NEWSLETTER | ISSUE 2 | MAY 6, 2020
Written by Adam Gesjorskyj
A LONG TIME COMING!
It’s been over three months since the first issue of this newsletter was posted, and what a ride it’s been since then! From school visits and mathematics community networking to website refinements and a complete subsite creation, the last few months have been a busy and exciting time for BHNmath. And, of course, there’s COVID-19. Although this pandemic abruptly and fiercely redirected the current focus of BHNmath’s development, it certainly has not stunted its growth. Resources are being added on a daily basis and the site is consistently witnessing its highest levels of user engagement since its launch. As we venture further into the demanding and challenging domain of full-scale distance education, BHNmath will continue to expand and adapt to the needs of students, parents and teachers.
QUESTION AND ANSWER CENTRE
By far, the largest addition to BHNmath over the past few months has been the Question and Answer Centre. Designed to be a virtual “math help room,” students can visit this section of the BHNmath website to ask questions, receive answers and browse an archive of previously addressed questions. Inquiries can involve anything from specific homework questions to broader concepts in any of the secondary mathematics courses and beyond.
Students use a simple form to submit questions and receive email notifications when their answers are ready. In most cases, the questions and answers are then posted in the course’s topic-based archive for other students to easily access at any time. To date, answers have been delivered in numerous formats, including emailed explanations, solution documents, interactive applets and nearly 150 videos. At this point, the archive is most heavily populated in the Grade 10 Academic (MPM2D1), Grade 12 Advanced Functions (MHF4U1) and Grade 12 Calculus and Vectors (MCV4U1) courses.
Although plans to develop this subsite originated well before the surfacing of COVID-19, the pandemic’s impact on education was undoubtedly a catalyst in making it a reality! Many thanks to the students that are using this service, as well as to the teachers and parents that are promoting it. With every question submitted, the Question and Answer Centre becomes a more valuable resource for current and future students.
WHY USE THE QUESTION AND ANSWER CENTRE?
- customized, original and high quality answers are delivered with a low turnaround time
- most questions/answers are catalogued and posted for all students to reference
- students can easily attach images (or other file types) of their work and receive personalized feedback
- questions can extend far beyond assistance with textbook problems
For improved visual representation, the students and teachers user icons have been updated across the site. The current icons are shown below.
The following video, which was originally created to accompany a Fields MathEd Forum presentation on parent engagement in mathematics education, has been posted to the Parent homepage to welcome parents and give an overview of BHNmath from a parent perspective.
A MESSAGE FROM MARKUS
Markus Hohenwarter, the creator of the incredible GeoGebra software, kindly sent a video shout-out to the students attending the Coding for Mathematics workshop at Assumption College School in February. Here’s his message!
TOOLS FOR TEACHERS
The Teachers homepage now contains a Tools section. Complete with numerous tutorial videos, these tools are designed to assist teachers in their creation of classroom materials and other tasks. The Tools section currently features the following:
THE GRAPH TOOL
A tool for quickly creating great looking graphs and grids for use in documents, presentations and other learning/teaching materials.
THE TRIG TOOL
A tool for easily creating custom terminal arm diagrams for trigonometry resources.
Both of the above tools require GeoGebra Classic 5 to run. This software is already installed on school computers and will launch automatically after double-clicking on the tool’s file. If needed elsewhere, GeoGebra Classic 5 can be downloaded free of charge here.
If you have an idea for a new tool, please use the Resource Request Form to request it!
NEWLY ADDED OLD RESOURCES
A slew of previously existing YouTube and GeoGebra resources have been given a makeover and added to their corresponding courses. These resources, which cover a variety of topics, include approximately 30 interactive applets and 10 videos.
TRANSFORMATION APPLETS UPDATE
All interactive applets based on transformations of functions have been updated to include input boxes beside the sliders. This feature allows teachers and students to jump to specific values instead of only arriving at them incrementally using the slider.
Recently added resources
Here are the five resources most recently created for BHNmath (excluding Question and Answer Centre resources):
Course: Calculus and Vectors (MCV4U1) and AP Calculus (MCV4UP)
Topic: The Associative Law of Vector Addition
Location: Introduction to Vectors
Notes: Requested by a student. A visual explanation of the associative law of vector addition. Videos for the commutative and distributive laws were also created and can be accessed from the same location. The file for the PowerPoint presentation used in these videos can be downloaded for teacher use.
WHAT'S NEXT FOR BHNmath?
- Servicing the very active Question and Answer Centre.
- Continuing the development of resources based on requests from students, teachers and parents, including an interactive exam review and a really cool battleship game!
Stay safe and wash your hands!