Showing posts with label math. Show all posts
Showing posts with label math. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Prodigy Math Game: Game-Based Learning for the Common Core

- click here to check it out - 
Game-based learning is a topic we have revisited numerous times on this blog. The implications it has on student engagement and learning cannot be overstated. If you have not already experimented with game-based learning with your class, make 2015 the year you do!
One program that is doing an unbelievable job of gamifying math is Prodigy Math Game. Prodigy is a free, adaptive math game that integrates 1st to 7th grade math into a fantasy style game that students absolutely love playing. Prodigy’s math content is completely curriculum-aligned and covers standards from the Common Core, MAFs, and TEKS curricula depending on your location.  Prodigy takes game-based learning a step further and provides teachers with a powerful set of reporting and assessment tools that allow them to easily identify trouble spots, differentiate instruction, and better manage classroom time.

Over 1,500,000 students and 50,000 teachers use Prodigy for free math practice and it’s easy to see why. Here’s what teachers we spoke to had to say about the program:
The Prodigy program has been an invaluable tool to my students and me. My students are motivated to practice their math skills in a fun and interactive way both at school and at home. The greatest benefit for my students is that they are able to work on skills currently being taught in class and Prodigy automatically adapts based on their performance. The progress reports highlight individual strengths and needs. This helps with my planning and differentiation for my students.  Ivan Dublin, SERT Brimwood Blvd. Jr. P.S.
“What I really love about the Prodigy program is the feedback that I get in terms 
of what the students know and where they need to improve. I also love the fact that I can see what questions were difficult and how the students answered them. I believe that students have improved their confidence in all areas of the math program. They are so excited to play and learn!Sue McCulloch, Grade 3/4 Northport Elementary School

Prodigy is extremely effective at engaging students using an adaptive technology to cater to each individual. Prodigy’s personalized approach quickly identifies gaps in students’ understanding and works with them by pulling them back to prerequisite skills and then scaffolding them forward through more difficult concepts. Prodigy has also built out tools like virtual manipulatives, which teachers can use to walk students through solving certain problems.  Prodigy also has a fantastic assessment feature, which allows teachers to customize content and align the game with what they are teaching in class. Assignment questions are integrated right into the game so students have no idea they are working on an “assignment”!  The program is very user friendly and makes teaching math easier and more enjoyable.
You can Sign-up your class for free in less than 2 minutes, and see why teaching math will never be the same!  

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Thursday, January 2, 2014

5 Great Math Resources for the New Year!

I recently came across a great math resource online that reminded me of how much fun experimenting with new ways to do math can be.  With many different types of learners in our classroom, it is so important to differentiate our teaching and the tools that we use in our instruction.  With that in mind, I'd like to share five awesome math resources that you may be interested in checking out for the new year.

I.  Video Resource: Japanese Multiplication

The math video below illustrating a Japanese Multiplication Trick was very eye-opening for me and describes a way to do multiplication that I really hadn't seen in great detail.  The video, uploaded by Tecmath, was very easy to understand and provided a great strategy for multiplying large numbers.

Viewing that video helped me learn a new trick that others have been utilizing for years.  With that in mind, I'd like to share some other resources that are very familiar to me but may be new to others.

II.  Math Practice Resource: IXL Learning

I first began using IXL Learning in 2013 and I love how easy it is to use.  Since it is a K-12 program, I can utilize it both with my own children who are in Kinder and 4th, as well as in my 2nd grade classroom.  The program is extremely well organized and easy to use, breaking content out into skills and standards.

Even Pre-Readers can Practice Independently!

Besides having each skill and standard organized, IXL offers meaningful practice for both of my children.  It is hard to find interactive practice that Jacob, my 4 year old, can use independently.  Though there are a few wonderful apps and websites that he loves to play on, I wanted a site where I could track how long he practiced and what his areas of strength and weakness were.  

My Kids Love to Practice & Earn Virtual Badges

Riley is more interested in tracking her progress, but she does enjoy collecting tokens of pride as she completes her tasks.  Jacob, however, is all about the prizes.  He's driven by advancing levels.  For him, this math practice is more like active game play.  

As my children practice more, they receive more treasures to discover in IXL.  You should see Jacob's face light up when he's earned a new award.  Though I am a firm believer in intrinsic motivation, there is something that my kids enjoy about these virtual awards.  They view them as goodies within their 'game.'  It reminds me of when they go to the Mushroom House on Mario to gain items for their characters.  They go crazy over these little treasures.

To learn more about IXL Learning, please click here
To view my full review on IXL Learning, please click here

III.  Game & App Resource: ABCya Games

ABCya: The Leader in Education Computer Games for Kids!

over 50 games for EACH grade level ~ is My FAVORITE website for elementary learning!  There is not a day that goes by in our classroom where we don't pop on the site for at least five minutes.  The children enjoy the games so much.  

The site is perfect for any elementary grade level.  There is truly so much to offer.  I especially love that the website is free to use and super simple to navigate.

Math Content: has dozens of great games for all subjects in each elementary grade level.  I teach second grade, and there are 31 games categorized for 2nd grade math alone.  One of my favorites is Math Facts Shoot-Out, which you can watch me demo below.

