7 August 2014

Animations and Simulations

Last night's #mathschat discussion about images gave me so many good teaching ideas, I woke up at 2am to write a list! One thing that came up was animations. I love a good animation that demonstrates a concept beautifully, so here's a few examples.

I posted this radians animation on Twitter last night (originally featured in this blog post) and judging by the number of retweets, I guess others like it as much as I do. There's more gifs like this here

The animation below shows how the exterior angles of a polygon sum to 360o. Sometimes it's better to use an animation that you can pause and talk through though, so I prefer this animation for exterior angles of a polygon. Absorb Learning is an excellent website for animations.
Another example of an animation you can pause during teaching is this 'bisecting an angle' tool. It comes with both a clear instruction sheet for students and associated proofs. There are similar pages for every possible construction! As I mentioned in a previous post, I hate teaching constructions, so I find this very helpful.

Here's another maths gif. This one is for demonstrating the properties of parabolas, as taught in Further Maths. This can also be demonstrated nicely using Desmos.

I also want to mention PhET simulations. I don't teach mechanics but I'm told that PhET has lots of great interactive simulations for demonstrating concepts. 'Balancing Act' is a good example. They also have simulations for Key Stage 3 topics such as fractions - see the full maths selection here. The simulations can be downloaded and run from your school network. 

Balancing Act - PhET

Aren't we lucky to have such excellent technology to enhance our teaching?

If you know of any other good animations or interactive tools, please comment below or tweet me.

1 comment:

  1. Since writing this post I've become aware of a new website www.mathimation.co.uk - well worth a look.