1 Secondary School Fontes Pereira de Melo (PORTUGAL)
2 University of TrĂ¡s-os-Montes e Alto Douro (PORTUGAL)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN16 Proceedings
Publication year: 2016
Pages: 1320-1327
ISBN: 978-84-608-8860-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2016.1268
Conference name: 8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2016
Location: Barcelona, Spain
The Official Portuguese curriculum of Mathematics [1] considers that, in the 7th grade classes (12-13 years old students) students begin with the study of the topic "Functions". This algebraic topic is an introduction to the concept of function taking to account the graphical representation of the functions. A special attention is given to the direct proportionality and the particular case of direct proportionality relationship between two quantities be represented by a linear function.

Students should understand the relationships between tables, graphs and symbols. As they work with multiple representations of functions such as, numeric, graphic and symbolic, they develop a better understanding of the function concept [2].

The Information and Communications Technology (ICT) is a powerful educational tool for the dissemination of knowledge, as well as for student learning. The software Modellus is addressed to the teaching and learning of mathematics that allows students and teachers to carry out experiments with mathematical models, in particular, to analyse the variation of the function and the respective graphical representation [3]. On the other hand, mathematical modelling as classroom practice is a very current international trend research [4].

This paper explores the Modellus applicability in the linear function learning with twenty students of 7th grade of a Portuguese School. The specific objective is to highlight the contributions of the use of computer simulations with Modellus on student learning, for the study of linear functions.

Methodologically, was opted a qualitative and interpretative research approach, based on a case study. Data collection was done through direct observation of a lesson and written productions of students. An activity with an inquiry was drafted and applied in a 7th grade class during a mathematical class of fifty minutes, who answered individually to the data items.

The results show that the developed proposal is valid and appropriate for students in 7th grade class. In addition, it was noted that during the study of the linear function, the simulations allowed a better development of the ability to work with various types of representations, promoting the ability to identify the variation and analysis of induced effect by changing the proportionality parameter value into the family of linear functions.

[1] Ministério da Educação e Ciência (MEC). (2013). Programa e Metas Curriculares de Matemática do Ensino Básico. Lisboa: Ministério da Educação e Ciência.
[2] National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM). (2000). Principle and Standards for School Mathematics. Reston,VA: NCTM.
[3] Teodoro, V. D. (1997). Modelação computacional em ciências e matemática. Informática Educativa, 10(2), 171-182.
[4] Kaiser, G., Blum, W., Ferri, R., & Stillman, G. (Eds) (2011). Trends in Teaching and Learning of Mathematical Modelling. N Y: Springer.
Linear function, Graphic, Modellus, Computer simulation, Teaching.