Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Center for Algebraic Thinking

I've told you about using the Tortoise and the Hare app in my classes. Today, we found the slope and the equation representing the Tortoise's run and the Hare's run but in the process I discovered my students did not know the story behind the app so I spoke to their reading teacher and she is going to have them read the story tomorrow in class.  I thought it was something everyone knew but apparently it is no longer taught.
The Tortoise and Hare app is created by the folks at the Center for Algebraic Thinking located at Willamette University in Salem Oregon.  It is a part of the graduate school of education.  What is so neat about this place is they have created and marketed several other apps to help students develop algebraic thinking in a fun way.
Out of the list I have the Tortoise and Hare app, Algebra Equation Builder, Algebra Tiles, Inequality Kickoff, Cover-up, Card Clutter, Diamond Factor, and Submariner algebra.  There are several other apps I need to download and try out. 
I am finding the best way to use the apps is to create a lesson around the app, using it as part of the practice.  This means the students are not just playing the games, they have a targeted objective for using the app.
I discovered they have a page full of math method modules that I want to explore at the Center for Algebra.  So far, I am impressed with what they have to offer.