SomeFree February Appy-nesswith a new piece of free software for teachers from Microsoft every day in February. Many of these items are unknown heroes, but they all share two things in common: 1)They are useful for teachers or students and 2)they are free.

## Microsoft Mathematics 4.0

Universally, mathematics is a major source of frustration for students. Teachers often find it challenging to keep all their students at the same pace when learning new maths concepts. Microsoft Mathematics can help students visualise problems and provide extra help when they are reviewing maths concepts on their own.

From basic maths to precalculus, it can help you visualise mathematical concepts in a new way. It’s a free downloadable tool which includes step-by-step instructions and explains fundamental concepts. The wide range of tools to help students with complex mathematics includes a full-featured graphing calculator that’s designed to work just like a hand-held calculator and ink handwriting support to recognise hand-written problems.

## Includes a sophisticated graphing calculator

The average cost of a graphing calculator is $90+. This one is free and works on your PC.

Personal whinge from me on this – my daughters’ school gives every student their own laptop – and then insists that every parent spends an extra $250 on a graphing calculator. Grrr.Microsoft Mathematics has a powerful graphing calculator built in. That saves each student the cost of buying a graphing calculator and assures that they all have access to the same necessary tools.

Microsoft Mathematics uses a Computer Algebra System (CAS) to help teachers share and solve more complex equations and functions. It’s capable of handling subjects including pre-algebra, algebra, trigonometry, calculus, physics and chemistry.

## Helps students by stepping through problems

With its step-by-step approach to problem solving, Microsoft Mathematics shows the journey to the maths solution, not just the end point. For teachers, it’s like having a maths tutor available to their students when they get stuck on a problem. The step-by-step feature can help students improve their understanding of formulas and concepts as they do their homework.

It’s useful for subjects such as pre-algebra, algebra, trigonometry, calculus, physics and chemistry.

### Where can I find out how to use it?

There’s a full Microsoft Mathematics Teachers Guide, as well as a Step-by-step Guide that talks you through the whole software.

### Where do I get Microsoft Mathematics from?

Like all the other software I’ve mentioned in this Free February list, it’s free, and you can download Microsoft Mathematics from here.

*Just realised I’ve done three days in a trot of software for maths teachers. That’s enough! Tomorrow we’ll go for something useful for everybody…*