Category Archives: Math

You Can Do the Rubik’s Cube

You Can Do the Rubik’s Cube has a surprising number of resources for using this “toy” for learning. Frustrated by this endless cube of fun?  There are downloadable teacher resources that integrate math, as well as solution manuals. There are activities for all ages, including The Candy Game for ages 7-17.  In addition to the free materials, there is an education kit available, a t-shirt, and links to competitions for schools and youth groups.

Fibonacci

The mysterious Fibonacci pattern can be a great way to hook students into both math and science. Here is a fun video from YouTube that shows the connection, and a link to some Fibonacci lesson plans integrating music.

Direct YouTube Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ahXIMUkSXX0

Tribbs Lite

I saw Tribbs Lite reviewed on the Appitic site under Multiple Intelligences, and decided to give it a try. For students who love math, this free app for the iPad is a great brain exercise.  I am putting it in the Grades 3-12 category because, as an adult, even I found it addictive. My third graders tested it out today, and enjoyed the challenge.  Basically, you are given a target number, and have to find three numbers that will make that target number by using any of the operations.  The number choices are in a grid, and you have to choose numbers that are neighbors.  You get more points the faster and more accurately you solve the puzzle.

My Favorite Online Math Sites

Many schools are out for the next two weeks, which gives teachers the opportunity to catch up on their personal lives.  Sometimes, though, teachers like to use this time for planning.  As the number of subscribers to this blog climbs, I am aware that many of you may not have had time to read all of the posts, or might have missed some of the earlier suggestions.  So, I thought this might be a good time of year to summarize and emphasize some of the most valuable resources I have reviewed so far.  Today, I would like to offer my Favorite Online Math Sites:

#3 – Math Pickle – This site has great higher order thinking activities for different grade levels.  Videos and printables are provided.

#2 – Thinking Blocks – I really like how the students can use online manipulatives in order to visualize these math problems.  The only disadvantage of this site is the inability to track the progress of students in your class.

#1 – Manga High– I have been phasing this program in with my gifted students in grades 3-5, and they are really excited about it.  This is a relatively new site, which means that there are features being added on a regular basis.  However, it already has the options for assigning lessons to your students and tracking them.  You can view their progress individually or as a class.  You can even print out progress reports for them.  This is all for free, and allows you to offer some differentiation to your students for the times when you cannot work with them individually.

If you are interested in reading my original posts on each of these resources, please click on the following:  Math Pickle, Thinking Blocks, and Manga High.

Talking Tom and Ben News for iPad

You are probably familiar with the “Talking” apps.  There are a variety that are available for free, and work on iPhone, iTouch, and iPad.  This particular one is only compatible with the iPad at the moment, and is free (though there is an offer for an in-app purchase).  My Multimedia club students had fun playing around with the app to deliver some Thanksgiving Jokes on our school news, which is a video broadcast.  They recorded the jokes, then sent them to the computer, where, once the MOV file was converted to WMV (with a little help from Zamzar), we were able to add music and subtitles.  If you are not crazy about all of those complicated steps, don’t worry.  You can just record and e-mail it.  We have not had a chance to use one of the coolest features of this app, which allows you to insert a video from your iPad on which Tom and Ben can comment.  This offers a lot of learning opportunities in which students can explain some of their own homemade videos.  (Example:  Imagine, “This just in – Allison figured out how to solve 13 times 14!”)

Here is a sample of our jokes from our video club:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Reteach and Enrich

This video, hosted by Edutopia, offers an interesting model for differentiating for students in mathematics – giving the ones who need extra help the opportunity for more time to learn while the students who have mastered a concept can go deeper.  This is a fascinating alternative to the “Intervention Time” that many schools have been implementing.  With this method, all students have their needs addressed, instead of just the ones who need additional practice.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Manga High

I learned about Manga High a few weeks ago, but wanted to explore it more before sharing it.  Now that I’ve had a chance to delve into it a little, I can’t wait for everyone else to try it!
Manga High is a free math resource for K-12.  Teachers can register entire classes, and no student e-mails are necessary to create their accounts.  Once the teacher manually adds each student, or uploads the class using a spreadsheet, the teacher can then select levels for each student to “play”.  Students can earn achievements by playing the math games.  The teacher has access to class reports, and individualized ones that would be useful for conferencing.
I’m going to start giving my gifted students in 5th grade access to it next week to pilot it.  Please let me know if you use it, and what your own feelings are about this seemingly indispensable tool!