TERC & Investigations in Number, Data, and Space 

1) You Are Here:

Can you remember your strongest learning experiences? What perked your interest so much that you became engulfed in the subject matter and it felt so powerful that it has affected your life from that point on? It would be surprising if it were a lesson that concentrated on rote learning. In the constructivist philosophy by exploring how something works one makes discoveries which leads to empowerment, which creates an engaged and critical thinker. Computers can be a powerful component of this philosophy if they are used correctly. TERC (a notforprofit education research and development organization) has created a curricula of mathematical investigation for elementary school students, called Investigations in Number, Data, and Space that promotes this type of constructivist inquirybased learning. Within some of the units that are a computer / software component to teaching that particular unit. As you may have guessed the software is not skill / drill orientated, but open ended programs that allow the student to further their free exploration of the mathematical concepts. The software component can be put on most any type of computer found in elementary schools. Whether with a single computer in a homeroom or a 32 computer lab the TERC Investigations software is a great way to use technology to further the school's math curriculum. Computers become a powerful tool in helping the student construct their understanding. Instead of asking students to memorize mathematical procedures, the Investigations approach uses the computer to help learners construct an understanding of mathematical concepts and relationships. 