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Math Destinations: Kindle the Fire

"A mind is a fire to be kindled, not a vessel to be filled." -- Plutarch

Mathematics is the study of the measurement, properties, and relationships of quantities and sets, using numbers and symbols. It is also dazzling, magical, perplexing, challenging, cool, awesome, and fun. When teaching the more abstract concepts, research has shown that these become more concrete when they are modeled onscreen and guided by teachers.

Many of the sites below feature interactive problem-solving lessons and activities. Find a lesson that fits into your math curriculum, encourage students to think and ask questions while solving the problem. Then, watch the fire ignite!

AAA Math

The site deals with K-8 math and contains over 200 pages of lessons. Each lesson features interactive practice, challenge games and an explanation of the topic.

Aunty Math

Math challenges for kids. This site is sponsored by the DuPage Children's museum and geared to children K-5.

BINGO Card Generator

A slick tool for creating BINGO games. Select from either 3x3 or 5x5 cards, insert words or math problems, and click on a button. The cards are ready for printing. You can also shuffle the items.

Center for Technology and Teacher Education: Mathematics

Teaching students how to think mathematically through hands-on technology is one of the goals at the Center for Technology and Teacher Education. The focus for this project was developing lessons around graphing calculators, Geometer's Sketchpad, Microsoft Excel, the ExploreMath.com website, Global Positioning Systems, and MicroWorlds logo. Activities range from Collecting and Numerically Analyzing M&M Data to Exploring Geometric Constructions of Parabolas. Files for completing the activities can be downloaded into your software programs.

Coolmath4kids

Elementary students will love the Lemonade Stand. It is great way to introduce variables and business economics. The Tower of Hanoi is a game of skill and logic where rings must be moved from one pole to another in the proper order by size. Dozens of other thinking games will keep students occupied for hours.

Count On

Count On is an awesome site that features games, puzzles, mysteries, and competitions for all ages. In the game, Dino Dig, students learn how to plot the x and y axis while looking for dinosaur bones. In Math Mysteries, students can help Dottie Double, fix the computer and tally votes at the Pop Awards. For teachers, there is a database of problems to search and use in the classroom.

Figure This

Does it make a difference where you shop? How could I send the check and not pay the bill? Involve families in learning math by sending students home with challenging problems. In these two examples students interpret graphs, compare prices, and examine probability. Students can move on to more difficult problems, which help them to think about other possibilities. There are more than 75 challenges available that are indexed by the title of the challenge and math category. Figure This is a joint project of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering, and Widmeyer Communications, with support from the National Science Foundation, and the U.S. Department of Education.

Fun Math Lessons by Cynthia Lanius

Loads of lessons can be explored at this super site. Lanius has designed practical, fun ways to teach math in the classroom. For instance, the unit on fractals begins with why study fractals? Then, continues with making fractals and culminates with answering a series of questions based on the experience. The Jurassic Park fractal is really cool to make. Some of the other lessons are Stressed Out: Slope as Rate of Change, Mathematics of Cartography, Rectangle Pattern Challenge, and Million Dollar Mission.

FunBrain

Fun Brain is one of the most popular sites for elementary teachers and students. There are games, quizzes, and standard guides. Some of the games include Change Maker, Fresh Baked Fractions, and Guess the Number.

GoENC

To save you time, ENC offers math and science educators access to information about more than 27,000 print and multi-media curriculum resources and professional development materials. Web-based resources are only available to paid subscribers.

Illuminations (National Council of Teachers of Mathematics)

Illuminations promotes engaged learning and problem solving with hundreds of lessons and activities for teaching the math standards. It is organized by grade level and content area. Not to be missed are the iMath investigations built around interactive math applets and video clips. Some examples include Creating, Describing, and Analyzing Patterns to Recognize Relationships and Make Predictions (Grades Pre-K-2); Representing, and Interpreting Data Using Spreadsheets and Graphing Software (Grades 3-5); Simulating Probability Situations Using Box Models (Grades 6-8); and Understanding Ratios of Areas of Inscribed Figures Using Interactive Diagrams (Grades 9-12). In addition, this site can serve as a model for creating effective standards-based math lessons.

Interactive Mathematics Miscellany and Puzzles

Stretch student minds with a variety of math puzzlers. Using Java applets, Interactive Mathematics Miscellany and Puzzles puts theory into practice. All sorts of mathematical questions are explored beginning with a hypothesis or premise followed by an actual problem or model to solve. Readers are invited to email alternate solutions and join in the CTK Exchange where answers may be posted and questions raised. Use this site as a resource for the problem of the day or challenge of the week. Choose from a multitude of stimulating activities. Impress your friends with math magic and do not forget to check the eye opener series. This site encourages problem solving of unusual and interesting problems.

Math Forum

Browse or search this gold mine of math Web page links maintained by Drexel University. Click on Math Resources by Subject for a variety of curriculum treasures. Ask Dr. Math for help with sticky problems via e-mail or scan the FAQ section for answers to common questions. The Math Forum is home to projects that encourage students to use math problems, including the Math Problems of the Week (subscription based). Solution activities may include guess and check, make a list, draw a picture, make a table, or act it out. Volunteer math mentors follow up student submissions with personal correspondence.

Math Patterns in Children's Literature

An annotated list of picture books to use with teaching patterns in grades Pre-K-2.

A Maths Dictionary for Kids by Jenny Eather

Jenny Eather, an Australian primary teacher, needed a reference resource for her students. In her quest to meet that need she learned Flash and created a dictionary that is animated, interactive, and allows students to practice. Click on billion and discover that you have 10 billion brain cells working for you right now. Roll your mouse over the world time zone chart and you instantly know the time for that part of the world. Over 500 terms are explained in simple language. Every math teacher should bookmark this Website.

Mrs. Glosser's Math Goodies

Math Goodies is a free math help site featuring interactive lessons, homework help, worksheets and forums! They have over 400 pages of activities for students, teachers and parents.

Multiplication.com

This site contains the techniques, tips, and secrets used by master teachers to teach multiplication facts. Worksheets, quizzes, and games compliment the instruction.

National Library of Virtual Manipulatives

Program a ladybug to move through a maze, use base ten blocks to model grouping in addition, illustrate a fraction by dividing a shape and highlighting the appropriate parts, or investigate probabilities of sticking with a decision, or switching. These are only a few of the many computer- based manipulatives that have been created to help students visualize mathematical relationships and applications. Number and operations, Algebra, Geometry, Measurement, Data Analysis, and Probability are the topics covered. This site was funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation.Only IE and Safari are able to use the java programs.

Pattern Blocks

This program is designed to familiarize students with different shapes, their relations, and their properties. The program can also be used as a tool to learn and practice fractions.

Project Interactive

Sort colored shapes into a Venn Diagram. Practice estimation skills by determining the number of objects, length, or area. Encode and decode messages. Work with spinners, graphs, and all sorts of interactive gadgets while learning math concepts. Teachers will appreciate the scripted lessons to follow when using the activities and discussions. Each lesson gives prerequisites, preparation instructions, a suggested outline, and alternate outlines.

ticalc.org

A page devoted to programs for Texas Instruments calculators is ticalc.org. News and frequently asked questions are a few of the many items available.

Book Publishers with Interactive Tools

Harcourt E-Lab

Pearson

Originally Published Jan/Feb 2004

Updated March 14, 2015
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