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BBC: Magic Key

What it is: The BBC is a constant source of excellent classroom interactives and games.  Today I ran across Magic Key while working on supplementing MacMillan Mcgraw Hill’s Treasures curriculum for first grade.  Magic Key is based on a cartoon in the UK, even if your students aren’t familiar with the cartoon, they are sure to enjoy the website adventures.  Magic Key has fun literacy games for kindergarten and first grade students.  The games help students practice full stops (sentence endings), sentence order, questions, character characteristics, capital letters, seeing patterns, figuring out new words, descriptions, and words that make sounds.  The games are age appropriate, include fun characters, and help students practice and understand important literacy skills.  In each game, students enter an adventure where the goal is to collect the Magic Key. How to integrate BBC: Magic Key into the classroom: The Magic Key games are short and sweet, they give students the opportunity to practice new skills independently.  I like to use games like these as a center activity.  These types of short games make a great center because they provide students with immediate feedback and are self leveling.  Set Magic Key up on your classroom computers as a literacy center for students to visit independently or in small groups.  Don’t forget that the interactive whiteboard or projector connected computer can also be a center station!  These games are a great alternative to the worksheet (you didn’t really want to grade one of those anyway) and will provide your students with an opportunity to practice what they are learning. Tips: Check out the teacher section of Magic Key for a description of each game, the curriculum tie in, and (I hesitate to mention) worksheets. Please leave a comment and share how you are using BBC: Magic Key in your classroom.

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Dance, Factors Dance: Animated Factorization Diagrams #mathchat

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Art, Evaluate, Interactive Whiteboard, Knowledge (remember), Math, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), video, Websites | Posted on 15-11-2012

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What it is:  Dance, Factors Dance is a fantastic site to visualize factorization diagrams.  The first “tango” is inspired by the digital clock, with a separate diagram for each of the hours, minutes and seconds.  The Factor Conga is a “promenade of primes, composites, and their constituents, arranged with an aesthetically-tuned variation of Yorgey’s rules, one per second.”  I love the way these math factorization dances help students visualize numbers and Prime numbers.  Brilliant!

How to integrate Dance, Factors Dance into the classroom: Dance, Factor Dance is a stupendous way for students to visualize and think about numbers.  I Love the way that the prime numbers are depicted…so easy to see why it is a prime number!  Ask your students to explore this site and identify the patterns they notice in the dance of numbers.  What happens when a number is prime?  When a number is odd?  Even?

Dance, Factors Dance is a fun way to learn more about numbers, it is also a wonderful inspiration for finding the art in math.  How can students use the site as inspiration to create their own math dance?  Could they use stop motion animation and manipulatives to do something similar?  What patterns in math do they notice?  How can they use color and design to help them better understand math?

This site is a great one to explore as a class, as a center on classroom computers, or individually on student devices.  Students can pause the dance, rewind, and fast forward as they explore.

Tips: Be sure to watch (or fast forward) to the three digit numbers…this is where things get really impressive!  As a side note, I learned something today from a fellow teacher.  When looking at numbers in grid form, you know if a number is prime if it can only make one rectangle.  This understanding would have been helpful in math class! Better late than never :)

Leave a comment and tell us how you are using  Dance, Factors Dance in your classroom.

Comments (1)

We have already taught this concept, but this is a perfect way to reinforce it! Thanks!

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