Entering into Symbols
The applets here have been developed as part of the Entering into Symbols (EIS) project in collaboration with Alan Graham of the Centre for Mathematics Education at the Open University, UK, and Sue Johnston-Wilder of the Institute of Education at Warwick University, UK. They are designed to explore school mathematics concepts and can be successfully executed on either a standard computer screen or on the interactive whiteboard.
NOTE: you will need an up-to-date web browser such as Internet Explorer or Mozilla and the JAVA Virtual Machine (JVM)- if the applets don't work, you can download the JVM software from: http://www.java.com/en/download/manual.jsp Locate and download the version appropriate for your computer (this can be quite a big download - around 16+Mb and will be lengthy if you use a dialup modem). This will allow your web browser to present the applets correctly.
The aim of the Matchbox Algebra applet is to build student's intuition about algebra in general, and linear equations in particular, by helping them understand the idea of a variable as an as-yet-unknown number. The imagery is of a matchbox containing an as-yet-unknown number of matches.
The Tuckshop applet explores the idea of place value and the associated decomposition method of subtraction. The approach is to use the metaphor of selling chews in a tuckshop to build the student's understanding of decomposition and in the process make a direct connection between the decomposition method of subtraction and the student's common sense and intuition.
In this applet a fraction kit can be created that can be used to explore and manipulate simple fractions.