I’ve been in the process of gathering recommended tools and strategies for distance learning, and bookmarked a spreadsheet started by Fawn Nguyen (@FawnPNguyen) where she is collecting “Distance Learning Best Practices for Maths.” One of the resources entered on the sheet is Graspable Math. Intrigued by the title, I decided to check out the website.
Graspable Math is a free website that allows students and teacher to manipulate the terms in algebraic equations easily online. You can see how it works by going directly to the canvas, and typing in your own unsolved equation. (Go to Insert – Math Expression.) Then, just click and drag to indicate each step you would go through as you attempt to solve it. A neat feature of Graspable Math is that only the results of your most recent step will show on the canvas. However, at any time you can click the handle on the right side and drag it down to show any or all of the previous steps as well.
Here is the short video that was included on Nguyen’s spreadsheet that summarizes Graspable Math:
Once you are ready to create assignments (there are specific lessons on the site you can use if you need help getting started), head over to this page for a quick tutorial on how to design lessons for your classes.
For those of you who are elementary teachers with students who may be ready to move on to algebraic thinking, Graspable Math also has a projects page that includes interactive games that scaffold the topic. One of the games is specifically appropriate for elementary students.
Whether using an interactive whiteboard at school or teaching remotely, educators will find that Graspable Math is a nice way for students to demonstrate their understanding of algebra.