# Category: Math

## 5 Tech Tools for Your Math Class

Math teachers: Here are great suggestions from efriend and math afficionado, Matt Kim:

Before I was ever a high school math teacher, I was always a hardcore technophile. As long as I can remember, technology has been one of those things that have caught my interest no matter what my current job title was at that time. It makes sense that when Jacqui and I were talking about popular tech tools and ways to bring tech into the k-12 math class, I had a lot to share and get excited about and jumped at the opportunity to write this post. It really is an exciting time for technology in education and the tools available to us to use today in our math classes is no exception. Just a disclaimer though, I am a high school math teacher, so a few of the tech-tools I reference in this post belong mostly in a secondary math classroom, but with a little elbow grease and ingenuity, there are ways to fit them into any K-12 math curriculum as well. For the most part, these are just great ways to incorporate tech in your math classroom so feel free to give them a try!

## Zap Zap Math–Clever, Robust Math App for K-6

Many of you are familiar with the award-winning free app called Zapzapmath. I first learned about it through an email about their newly updated platform–

kids fall in love with math..

free, higher order thinking games…

I have to admit, I was intrigued. Not a lot of math apps can fulfill these claims. Could Zapzapmath, with that zippy name, beautiful visual graphics, lively music, and the space theme, come through? I downloaded it and took it for a test drive. Here’s what I found: Fifty (at the date of this publication) free fast-paced K-6 interactive math games that are Common Core-aligned and suited for varied student learning styles, with activities that advance with student skills, and no internet connection required (though WiFi is required). Student activity is recorded to the teacher (or parent) dashboard, making it easy to focus on areas of difficulty. And parents are partners, having access to their child’s progress, right down to the minutiae of the skills they learned, like “knows the meaning of equal sign”.

Game categories include:

## Celebrate Pi With Your Students

Pi Day is an annual celebration commemorating the mathematical constant π (pi). Pi Day is observed on March 14 since 3, 1, and 4 are the three most significant digits of π in the decimal form. Daniel Tammet, a high-functioning autistic savant, holds the European record for reciting pi from memory to 22,514 digits in five hours and nine minutes.

## How to Interest the Next Generation of Great Minds to Work in STEM Fields

I’ve had a lot of questions in the last few months about STEM (Science-Technology-Engineering-Math) in the classroom. Ask a Tech Teacher contributor, Sara Stringer, has a great article that will help demystify this topic:

STEM is the acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, and covers an immense range of subject areas. Across the nation, STEM is of the greatest significance due to the function these particular topic areas perform along with the extraordinary influence they possess at many levels of society.

Scientific research thrives off the exploration of chemistry and biology, in addition to climatic initiatives such as sustainable and nuclear power. It is hard to come across an area of contemporary society not connected to these themes in some way.

Labs Lost to Educational Rigidity

Businesses such as Pacific BioStorage specialize in providing support to pharmaceutical companies, universities, federal research labs, and hospitals across the nation. The niche has grown in response to the needs of the laboratory industry.

Redefining the lab tasks that high schoolers conduct can be a significantly helpful response to the lack of interest in science in some schools. Revamping lab work can raise the affinity for scientific investigation and learning.

High school lab studies typically concentrate on solely the scientific method. A scientific, logical progression of procedures brings the student to the findings and engages them. Illustrating the complexities and logistics of science and research is a stronger approach to bringing students into the scientific community.

Given that a great many of these STEM business sectors link themselves to our federal and state governments to some degree, it is safe to assert that our country depends on them to keep running.  Schools across the nation are making an effort to develop a more robust curriculum based in these subject areas.

