Preliminary Research

By: Mary Emma Bunch

Mary Emma Bunch teaches two honor's geometry classes. These students learn very quickly. Many of the above mentioned programs were created to meet the instructional needs of those who require more repetition and practice. Her classes were brought to the lab for Cabri Geometry investigations including the construction of the nine-point circle and the Euler line. The computers were also used to help students visualize 3D problems. Win Geom,Peanut Software, by Rick Parris proved most helpful for this activity. Both classes came to the lab and used the Logic, the Quadrilateral Quiz and Special Triangles. Mary Emma brought one class to the lab for the Angles Problems and one class for The Why and How of Congruent Triangles. On the unit test on congruent triangles the 9 students in the control group and 9 students in the lab group both missed stating congruency correctly. Data collected on the angle problems program the class coming to the lab missed a total of 4 more problems than the class that did not come to the lab. On the whole in these two instances the honors students perform well with or without computer activities.

Mary Emma also gave the survey of student opinion to her classes. Thirty-four students from the two classes indicated that they liked using the Cabri Geometry program the most. Sixteen listed the Logic program as the one they liked the least. Seventeen stated that the Special Triangles program helped them the most. Thirty-seven students felt that we need to develop more programs. Forty-eight out of fifty-two students responded that they preferred to practice concepts on the computer rather than using text book practice alone. At one point Mary Emma reported that a student commented after a test that she “saw” the corresponding parts of triangles in color. This is what was done in The Why and How of Congruent Triangles. This indicates that the program gave “something extra” even to those who already understood the underlying concepts.

A Focused Assessment of Geometry and the Math Lab
Evaluating the effectiveness of technology
Summary by Leslie Howe
Farragut High School
Knoxville, Tennessee