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Some of the newer mathies Tools have the Mountain (Insert Picture) Icon next to the Pencil (Annotation) Icon.

When you click the icon, you will get a dialog that allows you to choose a file from your device.
Exactly how this happens depends on the device you are using and the operating system on that device, whether Desktop, iOS or Android.

On desktop computers you can select multiple images.

Once you have chosen an image it will appear on the screen.
When it is selected, you will see the resizing rectangle with its four resizing handles and the rotation wheel with its rotating handle.


To deselect an image, click outside of it; the handles will no longer be visible.
Tools will not allow objects to be selected at the same time as an image.

To select an image, simply click on it again. You must click on it once to select it and then you can drag it or its handles.

Drag the resizing handles to make the image larger or smaller. The image will maintain its proportions and will not shrink past a certain point.

Drag the rotating handle to have the image rotated 90°, 180°, 270° or 0°. When the image is really small, the rotation wheel may disappear.
If you want to rotate a small image, you may have to resize it bigger first, then you can rotate it and resize it smaller.

To move a selected image, simply drag it. Be sure to select it first. Then click on it again to drag it.

To delete a selected image, press the recycle bin icon or move the image until the recycle bin icon enlarges.

To duplicate an image, select it and click the copy button. The duplicate will be selected so that it can be moved into place.

You can import as many images as you like. When you select an image, it will be placed on top of the others.

Here are some ideas of images to import into a tool:
  • a picture of a real-life situation to explore
  • a photograph of some work with a physical manipulative
  • an image of the question being worked on
  • a screenshot of some work with another digital tool

Because images are placed under your work it is easier to place them first in the desired screen size and orientation before adding a lot of objects to the workspace.
Operations with images are not reversible using Undo and Redo.


Image import can be used in all kinds of creative ways. You can:
  • Explore a picture of a real-life situation
  • Take a photograph of some work with a physical manipulative and use it in a virtual tool
  • Import a picture of the question that the student is working on
  • Take a screenshot of some work with one digital tool and import it into another tool.

While the older mathies tools do not include the annotation feature, it is possible to take a screenshot of your work and then import this image into the Notepad Tool. The example below uses a picture taken from the Fraction Strip tool, which is then annotated:
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Investigating Conservation of Number using Image Importing

Conservation of number and one-to-one correspondence are two important counting principles that children need to master. Young students often struggle to understand that the number of items in a set is not affected by changing the size, position, or amount of space between objects. Below is an example of how this concept could be posited to the student using the Rekenrek Tool.
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As always it is encouraged to have the students use the annotation tool to explain their thinking by pressing theexternal image z74f8l12ZCgjw-0C7VcstHi0HKeOrFz94cpAjfz5Ctn8KxoRMdLCXIShIfkWVrNI8HJow-DD90q0s895UL5M1aQ-qN8QmJqyYz8ew_MRVgVnJ-l2yN09TGm1jQ0iYAY9WM37pIwXbutton. You can work with imported images while in external image mREBVxf4CbsXEkycSV35Sw1JBsTaMQLHHu5eg9EjijJiYfv9TimIAK1IYJejq5eoLkddnIbp7x3gvO8Ra9AqXpIJqFqJEiSztI_G8_TuwpzBOGnJgiNn57KS1WS_0-nqr9qaPvcZ(selection) mode.
In the example above, the student is able to interact with any of the images, beads or annotation text without having to change modes.

By using the annotation tool, the students can also practice mapping particular fruit by colour; coding the beads to convince themselves they have the right count. They can also use this technique to further convince themselves that regardless of the orientation or size of the picture, the number of objects within it will stay the same.
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As a next step, ask students to import their own sets of objects, including a picture of a set they may have created using manipulatives, and then rotate and resize the image themselves to investigate what other attributes stay fixed when the image is manipulated.

Using Imported Pictures to Represent Data - Preserving the Average

Another fun and useful way to use multiple image importing is to create pictographs. The mathies Notepad tool now allows the importing of multiple pictures and has a handy opening dialog that allows the user to choose what background they would like to start with. It also allows the user to choose to have the images sit on top of their grid (like in the example below) or underneath the grid so the grid lines explicitly partition the image.

In the example below, the windowed grid has been selected. A pictograph is used to show one solution to this problem:
You are at a petting zoo where it costs the same amount to give one of four animals a treat. You have enough money for 12 treats.
  1. Distribute the treats among the animals any way you like.
  2. Calculate the average number of treats per animal.
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Ask each student to distribute the treats in a different way and then calculate the average. As a whole class, share several different solutions and discuss the following:
  1. What do you notice about the average?
    It is always 3 treats per pet! Is that surprising to you? Can you explain why the average is always 3? What average would you expect if you had 24 treats to distribute? 30 treats?

  2. If you tell your friend that you gave out an average of 3 treats per pet, could your friend tell you how many treats you gave to the kitten?

  3. Does the average let you know how fair the distribution was?

This activity will reinforce the idea that a total can be decomposed into many subsets and that the average is preserved throughout this decomposition and redistribution. The task might also show that using averages can strip important details from data that provide interesting and useful information (such as a bias towards kittens and puppies).

Importing Images for Fun and Profit - Comparing and Preserving Monetary Amounts

Here is an example of using the image import to compare the costs of two stuffed bears within the mathies Money tool. Of course, to make it more fun in class and to put a personal touch on the task, you could take pictures of objects in the classroom and have students pretend to sell them.
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Students should be encouraged to compare the values using different strategies. Possible solutions could include using a take-away strategy, or alternately, mapping the currency values to each other (mapping a 20 dollar bill to two 10s for instance). Other scenarios like ordering food at a restaurant or shopping for sale items can also be used. How much for those snazzy shoes you’re wearing?

Importing Images - Real World Examples & Text Questions

Another advantage of being able to import images is the ability to take a picture of a question which is being worked on and import it right into a tool, like the Number Line. In this way, the tool remains the site of the problem solving. After the student is done a screenshot can be taken to preserve and share evidence of their work.
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Importing a Picture of a Geoboard

The mathies Notepad tool can be used as a geoboard by importing an image of the grid. This image was created using the instructions on The Geometer's Sketchpad site. In the example that follows a student uses Pick's Theorem to calculate areas.


Keyboard Shortcuts

  1. If the CTRL key does not work, try the SPACE key.
  2. On a Mac keyboard, use the Apple command key instead of CTRL. See Note 1.
  3. These shortcuts only work on a selected image.


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Movement uses the Arrow keys, and the standard WASD and IJKL layout.


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