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Conundrum: A Project to Computerize the Comprehensive
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CSMP is an exciting K-6 math program, designated as an "exemplary educational program that worksÂ¿ by the U.S. Department of Education, which funded its development, evaluation, and dissemination. Its spiral, problem solving approach uses picture languages, abaci, and technically challenging games. Simple problems subtly introduce sophisticated concepts. While class and teacher-student interactions are fundamental to CSMP, its graphical and manipulative portions are obvious candidates for computerization. We have already built template prototypes for Venn diagrams (computationally difficult) and arrow relations (graphically complex), which allow individual exercises (interactive graphics and grading) to be automatically generated. Because our software now works only under the Unix operating system, we propose to investigate the feasibility of implementing it under Windows 95/NT on PC's expected to be typical of the prospective user- base. Conundrum will enhance CSMP's flexibility to address special needs, including at-risk, low achievers, bilingual, compensatory education, gifted and talented, and special education. Feedback will be immediate and accurate. Conundrum can make the nontradional CSMP materials and the advanced mathematics for which they form the foundation, less intimidating to many elementary school teachers. Student and teacher tutoring, tools for constructing new exercises, and automated troubleshooting of a student's individual weaknesses are planned extensions.
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