Pre-Calculus at MacArthur Pushes the Frontier

by Anne Davidian and Andy Lippai, Dept. of Mathematics, MacArthur High School, Levittown, N.Y.

      After the installation of Classtalk was completed, small crowds of students and teachers gathered outside of Room 229 at MacArthur High School to discuss the possible purpose of the wires that were hanging from the ceiling. Speculation ranged from some kind of torture device used on lazy students to intravenous transfusions that would enlighten students on the finer points of mathematics. However, when they were informed of the real purpose of the wires, people were even more amazed!

      Classtalk has now become an established fixture, but the amazement at its capabilities continues to excite us daily. It is a true wonder to be able to have a constant pulse on what every student is doing at all times! Students can no longer several days of quizzing, the time allotted for an answer had decreased, while the number of students answering correctly increased.

      In using the CBL (Calculator Based Laboratory), students tossed a ball in the air and graphed the height of the ball as a function of time. Students were then able to determine an equation to model the data. From this equation, they also calculated equations for the velocity and acceleration of the ball. Through the use of the Classtalk system, the students were able to share their equations with their classmates, and see the equations that other groups calculated. It was quite exciting to actually see how the same experiment that was performed independently by many different groups produced the same results

       We are truly enjoying our interactive classroom, both from the teaching as well as the learning aspect. ®


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