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math-animationIn Terri HerrNeckar’s Algebra II class, Milton’s mathematicians were tasked with creating animations using the TI-Nspire, a hand-held graphing calculator. While the project’s requirement was to “successfully animate a smiling face using one parameter” and write a paragraph about why the animation worked, the group dug deeper—sharing their knowledge and creativity with one another—to take the assignment beyond the basic face.

“The group was allowed to ask and answer technical questions of each other,” said Ms. HerrNeckar. “Each student discovered a different aspect of the Nspire calculator and generously shared their knowledge to support the creativity of classmates.”

Using a grading scheme modeled on the work of Tony Wagner, Ms. HerrNeckar awarded a B+ to any student who accomplished the animated smile. Most of the group took their projects to the next level—adding other moving parts of the face and head controlled by the same parameter—to earn the A.