Write Angles

August 16, 2006

Google’s Built in Calculator

Filed under: Calculators,Free Resources,Online Activities — Damon @ 2:33 pm

I just discovered, at Web 2.0 from Russia, that Google has a built in calculator!  Go to Google and search for sqrt(-4).  It even seems to give the correct answers, so far.  If you really wanted to search for documents containing sqrt(-4) then search for +sqrt(-4).  You can also do unit conversions and calculate currency exchange rates.

Here are instructions on correct syntax as well as another 3^2 examples.  Now I just need to figure out how to best use this feature in the classroom.

Note:  It doesn’t do as well with undefined terms such as 0/0 or 0^0.

Site Review: National Library of Virtual Manipulatives

This is an incredible site hiding behind a rather boring, scientific sounding name.

NLVM is an NSF supported project and is operated at Utah State University. They have created 100’s of interactive Java applets which can help students experience various concepts rather than simply takes notes. As they say on the Information Page: “Mathematics is not . . . a spectator sport.”

The activities are organized by grade level and category. The five categories include Number + Operations, Algebra, Geometry, Measurement, and Data Analysis + Probability.

counterfeit-coins-small.jpgMy favorite involves a classic puzzle. You are given eight coins and a beam balance. You have to find the “counterfeit” coin knowing its weight is different than the others. You can use the balance twice and the computer even keeps track of wrong guesses. Of course I had to try all four difficulty levels!

Other activities include an Abacus, Mastermind, Fractals, etc.

There are also eModules and lesson plans at eNLVM. The site is also available in Spanish.

They have even included instructions on getting help if the Javascript is not working on your browser. I’ve seen MANY sites where something doesn’t work. This is the FIRST math site I’ve seen that offers to help you fix it. (I did manage to freeze up Firefox running 3 Java applets simultaneously in different tabs.)

Overall Grade = A+

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