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AUTOGRAPH IN THE KS3 CLASSROOM

Alan Catley shows some simple examples of ways in which Autograph can enhance learning in the KS3 curriculum.
AutOf.jrdph, as version 5 has a very much simplified 'standard le\el' which is perfect lor introducing pupils to graphing, geometry and handling data, as well as enhancing understanding ot basic algebra skills. Below are just a tew examples that are \-ery simple to prepare.'
Actwn /-ifst 'mai'imise'rtie unndotr' Ss/ect' tfiB bl0c 'image' tnangfe rti^ 'animation contioller' wHI light up on the main tool bar Open the 'animation controller' Click the 'start button'

Investigate ths sffect of moving Iha original objec ctsd' by clicking Ihs in Ihc shaded area) rcetilre' of tti sniaiqemsnt

Transformations
rinvssligatB ttw DITKI of mowing any irfftS' [three verbcFi ofthe original triangle

Notes
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I was introduct'cl to Autoijraph hack in 1999 and began u.sing version 2 witli A-lcvcl students to lu'lp iheni visualise concepts in pure mathematics in a way that had not heen possihle during the Hrst 2 3 years of my teaching career. As well as using AutOffraph projected to the front board to keep learners focused on matheiiiatita! activit\- during wh(j!f class teaching .ind small group investigations, I planned indi\idual activities to help them discover new concepts in an animated way. The sue cess with these approaches in improving motivation, enjoyment and ultimately examination success led me to try similar approaches with learners at GCSE intermediate and foundation levels. Whether 1 was helping .students to develoj) interesting investigations tor data han<!ling coursework, introducing linear/ quadratic graphing and algehra skills or working on contents in shajae and spate, il soon hftanie clear that i had a tool in the classroom that possessed ama/ing fle\il)ilit\. Once I masteretj the principles ol 'object selection' and the 'right click menu", I was ahle to hnd so many applications tli.U really did bring mathematics to li(e. ! haw recentiv heen looking at ways of enhaniing KS3 teaching and learning using

h'Ujure I shows an AutOijrdpb page set up to allow learners to investigate the key teatures ot enlargement. Normally, when teaching this topic (and other transtormations) using a data projector, 1 would pretiT to huild this up from scratch with the learners. I would ask a group ot, say, lour students to select a point each (within a jiredetined area on the graph). "I'his would thi'n dehne the shape tor the whoie class to use. I would then request that the tour at the board indicate where their ou'n point would end up 'alter an enlargement' deliberately not specifying the detail, hoping for intelligent questions such as 'enlarge hy how much?' or 'ahout which centre?' (although these aren't always forthcoming!). This would lead to whole class discussions those still sat at desks vvouhl be expected to do the same work on paper so everyone is involved. Mv experience is that this definitely promotes thorough understanding ofthe concepts. It is an easy matter to replicate electronicallv the work of the learners who are marking points manually on the board or on paper in order to check their work. It is then possible to atld greater interest by animating the image tormed and investigating changing the position and or shape of the object and also the centre. Similar approaches can be adopted tor other transformations, as demonstrated in the photographs {fyurc 2], showing groups of'resit' GCSE students trying to tigure out a reflection and a translation which the student working on paper has alreadv 'sorted'!

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MATHEMATICS TEACHING INCORPORATING MICROMATH 198 / SEPTEMBER 2006

Investigating y = mx + c
1 he Autograph Hie shown in fiaurc 3 gi\es AW example ot how the 'constant controller' option tan he used to in;estigate ke\' teatures ot straight line graphs. Notice here how the graph page has been set up to disjilay the equation in the 'key' at the bottom ot the page so that when projected to the tront board the imjiortant intormation is cleariy visible to all in the room, ihe 'edit axes' teature is otten o\erlooketl, anti vet it is an easv-to-applv tool for impro\ing clarity ol tietail, especially for those at the hack ot a iarge classroom! Once again, in whole class teaching I would huild ui) this tile trom scratch and use the 'animate' option as well as 'lamily plot' to provoke discussion and improve understanding. A uselul tip when checking understanding here is ttj .slitle to the edge of the screen the window that dispia\s the value ot the 'constant' lieing animated so that the actual value of 'c' is off the screen.

t/ietf /ftif 'Ce>nstant CoittrffHer' Cheese 'Options'andthsti 'A. Ctick OK thon tbo 'start airow Stop any ttme andrjote the vahje t^

Circle properties
Having found that some of mv students were struggling to use a protractor when trying to measure angles it one ol the lines was not horizontal, i decided to make use of a simple/luto^rap/j tile- for this topic, .^gain, within a whole class teaching situation I built up the .\uUHjri.ipb page shown in figure 4 with the class. The\ chose the points on the cirtumterence anti added the lines manually (simply using a clrv marker on AW ordinarv dry wipe iioard), then measured the angle manuailv help was on hand for using the protractor! 1 was then ahle to add ver_\ quicklv electronic points and 'line segments' which enabled me to animate the situation st) that we coultl make some ajipropriate conjectures. We verv quickly estahlished the necessary properties and the iiest thing ahout it was that the iearners seemeci much hetter at rememhc-ring them.

Further Actions 1. EKpcrimenlwith changing Uie 'Stsrt' 'Finish' and 'Step' valuei 2 DouMe click on 'Equation I' change it ID e g y = ^x + c

Equation 1: y = 2x + c

Action

Stan by marim/sing rtte


and that you Kno.. .

llifw Ifte steps m otde/t

7 M o v e ellhsr o( ttie poinis w h n o l h e two chnrri R e n e a lire the a n q e R e p eat a lev tune s . W h a t d o you non

the BLUt lin* Theie hi arBLatladCHORDSafa

3 Heautelhe angki alHi* centiw wrwr* H M GREEN linat m*M Tlieia lines u e callsd RADII . why?

4. Move either poii 'radiut' meets a chord Re-measiua both angle m Itu did in 1 and 3 Repeat a f v * limei. Whai do jroii notice?

Other topics
1 he suggested teaching techniques discussed in this article demonstrate what a highlv tiexible tool Auuxjraph is pro\ing tt) he in the classroom. These are ail topics trom the KS^ anti KS4 curricuium and there are many other varieci areas at these levels where appropriate use oi Autoiirjph has iienetitetl learners. As ior teaching and learning at A-level, there are so manv ttipics that can he enhanceti using Auuyrapb, from introduiing calculus, through parametric and difTerentiai equation.s to vector geometrv in 2D and 3D and stunning animations ot volumes oi re\-olution. In statistics, AutOijrapb can greatlv enhance project work and help learners to locus on the all-important issue oi |)roducing appropriate statistic al diagrams that enahie rele\ant interpretations to i>e made. Alan Catiey lias recently completed 30 years of teaching at all levels and abilities whichi began in 1975 at Durham Johnston School before moving to Tynemouth Sixth Form College, which is now part of Tyne Metropoiitan College.^

MATHEMATICS TEACHING INCORPORATING MICROMATH 198 / SEPTEMBER 2006