To learn more about ABCya, please click here.

IV.  Game Resource: Educational Insights

A great way to create connections between the learner and the learning is through games.  Games are fun for students, can spark their competitive fires, and help to incorporate other family members into a student's learning.

One of my favorite places to find great educational games for my students and children is Educational Insights.  They have many different games for a variety of subjects, at reasonable prices.  
Recently, I brought home their math game Even Steven's Odd.  Using simple concepts, this game helps children understand sequencing, evens/odds, math facts, and many other concepts, all while playing a really fun and fast-paced math game.  

The concept of this game is easy to understand for children and is quickly taught by those who have played before.  Players compete in a series of math related dice rolling challenges to be the first grab the Steven figure.  The game moves extremely fast, and many children won't even realize they are playing an educational game.  The game is recommend for grades one and above and is still fun even at higher grade levels.

V.  Fast Finisher Resource: Think Math

One of the most fun things I've been involved with this past year is Scholastic's Top Teaching Blog. When I was first asked to join the group, I decided to spend some time looking back at some of the posts previously published by their teaching team.  I found many great ideas for all kinds of things here, and was very impressed by the quality of the work included in their blog.

One of the posts that first caught my eye was written by fellow Michigander Genia Connell and included many great activities for fast finishers.  Featured within this group of activities was a bulletin board based activity called Think Math.  Students work toward a question to a given math answer, similar to how Jeopardy requires a question instead of an answer from the players.  This is a really neat idea to help students get their creative ideas flowing and try to come up with great questions.

You can view Genia's Scholastic post in its' entirety here.

Disclosure: ABCyaGames and IXL Learning are both sponsors of this site.  
The views in this post are my own.  

Sunday, October 20, 2013

A Free App To Download Today and Use Tomorrow from @IXLLearning - Common Core Math: PreK - Geometry

Introducing the NEW IXL Math App!

I'm so excited to share the new IXL math app with all of you.  I've been using the IXL math website for a while now.  It provides great reinforcement for the skills and concepts I teach in class.  Now, they have an app that is super simple to use... and free!

My Favorite Parts:

I love that the app is easy to use and free.  Those are usually my top two must haves in order for me to continue using an application or website.  I don't have a problem paying for a site or app, but it had better be good and simple for my seven year olds to use.  IXL is just this... simple!  
  • simple to use
  • free - you can get started by using the app as a guest
  • TONS of concepts to choose from
  • reinforces what I already do in the classroom

Step 2: select your grade level

Step 3: select your concept

Step 4: select your skill 

Step 5: have fun practicing

For More Information:
  • Interactive Math Practice with IXL Learning that is Common Core Aligned! - click here
  • For Practice that Feels Like Play - click here
  • Get the New IXL App - click here <-- it's free... go ahead and give it a whirl!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Ten Marks Math: Proven to Work

TenMarks for Schools is a free, web-based math program for students in grades 2-12 to practice and master math concepts. With a curriculum aligned to state standards, TenMarks allows for teachers to differentiate and personalize learning for each of their students in just minutes. Structured to provide students help when they need it most, TenMarks helps students learn math skills through video lessons with built-in hints and through engaging, interactive, intelligent worksheets. Accessible anytime, anywhere and designed for success in the most diverse classrooms, TenMarks is used by more than 20,000 teachers with more than 2,000,000 math problems solved per week.

Here are some great features that TenMarks offers:
  • Free for schools
  • Provides personalized learning
  • State-aligned curriculum standards
  • Accessible anytime, anywhere
  • Real-time reports to monitor student progress
  • Fun and engaging for students

These are all features that many parents and teachers look for when choosing a tool for developing math skills.  And they are proven to work!  Take a look at the results of students currently using Tenmarks

So TenMarks is free for schools, improves test scores, meets curriculum standards, and easily can create reporting.  These are all great bullet points, and they are quantifiable.  But what about this bullet point: fun and engaging for students.  Everybody says that, but how do we really know?  Take a quick look at TenMarks from a student's perspective.

I started using TenMarks last year.  After using the service for a while, I connected with their team to be a sponsor of Kleinspiration.  I'm quite picky about the companies I decide to build a partnership with, and I'm excited about this collaboration.  I truly believe in their product!

TenMarks from a student's point of view

You too can start building better foundations one click at a time, click here to get started

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Math Freebies Today!

For Great Math Unit Freebies, please click here and see how to get Award Winning Teacher, Shelley Gray's Doubles Math Unit for your elementary classroom - Free Today!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Math Train

Eric Marcos, math teacher in Santa Monica, CA, has truly enhanced the meaning of math in a project based manner that allows his students to not only synthesize the material and concepts but also publish their learning to help others, too.

His students have developed Math Train TV, short screencast segments to demonstrate their understanding.  Check out the fantastic and innovative video below:

How do the students create such videos? 
 The wonderful developers at TechSmith have made this possible through Camtasia Studios:

To view more great videos on Mathtrain.TV, click here!  There is an App, too!

