**ERIC Number:**EJ847104

**Record Type:**Journal

**Publication Date:**2008-Oct

**Pages:**10

**Abstractor:**As Provided

**Reference Count:**0

**ISBN:**N/A

**ISSN:**ISSN-0036-6803

Using a Functional Model to Develop a Mathematical Formula

Otto, Charlotte A.; Everett, Susan A.; Luera, Gail R.

School Science and Mathematics, v108 n6 p228-237 Oct 2008

The unifying theme of models was incorporated into a required Science Capstone course for pre-service elementary teachers based on national standards in science and mathematics. A model of a teeter-totter was selected for use as an example of a functional model for gathering data as well as a visual model of a mathematical equation for developing the mathematical relationship for a Class 1 lever, M1D1=M2D2. In this study, 20 student groups (n=72) collected data using the model in an inquiry-based activity. All groups developed the qualitative relationship, 13 groups developed a correct mathematical formula, 6 groups developed one-half of the relationship (X = mass x distance), and 1 group attempted to develop a procedural relationship. The pre-service elementary teachers used a variety of model types in the activity including visual/pictorial, functional/physical and mathematical-both graphs and formulas. The use of the teeter-totter model as a visual and functional model of a mathematical formula was a factor in developing the mathematical relationship.

Descriptors: National Standards, Mathematical Formulas, Models, Preservice Teachers, Elementary School Teachers, Elementary School Mathematics, Equations (Mathematics), Inquiry, Graphs

School Science and Mathematics Association. Oklahoma State University, 245 Willard, Stillwater, OK 74078. Tel: 405-744-8018; Fax: 405-744-6290; e-mail: office@ssma.org; Web site: http://ssmj.tamu.edu

**Publication Type:**Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative

**Education Level:**Elementary Education; Higher Education

**Audience:**N/A

**Language:**English

**Sponsor:**N/A

**Authoring Institution:**N/A