Graphing software that works on several platforms doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg because KSoft’s Graphmatica does it all on the cheap. In addition to working with iOS, PC and Macs, the program can graph just about any function you can throw at it. Graphmatica can also handle inequalities, polar and parametric equations. It can even solve ordinary differential equations, work with multiple plots at once and turn a slew of data into neat organized graphs. Anything can be printed or exported as an image file for incorporation into a lab report or math homework. Unlike the competition, price is the best part. For students it’s $2.50 a piece for up to 250 licenses, after that, its $2 per user, a price that just about any school can afford. It’s free to try out.
The National Education Association is more than a union and lobby group for teachers. It’s a source of top-level curriculum, like its top 10 STEM resources. With everything from the Exploratorium Museum and Kinetic City to Master Tools (one of my favs) and Engineer for Life, there’s something for every age group and proficiency level. The bonus is that on top of seven classroom sites, there’re four sites dedicated to professional development. Any and all are just plain fun to use and teach with.
Although it was designed to help home-schooled children excel at math, Homeschoolmath is a great resource for remedial and enrichment activities. It’s aimed at K-through-8th grades, has lots of different items and tops out with a pre-calculus curriculum. The best part is the multitude of problems that the site includes for practice or review.
SkyMath is a new iPad platform (sorry, Android schools), that puts the fun into math with a series of interactive educational games aimed at getting kids excited about numbers, math operations and thinking through problems. The service starts with a diagnostic assessment and then the student picks an animal avatar to navigate through SkyMath. Meanwhile, the service picks from among thousands of apps and videos that are available online to curate the best progression for each student. The service is an ad-free zone and students can earn prizes along the way towards mastering their skills.
Learning math can be fun with Sky Math’s new app. It provides an initial diagnostic test and then access to some of the Web’s best math software and instructional videos, which have been categorized by age and learning level. Many of the apps are free while the others cost between $1 and $4. Based on the test, each child gets a personalized plan and can pick her own avatar that accompanies her along the way. The app keeps score along the way to show her progress.
Push the blackboard aside for describing math and functions because the Imgur Web site has 23 very cool animated .Gifs that each show a different area of math. There are demonstrations the relationship between sine and cosine, tracing a sinusoidal spiral and rotating a trigonometric function. My favorite is a sequence that shows the proof of how the Pythagorean Theorem works.
Nothing 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.
One 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.
The 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.
There’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.