Software Review: Microsoft Mathematics 4.0 - A Must Download for Math and Science Teachers
Installation - The lightweight program was quick to download and easy to install. The product website features a teacher's guide as well as an 18-page step by step document to help you get used to the program. My recommendation is to jump right in and start exploring after installing, but once you do, you'll soon realize (in a good way) why there's 18 pages of documentation.
Worksheet - The program contains two tabs - Worksheet and Graphing. On the left side of the screen, there is a fully featured graphing calculator, though it is not identical to the ones typically used in classes. I was immediately drawn to the large text box on the bottom where I was prompted to "Type an expression and then click Enter." After punching in a simple slope-intercept equation, the program posted a solution that solved for x. Better yet, upon clicking the "+" sign next to solution steps, I was able to see how the problem was solved, including detailed narration of each and every step.
Home: Aside from the above mentioned features, Mathematics 4.0 comes with an Equation Solver, which allows for quick access to the viewable solution steps as discussed above. Under Formulas and Equations, you can choose from many popular items, including the ideal gas law for chemistry. Users apply some plug and chug, only this time, the application does the chugging for you, again showing you the steps taken if you want to see them. Triangle Solver offers the option to calculate missing sides or angles and shows you the rule, triangle type or additional info (altitude and area) for the created triangle. Lastly, a Unit Converter is included for all of this metric conversions that so gave us fits in science classes.
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