Fall 2016 - Professor Kate Poirier

Category: Assignments (Page 1 of 7)

How can computer-based learning help students learn fractions? [Mei] [Admajid]

  • Title: Conditions for Effective Use of Interactive On-line Learning Objectives: The case of a fraction computer-based learning sequence

Authors: Catherince D. Bruce & John Ross

Journal: The Electronic Journal of Mathematics and Technology

Year of publication: 2006

  • This paper focuses on the challenges of students’ understanding about fractions from students’ perspectives and teachers’ perspective. Not using factions daily is one of the factors that makes it difficult to embed the significance of learning fractions as part of students’ life. The success of supporting students’ understanding lies on the design of instructions. The traditional teaching methods lack the emphasis at students’ conceptual understanding with little connections to students’ existing knowledge. However, technology-assisted learning is introduced as a successful model in enhancing students’ understanding with challenging math concepts.

The paper takes a main point on a computer-based learning package named CLIPS-Critical Learning Instructional Paths Supports. The package consists of its own characteristics and learning tasks for students. Even though students make meaningful progress in understanding of fractions under CLIPS, there are limitations and exceptions that students would not benefit from the program. Through case studies, the paper concludes the importance of building the direct relationships between online learning tasks and in-class learning tasks. The necessity of having in-class activities that are within students’ zone of proximal development. The full participation or involvement in the CLIPS will make a difference, and the pair work between students will support each other in completing the CLIPS tasks. Last but not the least, since the CLIPS program is computer-based learning, students can keep their own pace and go back for checking their work. The educators believe that students go with the sequence order to understand the content better than those who were absent and chose the tasks randomly.

  • Why do you think learning fractions is challenging for middle grades students in your own opinion?

First of all, there are different ways to represent fractions: division sign, colon, and fraction bar. Fractions are divided into proper fraction, improper fraction, and mixed fractions. They will have questions involving mixed fractions, but what they need to do first it to convert them to improper fractions to make computation easier. If a teacher cannot make his or her students understand the meaning of proportionality, it is going to be extremely hard for students to complete a task associated with fractions or understanding the significance behind ratio. From the reading, I learned that a computer-based learning might be a possible way to assist students to have a better understanding of something that was not clear to them through vivid images and audio. At the same time, there are challenges to implement technology in a classroom. The learning objectives from the sites should be correlated to the lesson itself. Schools need financial support to provide students’ access to computers. There are also technical issues along with computers that might happen in the classroom, which will make it unsuccessful for students to keep a consistent attention during the tasks. In conclusion, I agree that students need some technology in their learning if students can use it wisely with their goals of learning in mind.

When students are learning fractions, they will be able to understand what a ratio is. How to complete a ratio table is considered one of the basic and important tasks for students when they learn fractions from my observation experience. Thus, there are a lot of definitions that students need to know in order to understand fractions.

Without access to the reading, I learned that students struggle to factions because they are familiar with whole numbers. They are good at simple operations with these numbers, but students will have difficulty with whole numbers with different signs. They are likely to make conceptual errors when they subtract negative whole numbers. It is going to be a higher level when students learn fractions.

  • What are the strategies that you think can help students build a good habit of using internet?

What are possible ways that we can negotiate with students’ parents’ involvement with students’ online assignments at home? (like sit there with the students for half-hour)

Final Project – Lesson plan and presentation – due Thursday, December 8

As announced in Professor Rojas’s class, your final project for the learning community (both classes) is a lesson plan together with a 10-minute presentation. You may choose any topic from the middle school curriculum and you may choose any technology that you like, but it must be used in a pedagogical way. Make sure you answer the question: How is using this tool helping my students understand the lesson better than if I had not used the tool?

Presentations will be held in Professor Rojas’s 8am class and in our 2:30pm class.

Include a copy of your final project on your ePortfolio. Share a copy of your lesson plan as well as the technology component with me.

For the technology part of the presentation, we will be using the same rubric that we have used for projects throughout the semester. Professor Rojas will score your lesson plan separately for her class.

Portfolio Assignment – due Tuesday, December 20

Throughout this semester you have completed a variety of projects and homework assignments. The ePortfolio feature of the OpenLab is an excellent way to showcase you and your work. You should keep your ePortfolio updated as you generate more work and accomplishments that you are proud of.

  1. Create an ePortfolio on the OpenLab if you haven’t already. (To do this, view your own profile, click the link to edit your profile, and then the link on the upper right of the screen to create a Portfolio.)
  2. Set up your ePortfolio site with information about you as a Math Education student.
  3. Create a page in your portfolio called Technology in Math Education. On this page, include a copy of each of your projects from this semester and copies of any other homework assignments that you would like to show off. Organize the content so that it is easy for your audience to see what you have done.

