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ERIC Number: EJ1036865
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Oct
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 7
ISSN: ISSN-0025-5769
Spaghetti Sine Curves: Virtual Environments for Reasoning and Sense Making
Özgün-Koca, S. Asli; Edwards, Michael Todd; Meagher, Michael
Mathematics Teacher, v107 n3 p180-187 Oct 2013
In a recent collaboration with an area high school teacher, the authors were asked to develop an introductory sinusoidal curves lesson for a group of second-year algebra students. Because the topic was abstract and unfamiliar to these tenth graders, they looked for hands-on lessons to support their learning. One lesson that they found, which they refer to as the Spaghetti Sine Curves activity, had students use uncooked spaghetti to measure and generate line segments to create sine curves on a coordinate system (see, e.g., Dadmehr 2006; Coleman n.d.; and Sturdivant 2002). Using a modified version of the lesson, the authors were surprised to discover how problematic the use of hands-on materials was for students. Many struggled to break the spaghetti strands precisely. Others found taping the spaghetti to the paper both tedious and time-consuming. In the original lesson, the use of hands-on materials actually interfered with student learning. Over the course of several brainstorming sessions, the authors revised the original Spaghetti Sine Curves activity, incorporating technology into the lesson. Here they share their revised Spaghetti Sine Curves lesson, highlighting the use of GeoGebra applets to enhance student learning. As they share this lesson, they illustrate the important role that technology may play in supporting effective use of physical materials.
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. 1906 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191-1502. Tel: 800-235-7566; Tel: 703-620-3702; Fax: 703-476-2970; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A