem to have a disconnect between the equations, the tables and the actual graphs so I got to thinking if I could use a spreadsheet to form a link between calculating the points by hand and using a table on a calculator or app. 
This type of activity might help students see a connection between the equation and the results in the table by going through this middle step.  My students often have trouble seeing the connections between the beginning and ending of a process.
Over the summer, I plan to learn to use all the parts of the Algebra Tiles app so that students get a more hands-on experience to combining like terms, solving one and two step equations, factoring, etc.  I only know how to use part of the app so I need to work on it.