Website review by Pamela Brittain, Common Sense Education | Updated July 2018

CanFigureIt Geometry

Flex your deductive reasoning muscles with geometric proofs

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Grades
6–12 This grade range is based on learning appropriateness and doesn't take into account privacy. It's determined by Common Sense Education, not the product's publisher.
Subjects & Skills
Math, Critical Thinking

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Pros: Unique and engaging interface; students work on proofs in a step-by-step, critical thinking way.

Cons: The program can be a bit overwhelming at first, and the teacher dashboard leaves a lot to be desired (for now).

Bottom Line: A really good way for math students to learn about proofs and explore them from a number of angles.

Teaching proofs can sometimes be a challenge, but CanFigureIt Geometry has found a way to make it fun and engaging. Teachers can choose specific topics to assign to students that match what's being covered in class or as a refresher of concepts that support what's being taught. Students can also access over 460 different geometry proofs on their own to practice many different skills. The algebra manipulator is particularly great for building critical thinking skills and allowing students to "play around" with proofs on their own -- often discovering along the way the many paths they have to arrive at a solution.

At the time of this review, there's a somewhat cumbersome issue for teachers: To add students or assign activities to students from the teacher dashboard, a request must be sent to the developers directly, and they will add them. However, they stated that functions allowing teachers to do it directly were "under construction" and they were hoping to have them added soon.

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CanFigureIt Geometry is a platform for students to work through geometric proofs using guided instructions or on their own. Students can work forward from the provided information (called "Gifts") or backward from the goal in a step-by-step method. CanFigureIt gives students a number of different options, from typing in choices to clicking on the image provided to selecting from various preset theorems available to them. Handy hints are provided when a student gets stuck, and a great full-screen pop-up congratulates students when they arrive at the final proof. 

CanFigureIt covers a lot of different types of geometric proofs -- from proving facts about lines to more complicated proofs on triangles, quadrilaterals, and circles. There's even an algebra manipulator to solve for specific values. It's a powerful tool that allows students to explore how to do a proof on their own, rather than watching the step-by-step instructions. A teacher dashboard lets teachers see student progress and assign supporting proofs as needed. 

CanFigureIt Geometry's interface is well-designed and easy to navigate (especially in the recommended full-screen mode). Students have choices on how to access the proofs, and they can take a step back to earlier, supporting proofs as well to help them with the harder levels. The dashboard allows teachers to easily check in on their students and see if there are places where they're getting stuck or could use a bit more guidance in the classroom -- and assign supporting proofs to students as needed to make the ideas a bit clearer. 

CanFigureIt can be a bit overwhelming at times, especially when students are starting out. Trying to navigate the number of choices and theorems provided -- and how to effectively use them for the current proof -- can be a bit confusing, and the hints provided can occasionally cause more confusion than help. But using the provided tutorial videos and having a bit of background provided by the teacher before using the tool can be highly effective. Overall CanFigureIt Geometry allows students to flex their mental muscles and really explore proofs in a new and exciting way.

Overall Rating

Engagement Would it motivate students and hold their interest? Is it visually appealing? Would it inspire teachers to try something new or change their instruction?

The site's clear hints and engaging interface give students a chance to play around with geometry proofs, giving lots of "yes" moments along the way.

 

 

Pedagogy Does the tool help teachers promote a more student-centered experience? Will students gain conceptual understanding or think critically? Does it deepen teachers’ pedagogical thinking?

A number of modules are available to assign, depending on what's being covered in class. Students are encouraged to work through proofs of increasing difficulty and explore different methods to solve them. 

Support Can students and teachers get assistance when they need it? Is it created with people of different abilities and backgrounds in mind? Is learning reinforced and extended beyond the digital experience?

A few instructional videos are very handy for getting started. Constant feedback is provided so students can choose their own path to explore ideas, but sometimes the process can be frustrating.


Common Sense reviewer
Pamela Brittain Researcher

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