Algebra: Themes, Tools, Concepts
is a year-long curriculum authored by Henri Picciotto and Anita Wah. Algebra has proven to be a stern gatekeeper for many. A new and broader approach to teaching algebra is needed. This curriculum is not based solely on symbolic manipulation but on an understanding of functions, patterns, and quantity using manipulatives as the bridge from concrete experience to abstract algebraic representations. Building understanding of symbols and variables along with a rationale for why symbolic transformations make sense is critical for understanding algebra.
What do I get? Three tools in quantities sufficient for classroom use are provided: transparent geoboards, pattern blocks, and a set of Lab Gear with excerpts from the Lab Gear workbook, and a video of the Pattern Block Train exercise in a 6th grade classroom.
What do I need to use it? An overhead projector.
Is there a demo or preview site? You can find out more about the curriculum at Henri Picciotto's website.
What content is in a lesson? Click here to view a sample activity for Algebra with Geoboards. To return to Modules Selection Details, please use the Back button on your browser.

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Balloon Factory offers a virtual window into a real Balloon factory at a site in the United Kingdom. Students design and run a business that makes fanciful balloons. Whimsy, beauty, and engagement are at a high level in this interaction. Students and student groups engage in a lot of critical reading and writing and thinking. What plans, floor designs, staffing and shipping and marketing policies make sense? Making decisions and supporting them at every turn of the exploration is the meat of the learning experience. The scenarios they develop can be presented off line using Microsoft products.










What do I get? The module using Balloon Factory also employs the What-If Builder . The What-If Builder is a tool to create decision-tree models, also known as 'Action Mazes,' 'tree literature,' 'plot branching,' or 'choose your own adventure.' A model consists of short sections of narrative, each ending with a choice for the reader that determines what happens next and thus which section of narrative the reader is presented with next. It is possible to merge student creations in order to create a rich view of future possibilities. ative to analysis of plot and structure and the almost all chemical power of symbols.

Is there a demo or preview site? You can learn more about Balloon Factory at this location.

What content is in a lesson? Coming soon...under development.

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genscope dragons BioLogica introduces a computer-based manipulative to the study of genetic phenomena. The BioLogica hyper model permits students to explore elementary genetics, populations, and pedigree. The organisms explored are dragons. Models of meiosis permit students to change alleles and observe the effects on phenotypes. More complex phenomena like lethality, epistasis, and crossover can also be modeled. BioLogica is well suited to upper elementary to secondary life science students. BioLogica is useful as an inquiry tool during the two- to four-week segment of a life science curriculum dealing with inheritance.

What do I get? BioLogica is free and can be downloaded off the web.
What do I need to use it? Access to the web and a CD ROM drive.
Is there a demo or preview site? Visit the
BioLogica site to learn about this product, download a demo or the software itself, or just get a tour of the program. Use the back button on your browser to return to Module Selection.
What content is in a lesson? Click here to view an activity for GenScope (the precursor to BioLogica). The tools of the BioLogica model simulation are explored. How does one breed an azure dragon? It's not as easy as it sounds. What is the range of phenotypes? Is the color range different for males than it is for females? What parents would produce an azure dragon? To return to Modules Selection Details, please use the Back button on your browser.

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BioQUEST BioQUEST: Environmental Decision Making offers an elegant systems simulation tool for life science investigation. It is a subset of EXTEND, a professional modeling package that uses an icon-based interface to build model ecosystems. Students can do "what if" experiments with what BioQUEST calls a "strategic simulation." These simulations capture core ideas in life science and open them for inquiry. A fishing, logging, and prairie fire system are the first models. An investigation of a simulation of BIOSPHERE2 rounds out the EDM module. EDM is well suited to students in upper elementary to secondary life science. It is usable throughout the year.

What do I get? Two libraries are supplied: the basic BioQUEST library and the Biosphere library for EDM. Also, you get a complete guide and permission to mount EDM on any computer used by an INTEC teacher or his/her students at the site.
What do I need to use it? Windows or Macintosh computers.
Is there a demo or preview site? Visit the BioQUEST site at this
link and/or go to the discussion area and look for the BioQUEST Download threads (for Windows and Macintosh) in the Module Selection topic.
What content is in a lesson? Click here to view an activity for EDM. To return to Modules Selection Details, please use the Back button on your browser.

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TI CBL Texas Instruments CBL: Bob Tinker, President of Concord Consortium, pioneered MBL or micro-based labs. Probes connect to the computer and real time data sets are graphed. CBL brings similar techniques to graphing calculators through its interface. Students design and collect data from experiments on motion, cooling, and rotation. Data are shared with student calculators for interpretation and data fitting. CBL is a tool that can be used across the whole year.
What do I get? One CBL interface with temperature and light probes, a Sonic Ranger, and a workbook containing software to run the CBL and probes.
What do I need to use it? TI Graphing Calculators,
TI graph link software, an LCD panel and display calculator.
Is there a demo or preview site? Previews of the CBL are provided at the Texas Instruments site. The CBL area is quite extensive. Start with this link.
Also, if you are not familiar with CBL already, we suggest you order a video of the CBL in operation in a classroom. You can order it online at the CBL website, or call 1-800-TI-CARES.
What content is in a lesson? Click here to view the introductory activity for CBL. Getting the interface to work is the first challenge. To return to Modules Selection Details, please use the Back button on your browser.

