With my Year 12 classes (UK age 16-17) we have been looking at quadratic inequalities and it struck me that as always a really good picture is what we needed – so of course I turned to my favourite graphing calculator and created a couple of Desmos pages for them. I have written a post for them on Mathematics for Students with the links to the graph pages, also a link to David Smith’s The Maths Teacher site and a reminder that you can of course just enter your inequality as a WolframAlpha query.
In other classes this week – yes it was a good idea to have Year 9 measuring triangles to introduce trigonometry – so far so good – I believe they understand the trigonometric ratios – I’ll be more convinced when I see their books this coming week.
Year 11 now regard Circle Theorems as good puzzles and Geogebra applets worked really well for demonstrations. Talking of GeoGebra – look at their newly designed website.
Year 13 Further Mathematicians have seen the benefits of throwing a matrix into WolframAlpha (just enter the matrix and you’ll get the inverse, eigenvalues, eigenvectors & vectors & more). When I get email queries including the words ‘I checked it on WolframAlpha….;’ I know I’m onto a good thing helping them to help themselves.
And finally I’ll mention a rather interesting looking app Math Chat which I learned about on Richard Byrne’s wonderful Free Technology for Teachers – currently only for iPad and iPhone – but I am assured by Math Chat that they are planning on expanding to Android soon and expanding onto the web too. When they do I’ll come back to it. It is interesting that my post on Writing Mathematics online has been one of the most consistently popular posts since the early days of this blog. LaTeX is all very well but to be realistic – our students are not going to be writing lots of LaTeX any time soon.