- Why Use Technology in the Classroom?
- General Math Resources
- Math Blogs
- Algebra and Geometry Curricula
Technology, when used appropriately, can help make science classroom a site of active learning and critical thinking, furthering student inquiry and connections with the materials. Teachers can use technology to enable students to explore fundamental curriculum issues and answer core questions. Students can use the Internet, electronic databases, applets and other online sources to gather information. They can use spreadsheets, virtual labs, and other programs to store, organize, and analyze information. Students can also integrate multimedia desktop publishing, web publishing, video and audio editing, as well as graphics programs to create and present information in innovative and engaging ways.
There are scores of educators and researchers deeply concerned with how our schools, largely the product of 19th century industrial society, are going to prepare students for the 21st century. Researchers like Howard Gardner (2006), Tony Wagner (2008), Henry Jenkins (2007), Frank Levy and Richard Murnane (2004), and others have produced a lists of the skills and competencies for our students in the future. While the lists and frameworks are diverse, they all tend to recognize a few major competencies: creativity, critical thinking, cross-cultural communication and collaboration, and digital age literacy. To develop these skills, we need classrooms where students are working in teams and using technology to build creative, meaningful content that reflects their understanding and learning. In these environments, teachers act often as facilitators and mentors rather than always fonts of authoritative knowledge. These classrooms are dramatically different from the ones where our most current teachers grew up, apprenticed, and taught. As a result, helping teachers effectively use new technology to support innovative, student-centered, inquiry-based learning will involve leveraging these emerging technologies.
Mathematics Assessment Resource Service (MARS) Toolkit
Malcolm Swan, part of the MARS team, is one of the premier task-designers in the math education community. His problem sets are as extensive as they are accessible, and provide rich resources for parents, educators, and students alike. Browse through his list of implementation tools, or search through other challenges and strategies. This site also provides a forum to discuss current challenges facing the field of mathematics education today.
Designed by the NCTM specifically as a unified resource for math teachers, Illuminations provides 100+ activities aligning with common core standards, 600+ hands-on lesson plans, a review of standards, and hundreds of online web links and resources to find out more.
Inside mathematics is frequently cited as the best, most thought-provoking task-based website used for algebra classrooms. With its fantastic design, MARS produces tasks containing access points for all learners. Within each lesson provided, there is a task, a rubric, core mathematical ideas and challenges, questions for teacher reflection, student discussion topics, graphing and analysis, and more. Check out new features posted every month on the left-hand side, as well as tools for coaches, principals, and administrators.
New Zealand Maths
New Zealand has traditionally been far advanced in their mathematics education, and this site is a representation of why. Created by the Ministry of Education, NZ Maths provides several resources for every grade level and standard. Check out special sections on the left for professional development, accelerated learning, high achieving students, special education, and much more.
FluidMath is a relatively new software for math teachers that has recently increased in popularity. It is a powerful tool that can help teachers and students make visual connections between different conceptual topics. Although only a free trial is available at this time, log on and watch tutorials on how to integrate this product into the classroom. Teachers have found that exploring graphs and graphing equations on Fluid Math allows students to discover beyond their grade level, and uncover relationships in mathematics far beyond their years.
Jon Star has done some excellent work over the last decade to develop procedural fluency in math classrooms. This website, although limited, shows some samples of Star’s work in developing curriculum. Also, be sure to check out the presentations page for curriculum implementation ideas and lesson planning.
Led by Jo Boaler, the NRICH project aims to enrich the mathematical experiences of students by providing professional development, activities, and lesson planning. Check out the “For Teachers” section on the right-hand side for tasks, games, interactive tools, activity sets, curriculum mapping, and great ideas for group work.
Math Forum, created and maintained by Drexel University, offers an online community for teachers, students, parents, and anyone else who has an interest in math. On the site, students can find extra help through Ask Dr. Math and teachers can access Math tools as well as professional development resources. Be sure to also check out the Math Talk section to connect with other educators.
Real World Math
This site is intended for educators wo are looking to extend the concepts presented in a traditional math curriculum by integrating Google Earth. Currently focused on middle school math or above, this site includes lesson plans, examples, and downloads for mathematics that address standards while encouraging higher order thinking skills and complex problem solving. Their video promotion gives a good overview of the potential for using Google Earth in math instruction.
Although a subscription to full access of Mathalicious is $20, the free lessons and activities alone are worth a look. Mathalicious provides lessons and activities based on real-world contexts, with a sharp and creative presentation.
Dan Meyer is a former math teacher now working towards his doctorate at Stanford. His blog has a wealth of resources, a few of which are listed below:
- (3Acts) 3 Acts of Mathematical Storytelling
This category includes posts that focus on “mathematical storytelling.” Dan has developed a series of classroom tasks that use his three-act framework. The first act consists of presenting a compelling image designed to generate a question. The idea is that students see an image or watch a video and feel compelled to ask a question. The second act is the teacher helping the students to resolve that question through guided discovery and rigorous mathematics. The third act is the resolution- the students “see” the answer as opposed to looking it up in the back of the book.
- What can you do with this?
Started several years ago, Dan designed a series of tasks that are ready to use in the classroom. The comments section of these postings serve as a vetting process; often the insights seen there are strong enough for Dan to make slight revisions to the task.
Chris Harrow has been teaching mathematics at The Westminster Schools in Atlanta, GA since 1990. His professional interests center around expanding student interest in STEM careers and in the appropriate use of technology (especially Computer Algebra Systems, CAS) to enhance student learning. This blog provides CAS, technology, & STEM resources, commentary, and discussion on pre-collegiate STEM topics, as well as other math and education related topics. Make sure to also check out the Resources section for more tools and ideas.
This blog is in support of the text book, Pre-Calculus Transformed which highlights the role of transformations in visualizing, interpreting, and understanding pre-calculus concepts. The goal of the text, is for students to "discover underlying patterns, bring out connections between otherwise seemingly unrelated ideas, and learn to more easily analyze problems that initially appear complicated." This blog presents problems for students as well as discussion of their thinking during the problem-solving process.
Kate Nowak has not only been a high school math teacher for seven years, but is also simultaneously the author of this popular blog. She has shared stories, classroom tasks (some designed with TIInspire or Smartboard), and approaches mathematics with care and passion that is seldom found. Check out her “Best of” section for some of the most popular activities.
Continuous Everywhere but Differentaible Nowhere
Sam Shah is a calculus teacher in lower Manhattan, whose insightful analysis of teaching in this blog is worth a visit. Throughout his blogs, he shares lesson ideas, activities, curriculum management, etc. He also has a comprehensive list of activities for calculus via Scribd, as well as several links to other similar mathematical blogs.
Similar to Geometer’s Sketchpad, GeoGebra offers online tutorials on mathematics software for learning and teaching – all for free. GeoGebra features learning materials for elementary through the university level, including interactice graphics, algebra explanations, and spreadsheet data. Also check out their user forum for extra materials.
Algebra: The Supplement
Dan Meyer of dy/dan has posted weeks of Algebra supplements. Each week includes day-by-day activities that can be downloaded as either Keynote, PowerPoint, or PDF files. They also include student hand outs.
Geometry: The Supplement
This site functions the same as the Algebra site mentioned above. Dan Meyer of dy/dan has posted weeks of Geometry activities. Each week includes day-by-day activities that can be downloaded as either Keynote, PowerPoint, or PDF files. They also include student hand outs.
Kill Math is an unusual and provocative take on math education with several accompanying technological activities. Kill Math uses concrete examples and intuition-guided exploration to solving meaningful problems of quantity. Check out the “scrubbed” calculator for guess and check activities.