Math Technology Tools
- Mathematics Assessment Resource Service (MARS) Toolkit
Malcolm Swan, part of the MARS team, is one of the premier task-designers in the math education community. His problem sets are as extensive as they are accessible and provide rich resources for parents, educators, and students alike. Browse through his list of implementation tools or search through his lists of other strategic tools. This site also provides a forum to discuss current challenges facing the field of mathematics education today.
Designed by the NCTM as a unified resource for math teachers, Illuminations provides 100+ activities that align with common core standards, 600+ hands-on lesson plans, a review of standards, and hundreds of online web links and resources to find more tools and resources.
Inside Mathematics is frequently cited as the best, most thought-provoking task-based website used in algebra classrooms. Inside Mathematicsa produces tasks containing access points for all learners. Within each lesson plan there is a task, a rubric, core mathematical ideas and challenges, questions for teacher reflection, student discussion topics, graphing and analysis, and much more. Check out new features posted every month on the left-hand side as well as tools for coaches, principals, and administrators.
New Zealand has traditionally been ahead of the curve in mathematics education and this site is a representation of why. Created by the Ministry of Education, NZ Maths provides several resources for every grade level and standard. Check out special sections on the left for professional development, accelerated learning, high achieving students, special education, and much more.
FluidMath is a relatively new series of software designed for math teachers that has exploded in popularity. It is a powerful tool that can help teachers and students make visual connections between different conceptual topics. Although only a free trial is available at this time, log on and watch tutorials on how to integrate this product into the classroom. Teachers have found that exploring graphs and graphing equations on FluidMath allows students to explore advanced mathematical concepts and relationships beyond their grade level.
Jon Star has done some excellent work over the last decade to develop procedural fluency in math classrooms. This website, although limited, shows some samples of Star’s work in developing curriculum. Also, be sure to check out the presentations page for curriculum implementation ideas and lesson planning.
Led by Jo Boaler, the NRICH project aims to enhance the mathematical experiences of students by providing professional development, activities, and lesson planning. Check out the “For Teachers” section on the right-hand side for tasks, games, interactive tools, activity sets, curriculum mapping, and great ideas for group work.
Math Forum, created and maintained by Drexel University, offers an online community for teachers, students, parents, and anyone else who has an interest in math. On the site, students can find extra help through Ask Dr. Math. Teachers can access Math tools as well as professional development resources. Also, be sure to check out the Math Talk section to connect with other educators.
This site is intended for educators who are looking to extend the concepts presented in a traditional math curriculum by integrating Google Earth. Currently focused on middle school math or above, this site includes lesson plans, examples, and downloads for mathematics that address standards while encouraging higher order thinking skills and complex problem solving. Their video promotion gives a good overview of the potential for using Google Earth in math instruction.
Although a subscription to full access of Mathalicious is $20, the free lessons and activities alone are worth a look. Mathalicious provides lessons and activities based on real-world contexts with a sharp and creative presentation.
WolfRam Alpha promotes itself as a “computational knowledge engine.” Rather than a search engine that sifts potential sources to provides links, WolfRam aims to be the largest collection of internal computational knowledge on the internet. While many math and science educators have avoided Wolfram in the past due to its quick-answer provisions, WolfRam’s recent upgrades have introduced a fundamentally new way to explain concepts and ideas. Check out WolfRam’s Example by Topic page to browse through all that you can learn from this powerful resource.
As a more focused extension of the WolfRam Alpha computational engine, WolfRam MathWorld provides a concentrated mathematics resource. Thousands of mathematical educators over the course of the past decade developed this tool for application within the math classroom. Be sure to check out some of MathWorld’s Interactive Entries, updated and contributed on a daily basis.
Khan Academy is one of the world’s largest educational resources that is free for all users. Khan uses a Pretest to determine an individual’s personalized learning flow and makes use of this by showcasing mathematical understanding via the learning dashboard. The dashboard compiles statistical data of a person’s work history to demonstrate where mathematical concepts have been mastered and where they should focus for improvement. In particular, teachers can view each student’s performance through these learning dashboards to explore what they need to focus on for mastery.
Dan Meyer is a former math teacher now working towards his doctorate at Stanford. His blog has a wealth of resources, a few of which are listed below:
- (3Acts) 3 Acts of Mathematical Storytelling
This category includes posts that focus on “mathematical storytelling.” Dan has developed a series of classroom tasks that use his three-act framework. The first act consists of presenting a compelling image designed to generate a question. The idea is that students see an image or watch a video and feel compelled to ask a question. The second act is the teacher helping the students to resolve that question through guided discovery and rigorous mathematics. The third act is the resolution — the students “see” the answer as opposed to looking it up in the back of the book.
