Last week I visited Ms Wagner’s Pre-Calculus 12 class at McMath Secondary. The students were using their graphing calculators to graph rational functions and then compare them. Ms Wagner provided the prompts: How are they the same? How are they different? These same prompts are used in mathematics from Kindergarten-Grade 12 to frame students’ comparisons and analysis. In Grade 1, students might compare how a square and a rectangle are the same and different and then fast forward to Grade 12 and the same open-ended questions lead to strong mathematical thinking about rational functions.
Knowing that the math department at McMath would soon be getting a set of iPads, I pulled out my iPad and asked a student if he would like to try something out. We used the ShowMe screencasting app and he took a photo of the screen on his graphing calculator and then recorded his thinking about the two graphs.
We shared his short screencast via projector and speakers and the rest of the class clapped…not what I was expecting in a grade 12 class! I think the students were already thinking of the possibilities for this technology in math and I am looking forward to working with them again.