**Collaborative Group for
Research in Mathematics Education**

Project team: Gary Davis, Russell Jonathan

This research project focused on the effects of a ten lessons on using spreadsheets on secondary students' skills in, and understanding of, algebra. The spreadsheet lessons included standard spreadsheet functions, constructing multiplication tables, building shop accounts, and word problems.

**Publications**

*An investigation into the use of
spreadsheets as a resource for teaching algebraic concepts*

Russell Kyle Jonathan

Dissertation, M.A.(Ed.) - University of Southampton, School of
Education, 1997.

**Related CRME Projects**

**DALEST: Developing an Active Learning Environment for Stereometry
(3D geometry)**This project is supported by a grant from the EU, award:
224269-CP-1-2005-1-CY-MINERVA-M

**
CalGeo: teaching calculus using dynamic geometric tools**

The project is supported by a grant from the EU, award:
11892-CP-1-2004-1-GR-COMENIUS-C21

*
Teachers’ Understanding of the Teaching and Learning of Algebra*

This project was supported by a full-time research student funded by the
Government of Oman.

*Tools
and Technologies in Mathematical Didactics**
*This project was carried out in collaboration with colleagues in France,
Italy and Sweden.

*The
Effectiveness of using Interactive Whiteboards in Promoting Mathematical
Thinking**
*This project was part-supported by a D

**The
Mediation of Learning in Dynamic Geometry Environments**This research was part-supported by grant A94/16 from the University of
Southampton Research Fund.

**Selected bibliography**

Arad, Ofar S. (1987) The Spreadsheet: Solving Word Problems. *Computing
Teacher*, **14**(4), 13-15.

*Abstract*: Presents several examples of algebraic word
problems and demonstrates how spreadsheets are used to solve the
problems. Spreadsheet templates are included to illustrate how
each problem is solved.

Arnold, S. (1992) Algebra by Computer. *Australian
Mathematics Teacher*, **48**(4), 28-32.

*Abstract*: Describes the use of three computer tools used
to enhance the teaching and learning of algebra: the spreadsheet,
LOGO, and computer algebra tools. Examines the strengths of each
tool and presents practical considerations for their use.

Day, R. P. (1993) Solution Revolution. *Mathematics Teacher*,
**86**(1), 15-24 .

*Abstract*: Explores alternative strategies to solve
algebraic equations that do not lend themselves to traditional
methods. Examines one nontraditional equation by a graphical
approach using a graphing utility and by a numerical approach
using spreadsheets. Discusses new basic skills for algebra
utilizing technology. Provides a computer program to solve
equations by the bisection method.

Dickey, E. M. (1993) The Golden Ratio: A Golden Opportunity to
Investigate Multiple Representations of a Problem. *Mathematics
Teacher*, **86**(7), 554-557.

*Abstract*: This article explores the multiple
representations (verbal, algebraic, graphical, and numerical)
that can be used to study the golden ratio. Emphasis is placed on
using technology (both calculators and computers) to investigate
the algebraic, graphical, and numerical representations.

Hersberger, J. & Frederick, B. (1995) Flower Beds and
Landscape Consultants: Making Connections in Middle School
Mathematics. *Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School*, **1**(5),
364-367.

*Abstract*: Presents an activity through which students
develop mathematical concepts connected to area and perimeter in
a rich, real-life setting and use tables, graphs, diagrams, and
spreadsheets to explore the problem, see relationships, and make
and test conjectures about those relationships. Encourages
algebraic thinking.

Pinter-Lucke, C. (1992) Rootfinding with a Spreadsheet in
Pre-Calculus. *Journal of Computers in Mathematics and Science
Teaching*, **11**(1), 85-93.

*Abstract*: This article provides pedagogical techniques
that require active student participation in the use of computer
spreadsheets while determining recursive numerical solutions to
equations. Included are several computer screen displays which
illustrate the various advantages in using spreadsheets specific
to synthetic division, the bisection method, and Newton's method.

Sen, T. et al. (1996) Two Car-Buying Strategies: An Old
Problem Revisited with a New Analysis. *Mathematics Teacher*,
**89**(3), 196-199.

*Abstract*: Demonstrates the application of spreadsheet
analysis in solving equations beyond quadratics. Considers the
costs of interest, gasoline, and maintenance in deciding how long
it pays to keep a car.

Sutherland, R. (1993) Consciousness of the Unknown. *For
the Learning of Mathematics*, **13**(1), 43-46.*
Abstract*: Analyzes case study data of 10 low achieving
students, ages 14-15, to examine the effects of participation in
computer spreadsheet sessions on their understanding of
mathematical symbols. Participation improved students' attitudes
toward problem solving.

Sutherland, R. & Rojano, T. (1993) A Spreadsheet Approach
to Solving Algebra Problems. *Journal of Mathematical Behavior*,
**12**(4), 353-83.

*Abstract*: This longitudinal study investigated the ways in
which two groups of eight students used spreadsheets to represent
and solve algebra problems and related this to their previous
arithmetical experiences and evolving use of symbolic language.
The spreadsheet environment supported students to move from
specific to general thinking. Includes story problems used.

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