Keep in mind that you are not generating new content for this page, you are simply putting the work you have already done into one place. Feel free to edit the copied versions of your projects, if you please. (For example, you already posted a description of your Maple Anything project, but you can’t upload Maple files to the OpenLab. You may wish to add screenshots to your description when you copy it onto your portfolio page so that the reader has a better sense of your project.)

Project #4: Research Article – due Thursday, December 15

For project #4, you and a partner will report on an academic journal about technology in math education.


  1. Choose an article from one of the journals listed below. The article should be around 10-20 pages long and should have been published between 2006 and 2016.
  2. Your article must be approved by me. Comment on this post with your choice; include the title and author(s) of the article, the journal name, and year of publication. Each pair must choose a different article, so make sure to check others’ posts before you claim yours. Post your claim by midnight on Friday, December 9.
  3. Submit an OpenLab post with the following:
    1. The title and author(s) of the article, the journal name, and year of publication.
    2. A 1- or 2-paragraph summary of the article.
    3. Details about one important point made by the article. Write this as a question with a short essay response. (The reason for writing it as a question and response is that these questions will serve as inspiration for one of your final exam questions.) Make your question and essay response as clear as possible as it will serve as a study guide for your peers.
    4. One discussion question about the important point from the item 3 above (or more discussion questions, if you like).
    5. Add the category “Project #4: Research Article” to your post.
  4. Together with your partner, prepare a 5-10 minute presentation based on your OpenLab post and prepare to lead a short discussion with the class about the important point you chose to report on above.

Due date: Thursday, December 15


  • Journal for Research in Mathematics Education

  • Educational Studies in Mathematics

  • Mathematics Teacher

  • Mathematics Teaching in Middle School

  • For the Learning of Mathematics

  • Research in Mathematics Education

  • Mathematics Education Research Journal

  • The Australian Mathematics Teacher

  • College Mathematics Journal

  • Journal of Mathematics Education at Teachers College

Journal access

These journals may be accessed through the CityTech library. You can view them online from anywhere by following the directions here.

The Ripple Effect , Luis

Maple allows you to plug in your function at certain intervals  whether they are large numbers or small and calculates the integrals with ease. It also provides you with the tools needed to  create a 3-D model of the work in various forms using different methods. Maple lets you quickly design your model using commands and also contains apps in order to check the work.  The tool allows students to make connections with the relationship of a geometric form to arbitrary functions. Not only does it do this but, it provides students with further knowledge on the topic by expressing characteristics of the models such as partitions  and provides information about the model a student may not have realized. The audience for the worksheet are students in college and high school students taking either calculus or physics. The students should know both the shell and disk method of finding volumes of revolution as well as taking integrals, The content is delivered as a worksheet to be done in classroom. Maple is  appropriate for this deliverance of content because it can be used to express geometric shapes and compare them with others.  Not only this but, it may help students create steps for solving problems.

( I used word for my worksheet so it will not be posted here).

Project#3 Maple on Trigonometric Functions

In this presentation, my audience will be my classmates who took the mid-term exam. I am sure that all of us took it and my topic is how to use Maple to graph trigonometric functions with various amplitude, period, phase shift, and vertical shift. Also, how can we graph them in the same x-y coordinate.

I assume that my audience still remembered how they used sliders in Desmo activity to change the features of a trigonometric function. My content will be using a different software to solve a same problem. So, after this class, I believe my classmates will have some insights for further tasks associated to Maple. Maple is an appropriate tool for this activity because it might be new to some of us and using it show something we learned is a good practice.

HW #11 — WeBWorK — due Thursday, December 1

Homework #11 has three parts:

  • Here is the paper version of the problem set. Print it out and show all your work in the space provided for each question.
  • Here is the link for the WeBWorK version of the problem set. Enter your answers in the space provided before 2:30pm.
  • Here is link for the short questionnaire for you to complete after you complete the problem set. Read the questionnaire before starting the problem set.

Your username and password for WeBWorK are your last name with the first letter capitalized. Usernames and passwords are case sensitive. (If your last name has a hyphen, delete it to form your username and password.) Let me know if you have trouble accessing your account.

The questions on the paper version and WeBWorK version are identical. The whole assignment should take you under an hour to complete. You can complete all questions using material that you learned in Calculus I (MAT 1475) or below. (No MAT 1575 material is required). Everyone who demonstrates a clear and honest effort for all questions will receive full credit for this assignment. You must work independently on this assignment. Calculators/aids are not permitted. You may use the internet only to access WeBWorK.

Why are we doing this?

