This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://studio.code.org/s/algebraFacilitator/stage/2/puzzle/2
Introducing algebra concepts (variations, functions, etc.), I have always brought in science experiments for students to explore the data. Students record and identify the independent and dependent variables, graph appropriately, and collaborate in cooperative groups before introducing new vocabulary, equation, or function that applies. After time, students start looking for my “angle” (purpose) to the lesson.
I find that students have difficulty with the concepts of factoring, understanding key features of functions and being able to decide upon the characteristics of a function within a real-world problem. I have utilized different tactics to not only ensure my students gain a deeper understanding, but also ensure a longer retention. It seems most beneficial when students are able to witness the mathematics visually and interact with the content via manipulatives in a purposeful plan to experiment and experience the ideas. I feel as though programming will be one of those avenues and will increase student engagement. I am eager to see what code has to offer to ensure student success in interacting with content.