When visitors enter the High Museum in Atlanta, one of the first pieces of art they encounter is Physic Garden, by Molly Hatch (details in photographs 1 and 2). Physic Garden consists of 456 handpainted dinner plates arranged to form a rectangle with 24 horizontal rows and 19 vertical columns and extends from the floor to the ceiling of the first floor. The design of the “plate painting” was inspired by two mid-18th-century English ceramic plates from the museum's collection (photograph 3).
Eric L. McDowell
Enhance students' number sense and illustrate some surprising properties of this alternative operation.
Reinforce the difference between inductive and deductive reasoning using a small number of points around a circle.
Proofs of impossibility—very important in the history of mathematics—can provide additional opportunities for the development of reasoning, as recommended by the Common Core State Standards.
Eric Weber, Amy Ellis, Torrey Kulow, and Zekiye Ozgur
Modeling the motion of a speeding car or the growth of a Jactus plant, teachers can use six practical tips to help students develop quantitative reasoning.
Using technology to solve triangle construction problems, students apply their knowledge of points of concurrency, coordinate geometry, and transformational geometry.
Chris Harrow and Lillian Chin
Exploration, innovation, proof: For students, teachers, and others who are curious, keeping your mind open and ready to investigate unusual or unexpected properties will always lead to learning something new. Technology can further this process, allowing various behaviors to be analyzed that were previously memorized or poorly understood. This article shares the adventure of one such discovery of exploration, innovation, and proof that was uncovered when a teacher tried to find a smoother way to model conic sections using dynamic technology. When an unexpected pattern regarding the locus of an ellipse's or hyperbola's foci emerged, he pitched the problem to a ninth grader as a challenge, resulting in a marvelous adventure for both teacher and student. Beginning with the evolution of the ideas that led to the discovery of the focal locus and ending with the significant student-written proof and conclusion, we hope to inspire further classroom use of technology to enhance student learning and discovery.
Kevin C. Moore and Kevin R. LaForest
A connected introduction of angle measure and the sine function entails quantitative reasoning.
J. Matt Switzer
tudents often have difficulty with graphing inequalities (see Filloy, Rojano, and Rubio 2002; Drijvers 2002), and my students were no exception. Although students can produce graphs for simple inequalities, they often struggle when the format of the inequality is unfamiliar. Even when producing a correct graph of an inequality, students may lack a deep understanding of the relationship between the inequality and its graph. Hiebert and Carpenter (1992) stated that mathematics is understood “if its mental representation is part of a network of representations” and that the “degree of understanding is determined by the number and strength of the connections” (p. 67). I therefore developed an activity that allows students to explore the graphs of inequalities not presented as lines in slope-intercept form, thereby making connections between pairs of expressions, ordered pairs, and the points on a graph representing equations and inequalities.
Marlena Herman and Jay Schiffman
The process of prime factor splicing to generate home primes raises opportunity for conjecture and exploration.