  • WeBWorK can be used effectively as an instructional tool in many different ways. As a teacher, creating sets from existing problems is straightforward, and there is a large library of existing problems to choose from. However, creating new problems is less straightforward (uses the Perl programming language and LaTeX). You should be aware of how this tool works, at least from the student side, in case you want to use it in the future. If you would like to create your own WeBWorK set to use as part of your final project, let me know and I’ll create a teacher account for you.
  • By completing this particular assignment, you’ll be helping me collect data for one of my responsibilities at CityTech outside of MEDU 2010. Thanks! 🙂

Age of technology: Will Teachers be reduced to Facilitators . Luis

While the article is merely a prediction it is still a scary situation to ponder. What’s more intriguing is that more articles similar to the one read are appearing. This information tells me a few things such as educators all over the states are either already teaching using technology and agreeing or disagreeing with it as a tool. I can only perceive the future as an educator to be a nightmare similar to George Orwell’s 1984 if technology extinguishes teachers as dictators. If we are limited to an orthodox way the whole role as an educator becomes nothing more than an interpreter a google translator.  Technology has existed for quite some time so why hasn’t the revolution begun already ? The author comments that “all computing devices—from laptops to tablets to smartphones—are dismantling knowledge silos and are therefore transforming the role of a teacher into something that is more of a facilitator and coach.   I believe technology regardless how sophisticated can not replicate a teachers ability to make meaningful connections, pedagogy, answer questions about experiences, emotional support, deliver an activity with motivation the list can be continued.  Technology will never replace a teacher , but it can certainly reduce the profession.

As a science specialist my job is to plan activities for students in elementary schools. My first day I was given resources such as DVDs, booklets and the state manufactured curriculum including planning, exploring , summarize, of topics the whole works. My duties became facile using their format. I used one text for fifth graders and felt like it was not my class anymore so i scrapped it. What’s interesting is that the teachers in the school use the same thing no one really plans a lesson anymore. They use smart boards to play videos and games to teach students about trees and etc. Technology has already changed the field the only question is whether you’re in the boat as education sails towards a new horizon.

The best possible way for me to be prepared for the many directions education may go is to educate myself. I will never be able to have as much knowledge as the inter web ,but i can manipulate classroom instruction and teach my students the best way i see fit for which ever era presents itself.

Students have always taken charge of their own learning in the video Sugata Mitra places a computer in a remote destination and finds that children will at great lengths push themselves to learn ,but they need encourage. Students with encouragement can take charge of their own education i believe. In the video students are giving a presentation on molecular biology and the first thought was it is far easy to recite words than to express them with your own. No evidence suggests they were or weren’t the students own interpretation , but we have all done this copy and paste scenario. Are students really learning or are they memorizing.

Homework #10 -By Tyniqua Hinton

I agree with the assertions the article makes about the classroom being geared towards a more technological based learning because the schools are implementing technology more and more in the classrooms. But, as the article expresses the notion of a teacher’s job being replaced by the computer in as little as ten years from now is a bit extreme. I think we have a long way to go before there is  a program that will bring to the students the same or an improved method of teaching students what is needed for the real world and to encourage the same students to be innovative. I highly doubt that the school system would take the risk of fully implementing a computer ran classroom in order to experiment with young children in order to see if the method of teaching is more effective than the old fashioned way of teaching as a teacher being the main source of instruction in the classroom.

I am a little worried about the way the speaker in Ted Talks spoke in a way that discredits the job of an experienced educated teacher.  For there is no way a computer can assess the needs of the different types of children that enter a classroom with different needs and levels of learning. My favorite quote from the article is, ” There is a profound difference between a local expert teacher using the Internet and all its resources to supplement and improve his or her lessons, and a teacher facilitating the educational plans of massive organizations,” I say this because I like the idea of teachers getting ideas from other sources in order to maker the classroom more engaging for the students but I do not think the sole purpose of computer software to be as the main source of learning for students. A student can not ask a computer certain questions that has never before been asked or addressed while a live teacher can help a student arrive to an answer without the use of technology. This type of learning places too much responsibility on the students, especially younger students who need guidance from adults. Computers are just not well rounded when it comes to learning, because even in my own experience I tried using videos like Khan academy but it only showed me the basic concepts of what I needed to know, when my professor actually figured out the way I was thinking and was able to determine the fault in my logic.

I find that technology will be a major tool for learning throughout my career but I do find that I as well as my future colleagues have to have a firm foundation n our field of learning in order to be effective teachers because what happens when the computer crashes. We have to be prepared and not be too dependent on technology to teach our students things that we already know. While I feel technology can never replace a good or even mediocre teacher I do find that it is important to stay knowledgable about the advances in technology by taking technology courses (as we are doing now), reading informative articles about new and upcoming innovations in technology, and keeping on top of studies done by professionals that is monitoring the effects of technology in the classroom. I think the home should be the place where a self organized learning environment is key for when the teacher is not around and the parents are not as informative as we’d like them to be to guide in learning at home, but a teacher should never be replaced with a computer.

