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Sunday, January 10, 2010

Weapons of Math Instruction




I thought I would share some of my favorite math teaching websites. These are my "go to" resources that I rely heavily on. In addition to my duties as the TSA for Technology, I have been teaching the 6th grade math classes at Yokomi. Which is why you see so many math sites referred to in my blog thus far. Never fear, I also taught Science Literacy and multiple-subject and have numerous resources for those as well (just take a peak at my classroom website http://protopage.com/yokomi.scitech) Remember, all these resources are FREE!

I have probably used this site more than other. I find it very versatile for both instruction and practice. Since I have a Smartboard it works great for putting problems up on the board and working through them together or having students come to the board. It has math practice problems from basic math all the way to calculus and you can change the level of difficulty to suit all age groups from primary on up. Even better, you can set up a FREE account and enroll your class and create tests for them to take online. You can see how to set up a That Quiz account and create classroom tests in a presentation I gave at the spring  2009 CV-CUE Conference http://tinyurl.com/yd9fdzy. (Also included in the presentation is how to set up a classroom website using Protopage) That Quiz also offers language, geography, and science resources as well as the ability to create your own tests on any topic. A hidden resource is found by clicking on "Search ThatQuiz" and you can search through thousands of teacher created activities on a wide variety of topics.


Next is a group of websites from Learn Alberta.
Spy Guys - MG-6
Math 5 Live
Jr. High Math Interactives
If you like BrainPop, but don't have a subscription, these work great. I have BrainPop and I still use these. My hands down favorite is Spy Guys. Just try it out and you will be hooked. When you \go to a lesson, be sure to click on the "Activity" button on the bottom for printable worksheets. Check them all out (make sure your speakers are on).


Math Snacks
This is a very recent discovery and has a limited number of animated videos and activities so far, but they are great. Looking forward to more from them. Also available on the iPhone and iPod Touch.


Quia
Quia is a subscription resource, but the shared resources (and there are thousands of them) are FREE. Use the advanced search feature to find resources for your topic. The activities are great warm-ups and practice. They come in many forms like Jeopardy, Who Wants to be a Millionaire, Fascination, etc.


NLVM - National Library of Virtual Manipulatives
NLVM is another resource for instruction and practice. It is searchable by grade level and topic and has online Java versions of Geoboards and Pattern Blocks among many others.


Math Open Reference - Geometry
This was one of my early discoveries and is absolutely phenomenal for demonstrating geometry concepts!


GeoGebra
Geogebra can be used online by clicking on Webstart or downloaded and installed. As is name implies, it covers Geometry and Algebra and is probably one of the most powerful math applications out there - and, unlike Geometer's Sketchpad, its FREE! I had a chance to meet the inventor, Markus Hohenwarter, recently and was very impressed how helpful he is. He just received the Tech Award 2009 in the Silicon Valley and is slated to receive the National Technology Leadership Award 2010 in Washington DC. There is a huge international community of GeoGebra users and tons of educational resources for Geogebra at http://www.geogebra.org/en/wiki/index.php/Main_Page and workshops held around the world.

Real Math
Markus' friend, Andreas Meier, uses Geogebra to create the interactives on Real Math. These too are great for both instruction and practice. I discovered Andreas' site after meeting Markus and started using them in my classroom. His fraction interactives are some of the best out there. If you are familiar with the TIMSS studies http://nces.ed.gov/timss/ and the current direction that math instruction is heading (or should be IMHO), these go hand-in-glove. If you watch the video of my Channel 30 interview at the bottom of my blog you will see my students using it in the classroom. Andreas was kind enough to email me after seeing the video and solicited input on the site. There are quite a few resources already available and he is in the process for translating them from German to English, so I am expecting it to continue to improve on what is one of the best sites out there.