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Practice Makes Perfect

Splash mathNothing works in early math classrooms more than lots of practice for the basic operations and SplashMath can make repetition anything but boring. That’s because the program individualizes the problems it serves up so that they’re always what the student needs and none are repeated. It’s aimed at K-through-5th grade classrooms, can work on iPads, Androids, Chromebooks and any computer. SplashMath is a free service, but the premium version includes state standards alignment.


Freebee Friday: Count on Games

MatificOne of the best ways to teach math that sticks is to trick kids into playing games that stress counting, adding, and other arithmetic skills. Matific is a new site that starts with numbers and works up to more difficult skills and concepts. The site has thousands of activities so that teachers can concentrate on actual teaching first through sixth graders. There’s a nice dashboard for showing student progress, teachers can try it out for 30-days for free and between now and September 30th, the company is giving away everything from Chromebooks to gift cards to get school supplies.

Freebee Friday: Math on the Cheap

5The CK-12 Foundation has provided excellent curriculum items, but none can compare to its K-through-5th grade math practice app.  Because it’s delivered online through a browser window, it will work on just about any connected computer – old or new. It delivers a multitude of math problems and is organized by grade and subject matter as well as being Common-Core aligned. It has practice on everything from basic operations to telling time, geometric figures and measurement. It starts with an instructional video, followed by practice problems to warm up the students’ minds, and then a comprehensive quiz.



Freebee Friday: Making Sense of Common Core Math

Tabtor math ebookThere’s probably little said at math faculty meetings that doesn’t in one way or another relate to the Common Core standards and how they’re going to be met. Tabtor can help with “A Guide to Surviving Middle School Math: Grade 7 Math and Practice Worksheet.” The free 27-page ebook includes teaching tips, confidence-building ideas, real world problems as well as five worksheets that can help kids master the complex concepts needed for advanced math. 



Count by Legos

45210_350x350_1_xx-xxIf your school’s early educational math manipulative items are worn out or starting to look dated, Lego has a tactile way to teach basic math. The MoreToMath 1-2 Curriculum pack is aimed at first and second graders and includes 521 Lego bricks that kids play with while larning their numbers and basic skills. The set comes with software, a book of 48 activities with images, assembly instructions and a sample Q&A section for interacting with students. There are interactive-whiteboard based lessons and a nice checklist for the teacher to record student progress.

45210_350x350_3_xx-xxThe set’s activities typically take between 30 and 45 minutes and involve creating scenes of baking, counting flowers and shopping that make the abstract concepts of counting, basic math operations and problem solving come alive. None, however, bring in calculators. While its early learner focus is commendable, there should be a version for the increasing Kindergarten and pre-K classes that schools are offering, maybe using the larger Duplo pieces. The $830 Lego set includes enough pieces for twelve groups of two. It can be pre-ordered for delivery in early 2015.

Math For the Real World

WINlogo2Forget about the intricacies of advanced algebra and calculus because WIN Learning’s WIN Math concentrates on the math a student will need in life and the workplace. Aimed at 5th through 8th graders who are a year behind on math, WIN Math has interactive tools, problems and connections to real-world jobs that use math. It’s divided up into 36 units that cover 16 career-based topics.

By the Numbers

MAP_v2.0KnowRe’s math curriculum starts with an assessment of the student’s base knowledge and skills and uses that information to create a personalized learning program. With education disguised as games, interactive elements and graphics, KnowRe tests as it teaches by continually assessing student progress. The whole program is cloud-based, can run on just about any recent computer and teachers and administrators can look in on how individual students or an entire class is doing with a detailed dashboard screen.



Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in Tech Tools are strictly those of the author and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Scholastic, Inc.