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Decisions Decisions: Building a Nation

Students role-play the leader of a newly independent country faced with many difficult issues. What kind of government will they establish? How will they relate to the former colonial power? How
will they stimulate the economy? How will authority and resources be shared among different groups? The fundamentals of government and nationhood come alive.
What do I get? A teacher's guide and CD, 28 Student Reference Books (7 sets of 4) with detailed lesson plans and reproducible worksheets.
What do I need to use it? Windows or Macintosh computers
Is there a demo or preview site? You can learn more about Building a Nation at this location.
What content is in a lesson? Coming soon...under development.

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global lab logo The Global Lab Indoor Air module focuses on air quality testing and telecollaborative science. Students devise an experimental design to measure air quality at their school. Several tools are used. The first one, the Drager tube, permits measurement of CO2 concentrations. Particulate matter is also measured. Stunning results are possible with good design and collaborative work. Results are posted on CLEO, TERC's new web-tool for sharing data and projects online. The module gives a feel for the telecollaboration that can occur in the actual GL community.

What do I get? Enough of two kinds of Drager tubes (diffusion and sampling) and TERC air pumps for one class, with instructions on how to sample CO2.
What do I need to use it? Web connections for students to post results.
Is there a demo or preview site? You have already read about the unit in Tales. You can follow the link to the TERC website that describes the full
Global Lab curriculum.
What content is in a lesson? Click here to view an activity for Global Lab. How does one measure the quality of indoor air? What factors go into the measurement? What protocols would one use to make best use of the Drager tubes? To return to Modules Selection Details, please use the Back button on your browser.

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Hands On Physics Hands On Physics presents a sophisticated way to experience hands-on experiments in mechanics with inexpensive materials. HOP builds on core investigations in kinematics, dynamics, electronics, and heat. Students build models and instruments to measure a wide variety of phenomena. The approach taken by HOP is very much a dialogue of science; student teams design and build their projects. Their discussions around successes and failures in their projects bring the culture of science to life in the classroom.
HOP is a module that can be used throughout the year or as a project-based design segment in any physical science class.

What do I get? A web-based teacher's guide including four core projects and HOP kit with all materials and tools needed for two projects.
What do I need to use it? All materials are provided in the HOP kit. Good lab tables and storage space for projects is required.
Is there a demo or preview site? You can visit
the HOP website for more information.
What content is in a lesson? Click here to view an activity for Hands On Physics. Building the dynamics cart or the bungee jump are projects in the kinematics unit. To return to Modules Selection Details, please use the Back button on your browser.
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The Hero's Journey : lets students and groups of students write epic tales and publish them on the web. The theme of the journey of the hero and his or her trials, defeats, and successes fills the pages of world literature. Explorations using Hero's Journey can include rewriting using web tools major classics: Everyman in Chicago's South side, Gulliver on Lake Michigan, etc. Tales from non-western traditions can be adapted and explored in this medium. A source for ideas is Joseph Campbell's Hero with a Thousand Faces. Parallel tales with identical structures yet radically different characters and scenes can be compared to permit students to push themselves beyond the entertainment value of the narrative to analysis of plot and structure and the almost all chemical power of symbols.

What do I get? A wide variety of web-based resources including a reference section, examples of classic stories, and a story tool. The authors' imagination is the only limit in this application.
Is there a demo or preview site? You can learn more about
The Hero's Journey at this location.

What content is in a lesson? Coming soon...under development.

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ImagiProbe: Bob Tinker, President of Concord Consortium, pioneered MBL or micro-based labs. Probes connect to the computer and real time data sets are graphed. ImagiProbe brings similar techniques to handheld computers through the ImagiWorks interface. Students design and collect data from experiments on cooling, light, pH, and voltage. Data are shared with student handheld computers for interpretation and data fitting. ImagiProbe is a tool that can be used across the whole year.
What do I get? One ImagiProbe interface with temperature sensor, light and voltage sensors.
What do I need to use it? The ImagiLab General Science and Water Quality
Activities and a Palm OS handheld computer.
Is there a demo or preview site? Previews of the ImagiProbe are provided at the ImagiWorks site. Start with this link.
Also, if you are not familiar with ImagiProbe already, we suggest you view the ImagiProbe Tour.
What content is in a lesson? Coming soon...under development.

