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## Let's Hit the Target!

In this article we illustrate how one teacher used PhET cannonball simulation as an instructional tool to improve students' algebraic reasoning in a fifth grade classroom. Three instructional phases effective to implementation of simulation included: Free play, Structured inquiry and, Synthesizing ideas.

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## You Must Be Joking!

May 2020 For the Love of Mathematics Jokes

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## Pirates of the Parametric

Some children enjoy playing with the spring–loaded, plastic toy cannon that accompanies many model pirate ships. This cannon pivots in such a way that it can be fired at any angle from about −15 degrees to 195 degrees when viewed from a position directly in front of the cannon. The spring provides each fired projectile with approximately the same initial velocity. This toy, together with a digital camera, can be used with high school students to demonstrate the influence of angle on parabolic trajectories and, simultaneously, to explore the underlying parametric equations. In particular, students can discover and verify that the vertices of projectile motion paths for a given initial speed and a range of launch angles trace an ellipse.