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When it comes to teaching math and science and showing students how to use things like rulers, protractors and compasses, can be a real challenge in the classroom. You can go to your local teacher's store and you can buy the really big three-foot long ruler that allows you to go to front of the room and model exactly how to measure things properly. Or you can buy the protractor and rulers that are clear and try to use a document camera to show students exactly what you're doing. The best solution I've found is to use ActivInspire's built-in rulers. Let's go ahead and add a couple of shapes and model for students exactly how to measure both the lengths, as well as the angles associated with the shapes.
To get started I'm going to go and click on the shape icon under my toolbar. I'm going to grab a quick triangle and drag it out. I'm also going to grab a quick square and drag it out. Now that I have got my shapes I'm going to go and click back on my select tool, and let's first start by adding a ruler that will allow us to measure the sides of this various shapes. I am going to do this by accessing Tools. I'm going to come down to Math Tools, and I am going to select a Ruler. Now, the ruler has several ways that we can interact with it and you'll notice that as I move my cursor around on the ruler, various icons appear.
I'm going to go ahead and put my cursor in the very center of the ruler until I see the Move icon. This will allow me to click and actually move the ruler around the page. If I take my cursor to the far left or right of the ruler I will see the left and right arrow. With this particular icon, I can click and I can change the length of my ruler. You can also notice that new numbers are added to accommodate the new length. The last thing we can do is we can also rotate the ruler. If I come down to the top or bottom edge of the ruler, I can see the rotate icon appear. With this icon, I can click and I can choose to slowly rotate my ruler.
You'll also notice in the middle of the ruler I now have the negative and positive degrees in which it's been rotated. So for example, I can see here that I've rotated it negative 44 degrees from the top and 316 degrees from the bottom. If at any time you want to fine tune your rotation you can always just re-click and reposition. At the very center of my ruler you also notice that we have our Options icon. When I click the Options icon here I can choose to change the scale of it between millimeters, centimeters, inches, or no scale. I can also change the bottom scale. You can have them match or be completely different.
I can either choose to show or not show the angle of rotation, and if I'd like to I can also close out of the ruler, which will make it go away completely. I'm going to go ahead and close this particular ruler, come back up to Tools, down to Math Tools and reselect a new Ruler, so that I have a fresh one to start with. So now, directly on the screen using my pen or my finger if I have a touch board, I can come up to my particular object and I can show my students exactly how to line it up and how to measure objects properly. In addition to rulers there's other math tools that we can access, as well. If I come back to Math Tools you can see that there's a set square, a protractor, a compass, an XY origin which is great for graphing, I can have a dice roller if I'm doing probability, and I can even bring up an on-screen calculator.
Now most of these math tools work a lot like the ruler, however some of them can be a little bit tricky. Let's go and take a look at the protractor, for example. Now, this protractor that comes up by default is a half protractor. These are very common inside of schools. Now sometimes, if you're teaching an advanced class, you may need to have a full protractor that actually has a full 360 degree circle around it. The same rules apply to this protractor as do the ruler. If I'm towards the middle of the protractor, I have my move icon where I can click and position on the page. So for example, I can come over and put the origins of my protractor directly aligned with this triangle.
If I move out a little bit from the middle, I have the opportunity to rotate this. Again I can see the degrees of rotation. And finally, if I get to the very edge of it I have the ability to make it larger or smaller on the page. In the middle from the Options section I also have the ability to close it and turn it off. I hope you enjoy exploring these math tools and that they're a benefit as you start using these to teach your students these various concepts.
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