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 Language Logic encourages students to discover, formulate and
share rules describing the nature of the linguistic differences. Using a KidSolve application "Hypothesis Builder", and series of words, sentences and paragraphs in translation available on the Web, students explore word families; prefixes, suffixes and roots; patterns of subject, object and verb;

They post their hypotheses into a shared database for comment by other students.

What do I get? What do I need to use it? A new tool, "Hypothesis Builder", web-based language resources and activities.
Is there a demo or preview site? "Hypothesis Builder" is presently underdevelopment.
What content is in a lesson? Students explore a set of 20 translations of five words, and build their understanding of language rules, and the relationship of language to culture and geography.

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logal window
or logoLOGAL Chemical Kinetics is a simulation package that permits experiments with atomic and molecular interactions. The micro-world in Chemical Kinetics opens to inquiry important facets of kinetic theory and the gas laws. Students can vary the mass and size of molecules as well as temperature of the system. For more advanced studies students can change activation energy of a molecule or the delta H for the reaction. Questions like "How would doubling the temperature quantitatively affect a reaction?" or "How would changing molecular mass or size affect the number of effective collisions?"

What do I get? A CD with the LOGAL Chemical Kinetics software on it in Windows and Macintosh format and a teacher's guide on use of the simulation.
What do I need to use it? A Windows or Mac computer with a CD drive.
Is there a demo or preview site? Previews of the software are provided on
this RiverDeep (LOGAL) demo site. Look over the activites that this elegant microworld supports.

Free demos for science, math, and language arts are provided on the website. You get free access to all of RiverDeep's programs for one month. They do not download to your computer. You must be online to use the web-based emulators. It certainly is worth a visit.
What content is in a lesson? Click here to view an activity for Chemical Kinetics. How does changing the mass of a molecule affect the diffusion rate? It will diffuse more slowly, that is clear, but what is the quantitative relationship between diffusion and temperature? The built-in spreadsheet lets results of many simulations be stored and plotted. To return to Modules Selection Details, please use the Back button on your browser.

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mars tear barThe Mars Exploration Project (MEP) builds on the current wave of NASA exploration of the planet Mars to bring elegant inquiry to earth science students in the middle grades. The Mars Project was written by TERC and JPL. Through image analysis and physical modeling, students inquire into the landforms on Mars and make comparisons with those on earth:
  • Was there water on Mars?
  • What landforms indicate erosion by water, which indicate erosion by wind?
  • Which can be said conclusively to have been made by water erosion?
Students make hypotheses and find evidence from images and from physical models. The Mars Project is useful to earth science teachers seeking an inquiry-based unit incorporating technology and links to current NASA exploration.
What do I get? A classroom set of booklets introducing Mars Exploration and the Great Martian Floods, plus a set of images for student analysis.
What do I need to use it? The Mars Project requires lab tables.
Is there a demo or preview site? Click here for a
summary or visit this web site.
What content is in a lesson? Click here to view an activity for MEP. What distinguishes landforms made by water, from those made by wind? What factors go into the carving of land forms? The image set and physical models of sculpting provide several levels of hypotheses and confirmation. To return to Modules Selection Details, please use the Back button on your browser.

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Measurement in Motion is used for defining, graphing, and analyzing motion with data from QuickTime movies. It is a tool that can be used throughout the year.

What do I get? A full teacher's guide and CD with 100 clips and enough CD's to supply one class.
What do I need to use it? Macintosh computers with a CD drive. Making home grown movies requires an AV machine with a capture board.
Is there a demo or preview site? A demo is available on the publisher's site. Use the back button on your browser to return to Module Selection. Visit the site.
What content is in a lesson? Click here to view the introductory activity for Measurement in Motion. Animations guide users on the interface and potential for the tool. To return to Modules Selection Details, please use the Back button on your browser.

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VideoPoint permits simple to more complex analysis of Quicktime movie clips to explore the mathematics and physics of motion. Students apply mathematical modeling to real situations. Cartesian and polar coordinates are supported. "What is the speed of impact of a Karate chop?" "How do trig functions describe Ferris wheels?" The combination of visual data and numerical and graphic analysis is unique and a most powerful learning tool. VP can be used as a data gathering tool with analysis done on students' graphing calculators. Student movie clips can be analyzed as well. VideoPoint is a tool that can be used throughout the year. The VideoPoint interface is more complex than Measurement and Motion. It is better suited to secondary students.
What do I get? A teacher's guide and CD with over 100 clips and one copy of the VideoPoint program.
What do I need to use it? Windows or Macintosh computers with a CD drive.
Is there a demo or preview site? You can learn more about VideoPoint at this location.
What content is in a lesson? Click here to view an activity for VideoPoint. Visual data lets students interact with phenomena they can understand and explore mathematically. Hoop shots, skate boards or NBA clips are all sources of data. To return to Modules Selection Details, please use the Back button on your browser.

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