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Mathway: Step-by-Step Math Problem Solver

What it is:  Mathway is a website that I initially didn’t appreciate.  The site is a step-by-step problem solver and my immediate reaction was: so we will be helping students cheat?  But, the more I explored the site, the more I saw its value.  The beauty of Mathway is that it is not just a site where students enter an equation and get an answer, the site shows the process of getting to that answer.  It shows them the step-by-step process of obtaining the correct answer.  Mathway has a step-by-step problem solver for basic math, pre-algebra, algebra, trigonometry, precalculus, and calculus.  It also has a graph section and a math glossary.     How to integrate Mathway into the classroom: Mathway could be very valuable to students who have notebooks full of notes but get home to solve the problem and are still stumped.  I like that it doesn’t just give students the final answer but leads them to the answer, showing them the process.  This would also be very useful in a large class.  If students are struggling with a problem, they can visit the math center (a computer with Mathway) instead of wasting time waiting for a teacher explanation.     Tips:  Let parents know about , you will be saving them from the frustration of having to dig into the recesses of their mind to remember how to do some of this, and saving yourself from re-explaining the correct method after parents have guessed and taught students the wrong way.   Leave a comment and tell us how you are using Mathway in your classroom. window.google_render_ad();

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Solar System Scope: See the solar system in 3D

Posted by admin | Posted in Apply, Evaluate, Interactive Whiteboard, Language Arts, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), Virtual Field Trips, Websites | Posted on 20-04-2011

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What it is: Well, yesterday set me off on a space kick.  Today I spent time with the Solar System Scope site, talk about a COOL way to view the solar system!  Solar System Scope (SSS) is a 3D real-time look at celestial positions with planets and constellations in the night sky.  Students can adjust planet and moon settings, star and constellation settings, earth observatory settings and time settings.  View the solar system from a heliocentric, geocentric or panoramic view.

How to integrate Solar System Scope into the classroom: Who would have guessed the day would come when we could take our students on a realistic field trip through space?  That is exactly what the Solar System Scope makes possible.  For young students, it would be fun to plan a class space mission.  Prepare your students as astronauts, load into your classroom spaceship (which may just be chairs and desks specially configured for the day) and prepare for launch.  “Fly” through the universe and solar system using an interactive whiteboard or projector-connected computer.  This is almost like having a planetarium right in your classroom. Pretty cool!

Of course after traveling through space as a class, students will want to explore more on their own.  They can do this at a classroom computer center or individually in a computer lab setting.

Older students can get more in-depth using the built-in distance meter to measure the distance between planets.  Each star reveals information about how many light years away it is from earth.  Students can adjust the settings to learn more about constellations.  Time and date can be adjusted to view the solar system on a given day. When students click the play button, they will see a 3D animation of the solar system based on the view they chose.  Very neat!

In addition to using Solar System Scope for science, use it as a launching point for a creative writing activity.  Students can write a fictional story about their travels through space, or even pretend to colonize a planet using factual information about the struggles they would have to overcome.

This site is a great one to use in connection with the NASA 50th Anniversary site I shared yesterday!

Tips: Solar System Scope isn’t finished yet, they are still working on some cool features.  Be sure to watch for a planetary journey for kids complete with an animated talking guide named Zyx, desktop clocks that show all planet positions at the moment, a space-flight simulator screen saver (perfect for the interactive whiteboard!) and a space forum.

Please leave a comment and share how you are using Solar System Scope in your classroom!

 

Comments (3)

[...] Solar System Scope shares an interactive 3D view of our solar system. Select the view on the left tab of the screen and choose the telescope to view the stars. Kelly Tenkley shares more about this site on her blog iLearn Technology. [...]

[...] done and dusted, I decided to work on my planning for teaching the solar system. A post by Kelly Tenkley set me off in the right direction. The Nine Planets tour that I mentioned in a previous post shares [...]

Hi,
After the success of SolarSystemScope we have launched a new Watch & Play model

http://www.sunmoonscope.com/

focused on the Sun and the Moon as they appear from the given location of the Earth surface:
- current position of the Sun, its trajectory, time and azimuth of sunrise and sunset
- moon phases, current position and trajectory of the Moon
- seasons, solstices and equinoxes in chart

But the most interesting part is to drag the model in time and watch changes during a day or year.
(polar day and night, analemma and situations on the equator are our favourite)

Enjoy it :-)

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