## 32 Websites to Support Math Automaticity in K-5

Here’s along list of websites that focus on math automaticity for the K-5 classroom. I’ve broken it down by grade level, but you can decide if your second graders are precocious enough to try the websites for grades 3-5:

K

1st

2nd

## 3 Websites to Gamify Your Math Class

Most elementary age kids I know love math, but that changes when they matriculate to middle school. If you ask seventh and eighth graders what their hardest subject is, they’ll hands down tell you it’s math. And that opinion doesn’t improve in high school. In fact, Forbes reported that 82% of public high schoolers in the well-to-do Montgomery County Maryland failed Algebra. US News blamed math knowledge for a 33% failure rate by Oklahoma high school seniors on their exit exams.

To turn those numbers around, parents and teachers alike are looking to technology. This goes well beyond Khan Academy’s online video training,  into fantasy worlds of trolls and wizards, the type of activities most parents have tried to keep their kids away from. Now,  they want to use their kids’ native interest in online gaming to scaffold math knowledge. Here are three wildly-popular choices that have made kids choose math practice for their free time:

## #79: Excel Turns Data Into Information

Sometimes, it takes a picture to really show what you’re trying to say. It doesn’t have to be drawn with pencils or paint brushes. Sometimes, it’s a graph or a chart, formatted to clarify important points.

That’s called Excel. Words and numbers are always black and white and the same size. Excel never is. There are twenty-two Excel skills I teach grades 3-5 that turn Excel into a useful tool in their classroom. This covers the first fourteen.

If the lesson plans are blurry, click on them for a full size alternative.

## #73: How to Graph in Excel

Excel graphs are easy enough for third graders. So try it. Collect your data, enter it into an excel worksheet and push F11. If you have more time, show students how to format the graph. This is a favorite with my third graders.

If the lesson plans are blurry, click on them for a full size alternative.

## Celebrate Pi Day

Pi Day is an annual celebration commemorating the mathematical constant π (pi). Pi Day is observed on March 14 since 3, 1, and 4 are the three most significant digits of π in the decimal form. Daniel Tammet, a high-functioning autistic savant, holds the European record for reciting pi from memory to 22,514 digits in five hours and nine minutes.

## 32 Math Apps for a Rigor-infused Classroom

Here are some great math apps for iPads and smartphones that add rigor and automaticity to your classroom:

1. AIRR Math–student centered math activities in AIRR Math promote a strong, solid foundation for students’ success throughout their educational experiences.
2. Babakus–combines an abacus and calculator to provide math-challenged students with an excellent option for learning math
3. CalcMadeEasy–Free–One of the Best Calculators for iOS devices. CalcMadeEasy FREE version comes with fully functional Scientific Calculator and Notepad with automatic note taking capability.
4. Elevated Math–Elevated Math provides initial instruction or intervention on math topics that cover place value, estimation, large digit addition all the way through Algebra I (two years of math instruction!)
5. Egberta’s Equations–Egberta the macaw has a nest full of tasty eggs that Cliff the climber wants to eat. Unfortunately, the eggs are on top of a tall cliff. Help Cliff reach the top and get the eggs by completing equations.
6. Flash to Pass–easy-to-use, elegant program designed to facilitate mastering the basic math facts learned in Elementary School.
7. Fraction Basic–free video app provides a quick and simple way for you to learn and understand the basics behind fractions.
8. Free GraCalc–A powerful, flexible graphing calculator . . . and it’s free!
12. Hungry Fish–Practice mental addition and subtraction with Motion Math
13. iFormulae–simple library consisting of various formulae, equations with their example.
14. Math Bingo– If you need a way to break the tedium of repetitious math fact practice, get your students and iPad and let them have at Math Bingo
16. Math Drills Lite–Graphically rich and fun environment allows a single student to learn basic math skills in addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.
17. Math Game–sharpen math skills
18. Math Puppy–Bingo Challenge Educational Game
19. Math Ref – Free
20. Math Zoom–An animal adventure through the world of numbers!
21. Mental Math–Amaze and delight others as you multiply, divide, and square at lightning fast speed.
22. Motion Math–practice real-life scenarios using math
23. Murky Math–Grade 1—focused on basic Math skills for Grade 1. Content is aligned with Common Core Standards