In this video you will see an example of a NASA activity that can be used to illustrate different mathematical representations with the purpose of attaching meaning to the words and quantities – this way, developing mathematical and literacy skills simultaneously. Research related to mathematics education for students in the stages of developing English language suggests that students that engage in rich mathematical tasks with opportunities to visualize the different modes of representation has positive effect on their learning.
The NASA activity is supported by an application called EYES on the Solar System (http://eyes.nasa.gov). This is a hands-on computer application that allows the learners to actual measure real distances from different planets to the sun, among other measures. Students collect data and organize it in a table where they observe patterns and draw conclusions.
M. Alejandra Sorto
Associate Professor – Mathematics Department
Texas State University