How I Use It
I encourage my kids to use Wolfram Alpha both in and out of the classroom environment. While I am in the classroom and available to help answer questions, I cannot always be there to help everyone at all times. I then encourage my kids to use their resources, and Wolfram Alpha is one of our main sites for algebra assistance. I will often use Wolfram Alpha during my instruction as well. I find the site helps the kids get a visual of what I am trying to explain to them. They find it quite neat to be able to see how a linear equation can form an actual line, and Wolfram Alpha is the site we use to do this. On specific homework assignments, I have the kids graph their equations and proceed to check their work by entering the equations in Wolfram Alpha to make sure they did it correctly. It's very interesting to hear the kids' comments when they are able to find their mistakes. Wolfram Alpha is the site that we use for this. I believe there is a lot to be learned when finding mistakes and proceeding to correct them. Wolfram Alpha is simply a great site that we use both in and out of my classroom. The kids use the site to help them through problems, check their work, and prove to others that what they've done is either right or wrong. Wolfram Alpha has brought about many more math conversations in my classroom because it makes the kids think. I have kids who are now talking to their neighbor because they know they're right, or they know that their neighbor has made a mistake. I love the interactions and conversations the kids have because of Wolfram Alpha in my classroom.
On a side note, I've had some parents thank me for introducing them to Wolfram Alpha. It's all too often that we hear parents don't know how to help their algebra kids. I encourage parents to get on the site to see what it can do to help their child through a problem. They love it as much as the rest of us!
I really think this particular site is a great resource for the kids in my classroom to use when they need both help with some of the algebra concepts and review of those concepts they might have forgotten. This site is a great tool to help kids overcome the little obstacles they find when doing classwork and homework. I like how they can enter in a linear equation, and the feedback they get is thorough. When an equation is entered, the kids are able to get feedback on more than just the solution. Wolfram Alpha gives both the solution and graphs the line as well. It is the visual that so many of my kids need at one time or another. What's also great is that this site does more than just work with linear equations. While in the Algebra curriculum, we tend to spend most of our time focused on linear equations. This site provides a lot of help to those kids who need help with quadratic and exponential equations as well. Wolfram Alpha is what I sell to the kids as a one-stop shop that will help your through a lot of your algebra questions. It's there to help, and it does a great job.