Designing and Implementing Tasks Linking Dynamic Animations and Graphs

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Conference Proceeding

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Researchers have incorporated dynamic environments involving multiple linked representations of covarying quantities when investigating middle and high school students’ reasoning about change (e.g., Kaput & Schorr, 2008; Saldanha & Thompson, 1998; Stroup, 2002). A central conjecture underlying research related to one such environment, SimCalc, implemented extensively with urban students, involves the potential of representational structures to impact students’ investigation of the important mathematical ideas of change and variation (e.g., Kaput & Schorr, 2008). Further, researchers using SimCalc environments with urban students found that students demonstrated both positive affect and powerful reasoning as they investigated change and variation (Schorr & Goldin, 2008). Using purposefully designed mathematical tasks this research intends to support students’ drawing on their informal reasoning to mathematize (Freudenthal, 1973) situations involving covarying quantities. This study investigated the following question: How do students coordinate linked dynamic graphical and pictorial representations of covarying quantities?