Unit 3: Locating Existing Concept Activities for the Nspire

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Back to course outline: Better Understanding of Mathematical Concepts through the Graphing Calculator

Objective: By the end of Unit 3, you should be able to locate and alter existing graphing calculator concept activities to use in lessons.

In the previous unit, you thought about a unit of study that your students have struggled with. Now you will locate existing activities through the Internet for the Nspire. There are many great activities that TI and other educators have already created. You do not have to create everything from scratch especially when you are first starting to incorporate the Nspire into your lessons. The activities range from 5 minutes to 1 ½ hours, so make sure you check the estimated time to completed when you consider the different activities.

Example Activity

Here is an example of an activity found on the Internet. It is called "Variables on Both Sides." It is used to help students discover that a linear equation with one variable can have 0, 1, or infinitely many solutions. Students drag points on number lines to discover when both sides of the equation are true. Below are some snap shots of the activity:

Eq1 copy.jpg

The entire activity can be found at the following website. The website includes links to the tns file (this is what files that are created for the Nspire are called) and activity worksheet. [[1]]

Tips for Selecting Activities

As you search the below links, keep the following in mind:

  • Be selective when looking at activities. Only consider activities that target your learning objectives for that lesson or unit.
  • Select activities that you think will increase your students’ understanding of the concept based on the research you read in Unit 2. Don’t pick an activity just because it seems fun.
  • Remember you can always alter an activity by downloading the worksheet as a Microsoft Word document and downloading the tns.file on to your computer to open and change. This might be helpful if you find a good activity that is too long for your class period or just needs to be changed to better fit your students’ needs.

Links to Help Locate Activities

Activities Created By Educators

The link below helps you locate activities made by other educators like yourself. When you go to the website, make sure you fill in the following drop down boxes:

  • Technology: TI Nspire
  • Subject: Math
  • Subject Area: Algebra (You may select a different one if you are teaching another course)
  • Topic: Think about what kind of topics your students struggle with or you want to improve upon and search for it.

Website: [2]

Activities Connected to Textbook Sections

Find activities that have been created by TI and other educators that can be used with your textbook: [3]

Activities Created By TI

Find activities that have been created by TI: [4] You will need to sign up for an account by clicking on “Sign In” and then “Create an Account.”

After you have located an activity, write a lesson plan incorporating the activity. Remember that you can alter the activity if necessary.

Pair & Share

Exchange your lessons electronically including links to download the Nspire files (tns files) and/or worksheets.

After partners have reviewed the other’s lessons, discuss the lessons considering the following questions:

1) Does the Nspire activity help to reach the objective of the lesson?

2) Do you think the Nspire activity will help students better understand the concepts in the lesson as opposed to other methods?

3) Does the lesson use the activity in a way that is best? Are the students working individually, in pairs, or is it whole class instruction?

4) Will the lesson, including the activity, be able to be completed in the class period?

Unit 4: Creating Concept Activities for the Nspire

Back to the course outline: Better Understanding of Mathematical Concepts through the Graphing Calculator