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Thread: Math Teaching Tool - "Quadratic Super Modeler"

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    Lightbulb Math Teaching Tool - "Quadratic Super Modeler"

    The file is too large to poster here (just over 3MB due to some basic sound effects and images likely), so here's link where you can download it from tinyupload.com: http://s000.tinyupload.com/?file_id=...64105700724070

    This is a vb.net desktop application (4.0 framework targeted). Nothing special is required to run it! The .exe file is attached. You will likely get anti-virus warnings (as you should with an .exe file!) but I assure you there is nothing malicious about this software!

    I'm a full time high school math teacher, so most of my coding is geared toward making learning/teaching tools.

    I created this out of need! The need for better virtual algebra tiles! (Click here if you don't know what algebra tiles are) Students find the physical tiles cumbersome to manipulate, and most of the virtual tiles I've found for interactive whiteboards overlap and do not align perfectly to which frustrates many students!

    This is more than a virtual algebra tile modeller... it includes step by step instructions, guiding students to the standard, factored, or vertex form! It recognizes when the tiles have been factored (built into a rectangle) or the square has been competed. More than this, it dynamically knows the answer giving either a green checkmark, a red x, or a yellow "half way checkmark" if their answer is not formatted quite right.

    There is an option to "Just play with the tiles" if you don't wish to be restricted to quadratic expressions. You can add tiles to the panel and it will give the algebraic polynomial tally up top (and even tell you if your tiles are factorable or not).

    You can use this on an interactive whiteboard as a teaching tool, or throw the file in a network drive for students to use individually in a computer lab. You can use this software any time you would have used physical algebra tiles in the past.

    Basically, from this forum, I'd like to know how the program runs and feels on your computer. If any of you are math lovers (or better yet, math educators!) I'd love to know if this program helped you understand algebraic concepts in a deeper way! Were there any features you'd like to see added? Any that didn't work? Any bugs? UI suggestions (I know there may be many!) Thanks,

    ~CalfordMath
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    Last edited by CalfordMath; Apr 10th, 2017 at 02:01 PM.

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    Fanatic Member 2kaud's Avatar
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    Re: Math Teaching Tool - "Quadratic Super Modeler"

    where you can download it form my TeachersPayTeachers page for free
    But registration is required!
    All advice is offered in good faith only. You are ultimately responsible for the effects of your programs and the integrity of the machines they run on. Anything I post, code snippets, advice, etc is licensed as Public Domain https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/

    C++17 Compiler: Microsoft VS2019 (16.1.6)

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    Re: Math Teaching Tool - "Quadratic Super Modeler"

    Right you are, 2kaud! Here is a tinyupload.com link instead! http://s000.tinyupload.com/?file_id=...64105700724070

    No registration needed!

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    Fanatic Member 2kaud's Avatar
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    Re: Math Teaching Tool - "Quadratic Super Modeler"

    ...but now the anti-virus is complaining that the download is dangerous!
    All advice is offered in good faith only. You are ultimately responsible for the effects of your programs and the integrity of the machines they run on. Anything I post, code snippets, advice, etc is licensed as Public Domain https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/

    C++17 Compiler: Microsoft VS2019 (16.1.6)

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    Re: Math Teaching Tool - "Quadratic Super Modeler"

    Any .exe file will trigger warning signs (and rightfully so), but I assure you there is nothing malicious whatsoever about this software!

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    Fanatic Member 2kaud's Avatar
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    Re: Math Teaching Tool - "Quadratic Super Modeler"

    how the program runs and feels on your computer
    Once downloaded, runs OK with Windows 7.

    I'd love to know if this program helped you understand algebraic concepts in a deeper way!
    Not really. I'm not a fan of Algebra tiles - or other 'gimmicks'. I prefer the old way of algebra symbol manipulation and learning the rules! What's wrong with pen and paper?

    PS I did my A' level maths and university maths in the 1970's. IMO the syllabus and exams today are much easier than they were then!
    All advice is offered in good faith only. You are ultimately responsible for the effects of your programs and the integrity of the machines they run on. Anything I post, code snippets, advice, etc is licensed as Public Domain https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/

    C++17 Compiler: Microsoft VS2019 (16.1.6)

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    Re: Math Teaching Tool - "Quadratic Super Modeler"

    I prefer the old way of algebra symbol manipulation and learning the rules! What's wrong with pen and paper?
    I too learned algebra in a far less visual way, memorizing rules and applying them to solve problems. I think there can be a danger in trying to teach math so broadly from such a variety of approaches (geometric, kinesthetic, graphical, allegorical...) that students are left with little mastery in any one particular method, and a lack the repetition of practice to build proficiency. Multiplication facts, for an easy example, are necessary to successfully factor quadratic expressions. A student that doesn't have these on quick recall will struggle to find ways to "multiply to c, yet add to b".

    On the other hand, I see great value in having the rules of algebra 'discovered' or 'necessitated' or at least explained in a way that clicks with students' intuition. It wasn't until I was in teachers' college (pre-service education as they now call it) that I understood why the algebraic process of turning standard form quadratics to vertex form was called 'completing the square'. It made such sense to see the quantities for x^2 and bx modelled as rectangular areas. The whole rule "add and subtract the square of half b" was no longer a blindly followed rule. I think algebra tiles are a nice visual (and game-ified) way for students to discover the rules for simple integer cases, so that they can move beyond these to rational number cases where a visual model makes less sense.

    Some students learn best visually (and would prefer to see a parabola moving dynamically as they drag sliders/scrollbars to change the functions parameters, while others prefer a logical derivation on paper.

    Personally, I find it fascinating that math concepts can be explained and modelled in such diverse ways! I think the mark of deep understanding is a student who can make connections between multiple representations... explaining how the features of a graph match the equation. From a coding perspective, I wanted to create drag-and-droppable tiles that snapped together and disallowed overlap. Creating the this snap action was the toughest part of the code! I used the intersection of rectangle objects to detect close by tiles, and calculated the shortest snap distance that wouldn't cause an overlap. Quite a bit of math is involved in making math games! I know I reinvent the wheel at times, but that's why I love coding in the first place... the challenge of it.

    Thanks very much for taking the time to try the program!

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    Fanatic Member 2kaud's Avatar
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    Re: Math Teaching Tool - "Quadratic Super Modeler"

    and would prefer to see a parabola moving dynamically as they drag sliders/scrollbars to change the functions parameters,
    The area of graphing of functions is one that I agree is very useful with a computer. I remember writing Basic programs at school to try to graph the hyperbolic functions onto a paper roll used in the tele-type (basically a glorified electric typewriter) that was connected to the computer. It could only output printable characters within a width of 80. The program produced a series of '*' on the paper which were then connected together manually using a pen to produce the 'graph'. Ah the good old days....
    All advice is offered in good faith only. You are ultimately responsible for the effects of your programs and the integrity of the machines they run on. Anything I post, code snippets, advice, etc is licensed as Public Domain https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/

    C++17 Compiler: Microsoft VS2019 (16.1.6)

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