Magazine article Technology & Learning

A New Way to See Math

Magazine article Technology & Learning

A New Way to See Math

Article excerpt

Kidspiration 3 is to grades K-3 what the visual learning software Inspiration is to older students. While its new math activities address K-5 math skills, the program's graphical interface will appeal to younger children.

New with this version is a Math View, featuring five interactive, kid-friendly tools supporting K-5 National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Curriculum Focal Points. Math activities target problem solving, reasoning, and critical thinking in numbers and operations (for whole numbers and fractions), geometry (angles, orientation, and both 2-D and 3-D shapes), measurement (including area and length), and even algebra (multiples, factors, patterns, and number sequences).

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Math View tools permit students to have multiple pages in a single document. With this feature, they can solve problems in different ways. Additionally, before youngsters choose to work with a particular math tool, they can click the Use Steps box on the Math Tools menu so they can show each problem-solving step as they work through an assignment. When teachers prepare a custom math activity for their students, they can lock one or more items in the workspace to prevent students from altering the layout. A workspace math activity area allows for self-paced, open-ended exploration. A completed math activity can be exported as a bit-mapped image, GIF, JPEG, or HTML file.

To support tactile learning, Kidspiration 3 invites youngsters to represent ideas by dragging colorful pictures, photos, and animated images from symbol libraries into the program's Picture View or Math View workspaces. …

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