Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

Software Focus on Mathematics

Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

Software Focus on Mathematics

Article excerpt

Renaissance Learning's Accelerated Math program frees K-12 teachers from mountains of paperwork so they can spend more classroom time helping each student succeed: The program works with existing curriculum and textbooks to provide teachers with timely reports that detail each student's progress.

Students show their work on computer-generated practice sheets and scan their answers into the computer. Accelerated Math automatically scores their assignments and prints a report that shows students' scores, problems missed and specific objectives that need more practice. Teachers can use the practice sheets and the reports to zero in on problem areas. Accelerated Math then prints out the next practice sheet based on the student's previous score, offering more practice on problem areas.

There are 31 reports in all, including class reports that show how the class as a whole is progressing. In addition, the reports can be generated throughout the school year so teachers can continually help improve their students' math skills. Renaissance Learning, Wisconsin Rapids, WI, (800) 338-4204, www.renlearn.com.

Geosafari Knowledge Pad -- The Math Series' four sequential programs are aligned to the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics' standards. The series comes with Beginning Math (grades K-1); Addition & Subtraction (grades 1-2); Multiplication & Division (grades 3-4); and Fractions, Decimals & Percentages (grades 5-6). Each program offers arcade-style quiz games designed to engage students in learning. Pop-down window instructions let students navigate through the program and an assessment tool tracks their progress.

The Beginning Math set includes 48 learning games that focus on skills such as matching sets of numbers, identifying numbers and estimating. Addition & Subtraction comes with 56 games focusing on rounding, adding and subtracting two-digit numbers, and calculating money, among other games. Multiplication & Division also comes with 56 games, focusing on multiplying one- and two-digit numbers, identifying missing factors, word problems and calculating averages. In Fractions, Decimals & Percents, students play 64 games that focus on adding and subtracting fractions, finding the lowest common denominator, and changing decimals to percents. Educational Insights Inc., Carson, CA, (310) 884-2000, www.edin.com.

Calc2 version 1.2 is a Windows-based application that combines a full-featured calculator with a unique 26-column tape, the CalcSheet. The CalcSheet lets calculus students plug in new values for "what if" analyses, fix mistakes, use references to previous values, add comments and fonts, arrange calculations in multiple columns, print and save.

Calc2 toggles between a standard and scientific calculator, has a fully editable display, memory functions and parentheses to simplify the entry of complex calculations. Students can use this feature by itself or with the CalcSheet. Either way, all calculations are stored in the CalcSheet for easy review, modification, annotation and formatting. Calculations can also be included in word processing files, presentation documents or any OLE-compatible files. Quantold Inc., Round Rock, TX, www.calc2.net.

The Expert Mathematician is a three-year computer-mediated program designed to help middle school students develop intricate thinking processes necessary for mathematical communication. All topics in general mathematics, pre-algebra and algebra I are sequentially presented within a student-operated mathematics generation and geometry graphics-enriched format.

Expert Mathematician lessons promote hypothesis forming and testing, error checking, mathematical planning, metacognition and peer collaboration. The immediate graphic feedback, level of control over mathematical logic and syntax development, and the natural language feel of the programming environment attract students of all proficiencies. …

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