- What can you do with this?
Started several years ago, Dan designed a series of tasks that are ready to use in the classroom. The comments section of these postings serve as a vetting process for each assignment, which are regularly revised.
Chris Harrow has been teaching mathematics at The Westminster Schools in Atlanta, GA since 1990. His professional interests center around expanding student interest in STEM careers and the appropriate use of technology, especially Computer Algebra Systems (CAS) to enhance student learning. This blog provides CAS, technology and STEM resources, commentary, and discussion on pre-collegiate STEM topics, as well as other math and education related topics. Make sure to also check out the “Resources” section for more tools and ideas.
This blog is in support of the textbook Pre-Calculus Transformed, which highlights the role of transformations in visualizing, interpreting, and understanding pre-calculus concepts. The goal of the text is for students to “discover underlying patterns, bring out connections between otherwise seemingly unrelated ideas, and learn to more easily analyze problems that initially appear complicated.” This blog presents problems for students as well as frames discussion about their thinking during the problem-solving process.
Kate Nowak has not only been a high school math teacher for seven years, but is also simultaneously the author of this popular blog. She has shared stories, classroom tasks (some designed with TIInspire or Smartboard), and approaches mathematics with care and passion. Check out her “Best of” section for some of the most popular activities.
Sam Shah is a calculus teacher in Lower Manhattan whose insightful analysis of teaching in this blog is worth a visit. Throughout his blogs, he shares lesson ideas, activities, curriculum management, etc. He also has a comprehensive list of activities for calculus via Scribd as well as several links to other similar mathematical blogs.
Kyle Pearce is a secondary math teacher at Tecumseh Vista Academy in Ontario, Canada. His blog “Tap Into Teen Minds” has not only launched his “Middle Years Collaborate Inquiry” project for mathematics into the mainstream, but has earned him the title of an Apple Distinguished Educator from the Class of 2013. Kyle’s blog is filled with math tasks and resources for the classroom, particularly designed for a paperless iPad environment. Be sure to check out his “iPad Apps” page to see how mainstream apps can be used in math classrooms at any level.
Jennifer Magiera’s Mathematicians online classroom is an interactive blog primarily for students to explore useful math links, look at and turn in homework, and showcase their own work. Parents may also keep track of their child’s performance in class through this portal and see exactly what unit the class plans on covering that week. Ms. Magiera’s blog serves as an excellent example of an integrated approach for using iPad apps and blogging in the classroom.
- (3Acts) 3 Acts of Mathematical Storytelling
Similar to Geometer’s Sketchpad, GeoGebra offers online tutorials on mathematics software for learning and teaching – all for free. GeoGebra features learning materials for elementary through the university level, including interactive graphics, algebra explanations, and spreadsheet data. Also be sure to check out their user forum for additional materials.
Dan Meyer of dy/dan has posted lesson plans for several weeks of Algebra supplements. Each week includes daily activities that can be downloaded as either Keynote, PowerPoint, or PDF files as well as student handouts.
This site functions the same as the Algebra site mentioned above. Dan Meyer of dy/dan has posted several weeks of Geometry activities. Each week includes daily activities that can be downloaded as either Keynote, PowerPoint, or PDF files as well as student handouts.
Kill Math is an unusual and provocative take on math education with several accompanying technological activities. Kill Math uses concrete examples and intuition-guided exploration to solving meaningful problems. Check out the “scrubbed” calculator for guess and check activities.
Desmos has spent years perfecting what may be the world’s most extensive, integrated, easy-to-use online graphing calculator ever created. Data tables and sliders make it simple to create, experiment, and model function transformations. This technology works fast on any device without downloading and it’s completely free. Check out some of the staff picks for math examples and creative art to see what Desmos is truly capable of.
The idea is simple — pass around a provided hand out to your students with several blank graphs on them. Next choose from any one of several videos in the “Graphing Stories” archives to either play streaming or download. Each video is a miniature “story” taken from real-life filmed examples of everyday occurrences. Finally, have the students graph the story in just 15 seconds. This innovative, easy-to-use website is a great way to get students translating real-life examples of mathematics into a functional graphing script.
Math Resource Articles from our Instructors