From Project to Project

Author:

Hermine Antonyan

 

          During the working week March 21-25 my students and I had two important achievements: board free teaching-learning and using a new Mathematics editing program. The first may seem to be incredible as teaching Mathematics without a board is considered to be impossible. But there is nothing impossible in this world and especially in the Educomplex. The matter of impossibility was justified with the following argument: instead of coming up to each learner with an individual approach we can write on the board and explain the difficult Math exercises and problems to everybody in class. Actually time is spent in an optimal way in this case, but there is no guarantee this optimum is effective. The learner may rewrite what is written on the board with no comprehension. In my opinion the best way to avoid such miscomprehension is to work with each learner individually, and the use of boards becomes not essential.

        To arrange the matter of optimum time we should simply involve the learners in volunteer work. The learners, who has understood the problem or the Math exercise, becomes a volunteer and begins to explain it to his/her classmate. The latter in his/her turn explains to the learner sitting next to him/her. This method is not something new but it is useful and interesting if we put it into practice consistently.

        I have always been concerned about the Mathematics software. We have always tried to find new programs to keep pace with constantly changing and developing technology. We tested Mathematical software math-o-mir . As compared with the previously used Math software it has more effective tools with the help of which mathematical entries become easier to perform and are no longer time consuming. We can state that entry performing speed isn’t lower than that of handwriting. It suits the learners of different age groups, from primary to high school.

Some details about this software: math-o-mir is quite light and it can be downloaded from the Internet quickly and free of charge. It is a mathematical notebook where one can quickly enter mathematical signs and expressions. The interface is simplified: there are tool and function buttons on the left and above.

As compared with other programs (Word Office, Smart Notebook, Geogebra, Math Type, Google Doc) math-o-mir has the following main advantages:

·         Moving the mouse cursor on the interface we can enter texts with Math expressions and draw graphs

·         It has all the Mathematical signs included in school Math syllabuses

·         Entering Math signs is matched with the keyboard buttons which makes the entering process more quickly

·         The copying function can be activated with one click, and entering long Mathematical expressions becomes work which takes several seconds      

The only shortcoming is that it doesn’t allow to enter Armenian texts. To solve this problem we have begun two projects:

·         To download Armenian letters into the program

·         To translate Math terms into English   

The 9th graders have already begun the second project: instead of writing the Armenian Mathematical terms with Latin letters they translate this terms into English and enter the English translations of these terms. Having been inspired by the new program the learners came up with new initiatives: Siranush Asatryan presented information about Math-o-mir program in her blog; some learners conducted a master class lesson for the Middle School learners. They presented the Math-o-mir program and its advantages.    

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