Digital Experiences in Mathematics Education

, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp 179–202 | Cite as

‘Walking a Graph’: Developing Graph Sense Using Motion Sensor Technology

  • Øistein GjøvikEmail author
  • Svein Arne Sikko


The teaching and learning of functions has generally been considered a problematic area of school mathematics. Also, in Norway, functions have been identified as a difficult topic for many students. In this article, we address some of the difficulties that may arise when introducing the concept of time–distance graphs and discuss misconceptions that can be avoided with our approach. We report on a case study undertaken within the international project FaSMEd (Formative assessment in Science and Mathematics Education). Two groups of grade 6 students were introduced to time-distance graphs for the first time. This happened at an earlier stage than normally dictated by the national curriculum. We show how students indicated they were learning mathematics and developing graph sense through a couple of tasks utilizing motion-sensor technology. We will see how students express connections with translating movement into language about graphs and how they translate graphs into physical movement.


Functions Graphs Graph sense Motion technology Representations Q-sorting Affect 



We acknowledge the roles of Jardar Cyvin, Maria Febri and Ragnhild Lyngved Staberg in the planning and the data collection in the project. We would also like to thank teacher Einar and his students.

We acknowledge the important part played by the reviewers and, in particular, the editor Nathalie Sinclair, in making this article much better than the one originally submitted.

The FaSMEd project received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme under grant agreement n° 612337.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)TrondheimNorway

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