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October 2005, Volume 99, Issue 3


Conic Sections: Draw It, Write It, Do It
Barbara Leapard, Joanne Caniglia
A challenging activity for integrating mathematics and art using conic sections. Students create a drawing that is formed by the graphs of linear equations and conic sections and record the equations with domain and range for each. The art work incorporates graphing calculators and pencil and pencil and paper graphs.

Helping Students Connect Functions and Their Representations
Deborah Moore-Russo, John Golzy
A teaching method to help promote deeper understanding of both the graphical and algebraic representations of linear and quadratic functions. The authors ask students to find the graphical representation of the sum and product of given functions Various representations lead to a deeper understanding of the connections between the equation and its graph. Graphing calculators are utilized to enhance student understanding.

Interactive Geometry Software in the B.C. (Before Computers) Era
Heather Whittaker, Iris Johnson
The use of 3x5 cards to explore geometric relationships through the first three van Hiele levels of geometric reasoning. Students engage in reasoning and proof as they explore concepts related to parallel lines and quadrilaterals.

Sharing Teaching Ideas: Say What You Mean and Mean What You Say
Julianna Csongor, Carolyn Craig
A fun, proven classroom activity, designed to improve students' communication skills. Students  write descriptions of geometric sketches and classmates use these directions to create the given image. Writing and listening skills are enhanced.

Tapping into Trapezoids
Jeffrey Wanko
The use of trapezoids to explore a number of mathematical concepts, including similarity, representation, and the Pythagorean theorem. Preservice teachers develop hypotheses about isosceles trapezoids which are investigated. Tiling with pattern blocks and the development of the formula for area are also examined.

Good Will Hunting Meets Graphing Calculators and CAS
William O'Donnell, Richard Gibbs
A solution, using CAS, to a graph theory problem that was presented in the movie Good Will Hunting. The author employs matrices, matrix multiplication and basic graph theory to solve the four part problem.