We had a numeracy curriculum day at my school today and I was asked to present a workshop on online maths sites. The audience was diverse with teachers from all grade levels as well as CRTs (casual replacement teachers) and student teachers.
I began by giving a few tips for using online maths sites.
1. Think of the learning intention first. When you find a good online activity, it can be tempting to want to just use it in your classroom. It’s important to think of the learning intention and then the resources, not the other way round.
2. Be organised. Have a play around with the site before your lesson (you don’t need to know everything about it). Get your tabs up on the interactive whiteboard or student links ready ahead of time. Have a system to archive your online resources. I would be lost without my Diigo social bookmarking account.
3. Learn with your students. You certainly don’t need to be the expert when using online resources.
4. Think out loud. For example, when you come across a website you could say, “I don’t know how to play this game so I’m going to click on help and read the instructions first”. I have found thinking out loud to be an excellent way to teach incidental ICT skills and troubleshooting.
5. Mix up the way you use online resources. Online maths activities can be used for whole class activities, small group work (don’t underestimate the power of collaboration), and individual work (through a rotation if you don’t have the resources for 1:1). Sometimes online activities are more teacher led, such as when you’re teaching a new concept, however, it’s always a good idea to have the students as actively engaged in their learning as possible.
I shared one or two examples of maths resources that could be used for all four areas of our maths lesson structure.
1. Warm up. This is a quick activity to get the students ready for learning.
- A + Click: This site has quick activities for all age groups to develop logical reasoning and creative thinking. No sign in required.
- Oswego: Students love playing these games on the IWB. There are games for all areas of the maths curriculum and many are timed which allows for some friendly competition. No sign in required.
2. Introduction. This is the teaching part of the maths lesson.
- Virtual Manipulatives: A simple alternative to using the maths tools on the IWB software which I know many teachers find frustrating. No sign in required.
- Studyladder: I like using the IWB resources and explanation videos as another way to teach a concept. Studyladder also has many other resources for all areas of the curriculum. Free sign up required.
- Sqworl: A great visual way to put together a collection of maths activities for students to use on their computers. Free sign up required.
- Woodlands: There are many sites that compile links to online activities into subjects. Woodlands is one my students really enjoy with links to many activities to practise maths skills. No sign in required.
4. Reflection. This is the time for sharing strategies and summarising what was learnt.
- Jenny Eather’s Maths Dictionary: This site has kid-friendly and visual definitions for maths vocabularly. There are also excellent printable charts to use around your classroom on the site. No sign in required.
I compiled all of the links to the examples I gave and many more on a Sqworl http://sqworl.com/vec8xd
Participants were given time to play and find resources that would be useful in their classroom.
16 Replies to “Online Maths Activities”
I agree with you re Jenny Eather’s dictionary – I put it on my blog for students – the Mathisfun! dictionary is good too. http://mathematicsforstudents.wordpress.com/reference/
For games nrich is an excellent site – lots of favourites here:
That’s a coincidence as I actually went to a workshop that someone else ran on the day about Nrich. Definitely looks like something I could use! Good point about the Maths Is Fun dictionary.
Thanks for the blog link too. It has some good ideas but looks like it’s not updated much? That’s a shame.
What a great collection of resources! I’m going to share this post in an upcoming Maths PLT before the end of this term. Just what we need right now I think.
I have a brand new one that is currently in beta that (I have to admit my bias) my husband and I developed. It’s called EduRoo (www.eduroo.com.au) and was only launched late last term.
The game I want to share here is Rocket Maths. It’s a mental maths based game where students have a minute to answer randomly generated Maths questions to help the spaceship take off. Where ours is different to others however is that the teacher can pick pretty much exactly what sorts of questions they want their students to answer. I’m teaching Prep this year and I created a version that my kids are totally addicted to where they only have to add a number between 1 and 5 to another number between 1 and 5. A couple of my students also have the next one up (adding numbers between 1 and 10) because they are ready for that. It also supports the other three processes and you can have multiple combinations of these which is great for the upper years. Find more info on the game here: http://eduroo.com.au/games/overview/1/rocket-maths
To use the game you do need to join however you can use these games and teaching tools on your IWB, on classroom desktops/laptops, tablets and if you assign the games to the atudents themselves they can play them at home with you and their parents receving the results. I currently have over 200 results logged for this game – most done at home!
Good on you and your hubby for making this resource. It looks great! I will save it to my Diigo now and sign up/play around when I have more time.
Thanks for sharing,
Thanks for your feedback Kathleen! Any other suggestions once you have had a play are most welcome. We just want to make something useful for teachers and students.
Thank you for sharing all these resources Kathleen. There are some here that I wasn’t familiar with and will definitely use with my class. I love Starter of the Day http://www.transum.org/software/sw/starter_of_the_day/index.htm
Most of the tasks are quite challenging and most suitable for upper primary. You can also choose tasks by topic. I use them as whole class warm ups, groups activities on the IWB and extension tasks.
Thanks for sharing that site. It looks great and I have saved it to my Diigo. Hopefully they expand on this terrific resource at some stage to cater for younger students. That said, I think some activities will be great for extension for my grade fours and I’ll definitely share it with the upper school too.
This post in itself is a great resource because of its practical tips as well as suggested online resources. It as been a long time since I was last in front of my own class but I will try to pass this page on to others.
Thanks for the comment and tweet, Ross. I appreciate your support!
My name is Dana I am a computer coordinator and teacher. My principal has asked me to integrate technology into the classroom and I am trying to search for ideas that can help me do that. I really liked your post about online Math activities. I will benefit from the links you added. I subscribed to this blog because I had the feeling that I am going to learn a lot from your posts. Thanks for sharing all that information with us.
Thank you so much for your kind words! I’m so glad you found the post useful.
Good luck with your tech integration.
nice blog thanks
[…] http://primarytech.global2.vic.edu.au/2012/08/31/online-maths-activities/ […]
I love the online dictionary of math terms. Thanks for challenging me to think about using computers in study groups or teams. I’ve rarely done this and will have to get creative to start trying that, but have a feeling there could be many ways I have not thought of. I wonder if you have heard of the site internet4classrooms which has many links to math games, as well as language arts and other subject area review sites and games.
Thanks for commenting. I use the online dictionary all the time so I hope you enjoy it too. I hadn’t heard of internet4classrooms but I checked it out. I have to say I don’t like the layout/navigation at all, however, I did manage to find some good links. So thanks!
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