Another way to have your students create short math tutorials would be to use Sonic Pics.
Tools Needed: paper or dry erase boards, pens or markers, ipod, student, Sonic Pics App

A few other Math Favorites:

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Science of Cooking

The Science of Cooking shows all of the 'why' questions surrounding the thoughts of Mommy's Little Helper.  From candies to breads, meats, and seasonings, find great recipes and fun facts about some of your favorite foods.  Students can practice measurement, read multisyllabic words, have driving questions answered, and gain knowledge through interesting information available on the site.  There's so much content to integrate: Science (explore the molecules in sugar, take microscopic tours, explore senses), Social Studies (tour breads of the world, visit farms, history of ketsup...), Math (portions, measurements...), Language Arts (beyond the reading on the site, practice writing in group discussion forums, submit questions to the cooks, and take quizzes to sharpen your comprehension with digital literacy.  I can't wait to have 5 minutes of down time in class to explore this site with my students!  Kids won't realize they're learning!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Museum Box: not just for Social Studies

I first came across Museum Box on a post I was reading on the Bright Idea's site and instantly had to check it out.  Then, I was happy to see that Edu Techer had posted an amazing segment on YouTube that gives great insight to the project.  As I was showing a friend of mine, also a teacher, we began discussing ways we could use this in our own classrooms.  Being that most of our middle school students are interested in technology and enjoy projects involving multimedia, we grabbed scrap paper right away and began to jot down ideas for our future Museum Box works. The following are ideas we came up with:
  • similar to the popular 'Me Box/Bag' - students could introduce themselves this way in the beginning of the year... due to the vast amount of time it could take to do this (and lack of available computers at once), we thought it would be neat to feature one or two students per day for the first twenty days or so of school.  If you were working with primary children, you could hold him or her in from lunch (2 treats in one day: lunch with you and work on the project) or you could set up a calendar letting parents know ahead of time when their child's day to present would be so that they could assist at home and also join the class for the special day.  For older students, they could work on the project independently and present to their small group (having four or five groups as teams each presenting to each other to save on time and building a stronger community within that small network of kids).
  • Language Arts: featuring their favorite authors (doing each author on a cube - displaying different pieces of work on each author's cube); featuring a novel (cube examples could be: author, setting, plot, other works, etc); diving into the setting (each cube could depict a place mentioned in the story); character cubes
  • Math: cubes could represent a culmination of a math unit - each cube could represent a sequential concept in math: distributive property (examples and non examples, definition, how it's applied), associative, identity...
  • Social Studies: historical figures, events in history, economic trends, types of governments, countries, 5 themes...
  • Science: water cycle, predator and prey, elements of the periodic table, geological time, types of rocks, weather and erosion, branches of science, careers in science, famous scientists
Kerry Turner shows how she assigned her class to complete a Museum Box based on an debate style assignment.  I also checked to see if one of my favorite bloggers posted about Museum Box because her threads are always so insightful... click here to read Kelly Tenkely's post on her site, iLearn Technology.

The Museum Box website also offers the following free resources: a gallery of boxes to view from other students, guidance for teachers (registration and creating student accounts), curriculum areas in which Museum Box can be supported, and more!

I especially liked that students have many options of which form of media to include for each cube within their box: images, text, sound, videos, files, and links.  They can even upload their own audio files!  How great to have them as the expert guide through their Museum Box -- to differentiate the activity, students could write a formal piece to podcast their work.  Others could select from a gallery of preloaded sound effects.  I can't wait to try this with my class!  I'd love to hear your ideas, especially if you've tried this before.  If you haven't but have an inspired idea, please leave a comment below and share with others.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Engaging and Adaptive Math Practice

IXL is a math practice tool for educators and families that adapts to a student's individual level of proficiency and includes achievement awards and progress monitoring data so you can view reports in ways that will work for all (teachers, parents, intervention coaches, etc).

I just signed up for a 30 day free trial, and I'm excited to see how exactly to make this work with some sixth grade students that I co-teach in math.  I've explored the site; however, I haven't yet used it (as I just found out about it this evening). So far, I love the way the site looks, the data it provided, and the leveled skills it covers. I've been on the hunt for a solid math support; I think I found my answer.  
Beneficial Features I Found:
  • Covers grades K - 8 (with more coming soon)
  • Over hundreds of skills are covered at each level - easily identified by labeled categories
  • Aligned with each state's standards for quick reference of a specific strand
  • Aligned with the Common Core Standards
  • Internationally recognized
  • Reports can be viewed to determine progress towards state's goals, track progress monitoring, set student's goals, or to show off student's earned rewards
  • Membership is affordable and available for teachers or parents
  • Teachers can enter individual student names to track student progress and how long they are practicing from home or school
I will post comments to this thread as I explore more of this site with my free trial.  If you've tried this program, I'd love to hear your feedback.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Bite Size Math, Science, and English

The BBC brings you Bite Size activities that you can use for practice at home with your child or as interactive enrichment within the classroom.  The site offers activities, games, and additional links that you can explore.  Endless learning fun!  Great for K - 5 resources!