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A Few Math Sites

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Recently I've been digging around online to find some good math websites that we can include in our curriculum frameworks.  I've come across a few that I really like!

First of all, if you're looking for a math website, one place you can turn is www.ictmagic.wikispaces.com/maths.  The organizer of this wiki is constantly updating his site with various math games.  They are all organized by category, such as Geometry, Fractions, Number Lines, etc.  His collection is HUGE!!

I've also recently come across Problem Solving Decks.  These are on the Public Schools of North Carolina website and there are some really nice problems in here.  Good word problems are SO hard to find...so much of what is out there is just rote practice without any context.  LOVE that these are available to all of us!

Finally, I've been playing around on www.tutpup.com and www.sumdog.com.  Both of these sites allow children to practice a vareity of math skills while competing against students from around the world.  They are free...you just have to sign up and then register your kids.

What other math websites have you discovered lately???

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Holy moly - it's been a while since I've been on here!  It's been a crazy few months...and it doesn't look like things are going to slow down any time soon...but such is life!

I have had a few minutes lately to catch up on some of my blog reading.  I've just added some of the blogs that I follow on the side bar.  Recently, it seems, I've been adding more health & fitness blogs :) but I'll stick to education here.

So, what have I been finding?

PINTEREST!!  More & more teachers are joining and there are some great boards and pinners to follow.  My favorite is Megan (Luv2teach).  She has close to 40 different boards just about education.  Many of her pins are geared toward the primary grades, but there are plenty that would work in any classroom!

A new blog I've started following...and loving...is www.freetech4teachers.com.  Richard Byrne is the author and posts multiple times a day.  Many of his posts are applicable to the elementary level...some are not.  Today he posted this great video about creativity...and the fact that you have to STRUGGLE before you can be creative.  Of course my brain went straight to the whole issue of problem solving and how kids have to STRUGGLE in order to be better problem solvers...the two go hand in hand.  Anyhow...here's a link to that post!

Finally, through a blog (I don't even know how I got to this one...sorry...I wish I could give credit) I found out about Adora Svitak...she's a child prodigy in the area of writing.  And she's not a bad speaker either.  Anyhow, this blog post is a great one that uses Adora's story as inspiration for ways that we can better teach students to write.  Trust me when I say that you'll enjoy her TED Talk, if nothing else.

Hopefully I'll post more frequently again.  I've found some great math resources lately...about our favorite subject of FRACTIONS!  I'll post them soon!

Kristen

A Brilliant TED Talk!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Karen Justl, one of our district's technology coordinators, sent me a link to this TED talk by Dan Meyer.  Mr. Meyer is a high school math teacher, but what he has to say in this talk applies to math from Kindergarten through 12th grade. It's well worth 11 minutes of your time...trust me!

video

I am a big fan of Love & Logic for discipline.  I was fortunate enough to learn about it way back when I was student teaching.  I used in it my classroom and I use in now as a parent.  One of the central themes of Love & Logic is that we, as adults, need to have a "silent smile" when kids mess up.  As uncomfortable as it is to watch your child make a bad choice...the beauty of that bad choice is that it becomes an opportunity to learn something.  The same could be said of problem solving...we have to give children the opportunity to struggle, make choices, make bad choices, and learn from those mistakes.  It is in those mistakes that learning...real learning...can occur.

There's another tenet of Love & Logic where I see a huge connection to problem solving...it has to be real. With Love & Logic, kids have opportunities to make decisions in the real world & then they have to live with the natural consequences (good or bad) of their decisions.  I love the examples that Mr. Meyer gave about how to take a textbook problem & make it real.  That's what math is about - real life!!  When you're trying to figure out something mathematically there's nothing there to break the problem down into steps for you...there isn't a "math expert" standing right beside you to help you solve the problem (usually!).  Regardless of the grade we teach, we could all take a word problem from the textbook and tweak it just a bit so that is becomes real...meaningful...to the students.

Ask fewer & shorter questions...and be less helpful. It's the most helpful thing you can do!

A Little Better

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The latest version of the proposed Mathematics TEKS can be found by clicking HERE.

Check them out...they are slightly more reasonable than the last version...and a little easier to read and understand!

What the State Board of Education decides to do with these is anyone's guess...they met yesterday to discuss this latest version.  I got to watch part of their discussion via a live webcast.  It was quite interesting...they were very concerned about making sure that there was alignment between Math & Science and some board members felt like it would be wise to slow this process down a bit & give the educator committee time to reconvene and make any final changes they felt were necessary.  I am not quite sure what the final outcome of that discussion will be...I guess we will have to wait and see!  And rest assured...in the mean time we have more than enough to worry about with STAAR.

:)

Word Dynamo

Today I discovered a cool new tool thanks to a blog post over at iLearn Technology!  It's called Word Dynamo & it's a part of Dictionary.com.

With Word Dynamo you can do several different things:

  • Take a 10 word "quiz" & get an estimate of how many words you know.  You choose the level to use (elementary, middle school, etc.).  Once you're done, you can do a variety of activities designed to increase your vocabulary.  Totally random words...but I bet kids would enjoy seeing their estimated vocabulary increase!
  • As a teacher you can create a word list for students to use...they can take quizzes, type the word given the definition, etc.  You can select a definition from their list (not kid-friendly) or write your own definition.
  • Search for lists already created by others & use those.
There are MANY ways this could be used in any subject...have FUN!

Kristen

A Fun Math Website

Monday, October 31, 2011

Looking for a new way to have your students practice some mathematical thinking?

Check out Hooda Math!

I found this website today while surfing around on Edmodo in the Math community.  What a great find for elementary age students - lots of great games!  I especially liked some of the logic games...could have played Factory Balls 4 forever!  This will be one you definitely want to add to you list of websites for centers!

A New Favorite App!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

If you are a fourth or fifth grade teacher you have GOT to check out Factor Samurai!  Oh.My.Goodness!!!  It is loads of fun.  Many of your students will be familiar with Fruit Ninja...this is similar but with a twist of math, of course.  I found it to be super addicting!!!
iPhone Screenshot 5
To play, you have to swipe the composite numbers...and that includes factors that are composite.  For example, if 24 floats across the screen, you would swipe it.  But then you also have to swipe the 4 & 6 that appear because they, too, are composite.  And kudos to the developers of this app...you lose points for incorrect swipes...which means that students will be less likely to just start swiping whatever is on their screen (a.k.a. guessing).

At the moment, this app is FREE and it's available for both the iTouch and the iPad.  Go...quickly...and grab it!