We need technology so as teachers [Zhu, Mei]

The article and the Ted Talk are new and fresh to me. At the beginning of the reading, I felt a little depressed and worry that in the future the role of teachers will be questioned and eliminated by people all over the world. For me as a future Mathematics teacher, I could not stop thinking if this became real, how I am going to face it and make a decision. However, if I were ten years old right now, I may change my dream to be another profession instead of teaching. Too late I am not a teenager anymore, and I could see myself changed through schooling. People are humans with brains to think and reasoning, with nose to smell, with eyes to see, with ears to hear, with mouth to talk, and with our hands to work. If students learn things at home alone or as a group in a room in front of the big screen, how long are these students’ interest of learning going to last? In the video, we can see that students feel excited and read after the “teacher” in the screen asked them to do so. I believe this is going to be a good success for very poor countryside that people cannot afford technology like smart phones or TVs. When a thing that can talk and even responds their questions, students will feel excited and wish that they could see the “robot” every day.

I still remembered the first time I saw and touched computers in my elementary school in China. We had to share computers with each other. I was scared to touch it because I was afraid that I would break it if I did not use it properly. I just sat there and watched my peers surfing. Even though I learned how to use computer in my junior and high school life, I did not learn actual computer skills until I came to college. I bought my first laptop when I was enrolled in BMCC because my friends all have one. I used it to translate, to search articles, and to watch some YouTube videos for learning purposes or entertainment. Technology helps us many things, but it cannot be a substitute of education. Instead, we should use it as a tool to checking our learning.

I met a girl from Hunter who never got her K-12 education in school. She had home schooling and passed the GED test. After that, she finished her Bachelor degree and also her Master in Hunter. I intended to ask her some questions and her opinions when I got this reading assignment. Even though she was a home schooling with no teachers in her teenage life, she also disagrees with the idea that technology can take the place of teachers. She told me that she was not able to do some chemistry experiments in her kitchen although she got the materials and watched videos. Also, she told me that she felt a little afraid when she entered college because she never learned how to get along and socialize with other people. She loved reading and writing, but she hates Mathematics and gives up easily when she could not solve the problem and returned to reading. From her experience, I learned that even though children can learn by self-organization, but there are some limitations that can be solved in school. For example, when a student is doing an experiment at home with instructions from the video, it is hard to prevent dangerous incidents happening if there is no instructor around.

I agree with the idea that teachers are sometimes act as a facilitator, but it is not always the case. There are so many roles that a teacher has and so many duties they need to handle. In a class, we are not just learning content knowledge but also learn how to get along well with others. We also have some activities that are not curriculum relevant. The host takes the fact that Mathematics is universal around the world, but he ignores the important part of reasoning. Even though some students know how to do the operations of Mathematics, many of them do not know how to express their opinions. They need the communications and practices with people not just staying for hours in front of a big screen. Every piece of learning needs connections. If a subject is unrelated to students’ life, students will get bored easily. Also, we learn and understand things differently. We also learn from our mistakes and the people around us. Assuming that everybody studies at home, how they are going to communicate with others and express with thoughts. Teachers not only taught us knowledge but also taught us living skills. I learned how to control myself when I was depressed, I learned how to manage my time, and I learned how to be a responsible person. There are so many things that we learned from teachers, our peers, and ourselves. Without formal education, we may not be able to define these behind every school day.

Also, in real life, it is kind of impossible to have children like in the video that they enjoyed reading with a teacher in the screen unless they feel it interesting and important. For example, I will follow after the instructor read like the one in the video because I know I need to improve my English speaking skills. Look around us, how many children know how to play Ipads and some parents feel very proud of them. They think their kids are smarter than them because in such an early age, they already commanded the skills of technology. They never think about the negative impact, even they realize it they will have nothing to do with it because it is too late. I saw my 3-year-old nephew playing his Ipad on the floor. He talked to himself and followed the behaviors inside the video with no concern that I am around. He will get mad when I chose a channel for him. We can predict that, if students self-learning at home, who is going to be the one to assist if their parents both work.

In conclusion, we need teachers and we also need technology. As teachers, we should learn corresponding technology skills to better equip ourselves. For instance, as a Mathematics teacher, he or she should be able to teach students how to use some math software to learn something outside of school. Teachers should be able to make students believe that computers are not only for entertainment but also a good place to learn and explore more things.


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