Mathematical Teaching
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SDMAY02 Personal Effort James McCollum (leader) EE 180 hours - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Mathematical Teaching

Software System


Children throughout the United States do not adequately develop problem-solving skills. Nationwide, students who take special written problem-solving exams have an average score of 11% correct. The objective is to create a tool by which teachers can augment their instruction abilities, automate some of the problem-solving process, and maintain the interest of the students. The end result will generate web pages for the student and will allow that person to view the problem from different angles. Also, the pages are dynamic so they will help ensure that the students will remain interested in the problem-solving sections of the online instructional aid software. By utilizing the World Wide Web and ASP, students using either Macintosh or Windows personal computers will be able to use the online problem-solving system on old and new machines. In conclusion, by creating a suite of ASP pages to help 3rd through 6th grade teachers teach problem-solving skills, the students will excel and significantly surpass the national average of 11% in problem-solving testing.


Design Requirements

  • Design Objectives

  • Research various methods of teaching problem solving.

  • Develop a web-based program that will allow 3rd through 6th graders to learn

  • problem-solving skills.

  • General Background

  • Web-based program

  • Fun, interactive format

  • Aimed at primary school students in

  • the Ames Community Schools (ACS)

  • Consists of increasingly difficult questions

  • in various categories

  • Uses student evaluation to help teach

  • Allows teachers to view data across an

  • entire class to measure progress

  • Functional Requirements

  • Present a problem to the students for them to solve

  • Ask the students to describe their strategy for solving the problem.

  • Conduct an evaluation of their work and be able to justify their answer.

  • Print the strategies, answers, and evaluations for the teacher to review.

  • Store results for teachers to retrieve and review.

  • Technical Problem

  • To function on both Windows and Macintosh machines this system will use HTML

  • Operating system on the server for this application requires Windows NT 4.0 or

  • Windows 2000

  • Design Constraints

  • Web-based to allow for multiple platform use

  • Easy for 3rd through 6th grade students to understand and operate

  • Intended Users

  • Children in the 3rd to 6th grades

  • Classroom teachers

  • Parents

  • Milestones

  • Develop project plan

  • Meet with teachers and visit classrooms

  • Create flow chart describing function and I/O

  • Write web-based program for testing

  • Test the resultant software

  • Modify the software as necessary

  • Operating Environment

  • Must accommodate a very large number

  • of simultaneous users

  • Durable and “kid-proof” for computer

  • illiterate users


  • Assumptions

  • Browsers will be version 4.0 or later

  • ACS have a capable NT server running IIS 4.0

  • MTSS will have write-access to the server

  • Visual Basic will integrate with ASP

One evening small, furry, people-like Weebles, Wobbles and Widgets hurried about their secret caverns. One particular Widget named Wally wandered off too far and fell in a ravine. Weebles, Wobbles and Widgets ran over and tried to save poor Wally, but no one had a long enough rope. Then Wendell Wobble had an idea: If they formed a furry chain, holding on to each other, maybe they could reach down the 40” to Wally. The Weebles were 12” tall, the Wobbles were 8” high, and the Widgets were 4” high. How many different combinations of the small creatures would reach 40 inches?

ANS: 14

Testing Approach

  • Tested for functionality, reliability, and ease

  • of use

  • Team members will perform the initial tests

  • Final tests will be conducted by ACS

  • teachers and actual students

  • Limitations

  • Limited Macintosh knowledge

  • Speed of client machines

  • Internet and Internet bandwidth

End-Product Description

Technical Approach

The end product is a suite of ASP pages that will build dynamic pages for students depending on the problem category and difficulty desired. An ASP/web solution also allows the pages of generated HTML to be viewed from anywhere on any platform. Teachers will also be able to compare information obtained from all participating students.

By meeting with primary school teachers who are presenting problem-solving techniques, the project team will determine which techniques are successful and will attempt to computerize those techniques. Class materials will be reviewed to help define the system requirements.

SDMAY02Personal Effort

James McCollum (leader) EE 180 hours

Scott Seieroe EE 165 hours

Josh Nielsen EE 165 hours

Scott Keister (reporter) EE 120 hours



Faculty Advisors

Dr. John Lamont

Dr. Ralph Patterson

The project will cost

approximately $100

  • Elise Wright (5th grade teacher)

  • Karen Hoiberg (5th grade teacher)

  • Liz Bowman (3rd grade teacher)

  • Nancy Wheaton (6th grade teacher)

  • Participating ACS students