Cyberchase

What it is: Cyberchase is a website aimed at teaching kids that math is everywhere, that everyone can be good at it, and that math can be fun. The Cyberchase website is based on the PBS TV show, teachers can view episode guides, video clips, and character descriptions. The website has two main sections for math enhancement, games and quests. Games include interactive math games and puzzles. Quests are interactive games that allow students to create their own cyber characters and go on cyber quests. Math topics include measurement, patterns, deductive reasoning, saving, spending, budgeting, making hard problems easier, growth by doubling, inverse operations, decimals, negative numbers, combinations, place value, elapsed time, angle measurement, linear measurement, timekeeping, area, volume, bar graphs, equivalent fractions, fractions, data clusters, probability, algebraic thinking, perimeter/area relationship, patterns in music, scale and size, patterns, codes, functions, estimation, counter examples, logic, point of view, using models, 2d and 3d geometry, navigation, symmetry, navigation, proportional thinking, circles, and percents.

How to integrate Cyberchase into the classroom: Cyberchase is an incredible website! With the number of math topics, there is a game to fit every curriculum. The games are fun, interactive and teach critical thinking skills. Students experience math when they use the games and quests. This site really makes math come alive! Use this site to introduce new math concepts (students probably won’t realize that they have learned a new math concept until you dissect it for them afterwards!) The site would also be great to reinforce math concepts that have already be learned. The games and quests make an excellent practice field. Games could be used with the whole class and a projector cart (be ready for a lot of volunteers on this one!) Or individually as a math center or all at once in the computer lab setting.

Tips: Visit the Cyberchase teachers page for lesson plans using the Cyberchase games. This is an outstanding math resource! Even your most resistant math students will love this site!

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Free Rice

What it is: Free Rice has two goals: to provide English vocabulary to everyone for free and help end world hunger by providing rice to hungry people for free (this is made possible by the sponsors on the site). Free Rice is a sister company of www.poverty.com. Free Rice began in October 2007 and to date has donated over a billion grains of rice. Students play a vocabulary game online. For each word they get correct, 10 grains of rice are donated. If a student gets a word wrong, the words get easier. If the student gets the word right, the words get harder.

How to integrate Free Rice into the classroom: Free Rice is a wonderful vocabulary game for the classroom. I love the added lesson about helping those who are less fortunate. Free Rice would be the perfect game to play during the holiday season…particularly around Thanksgiving. As our students give thanks for plentiful food and nutrition, they can play a game to help others get much needed food and nutrition. Visit the FAQ page to find out more about how the Free Rice program works and how rice is donated. This vocabulary game could also be a great way to teach students how to use the dictionary. As students get an unfamiliar vocabulary word, encourage them to look the word up (online or “old school”).

Tips: Use Free Rice as a math lesson, students can document the number of grains of rice donated each month. Use these figures to introduce graphing and charting skills (among others!).

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Library of Virtual Manipulatives

What it is: The Library of Virtual Manipulatives is a library of interactive, web-based virtual manipulatives or concept tutorials for mathematics instruction (K-12 emphasis). Manipulatives are for students in grades kindergarten through twelve and include hundreds of manipulative tools in the areas of Numbers and Operations, Algebra, Geometry, Measurement, Data Analysis, and Probability. Manipulatives include interactive base 10 blocks, money, pattern blocks, tangrams, geoboards, clocks, and bar/pie charts just to name a few.

How to integrate Virtual Manipulatives into the classroom: Virtual Manipulatives can be used in place of actual manipulatives in math class. There are many benefits to the virtual version of manipulatives. First, math manipulatives can be expensive, especially when a class set is required. The Virtual Manipulatives are completely free to use. Math manipulatives can take up a lot of storage space. The Virtual Manipulatives are accessible quickly and easily and there is never any need for set up or clean up. The Virtual Manipulatives never wear out and need to be replaced. In the one or two computer classroom, set up a Virtual Manipulative center where students can stop by individually or in groups and work with the manipulatives. Use a projector cart for whole class instruction. Virtual Manipulatives are ideal for the 1 to 1 computing environment.

Tips: Share the Virtual Manipulative site with parents. The manipulatives are great for use at home while students are completing math homework!

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Interactives

What it is: Interactives is a truly amazing website for teachers and students. Interactives provides educators and students with strategies, content, and activities that can enhance and improve students’ skills in a variety of curricular areas including math, literature and language, science, history, and the arts. The site has great webquest/interactive activities on a variety of subjects for first through twelfth grades. These activities are extremely well done. The spelling bee activity is really the only activity appropriate for first grade but I found that many of the activities that were rated for middle and high school students, would be appropriate for elementary students as well. I cannot say enough about this site, it is a truly amazing site for teachers and students!

How to integrate Interactives into the classroom: Interactives has a variety of interactive activities for the subjects listed above. These would be great to use as an introduction to a new unit, or as a learning activity or field trip in a unit. The Interactives could be completed as a whole class (using a projector), in groups (center style in the one or two computer classroom), or individually (in the computer lab setting). Any of these options would be time well spent for your students! Each Interactive presents the student with information about the unit and follows with interactive activities such as building a roller coaster, collecting rocks, or tracing the growth of the United States.

Hands on Banking

What it is: Hands on Banking is a free, fun financial education program that presents the basics of smart money management in an easy to use format game. Topics include budgeting, the importance of saving, bank accounts and services, borrowing money, establishing credit, investing, and more. The curriculum is appropriate for 4th through 12th grades.

How to integrate Hands on Banking into your curriculum: Use the Hands on Banking site as an extended learning activity for the economics or math classroom. Activities can be customized for each age group. The site works best in a computer lab setting because it takes time to get through the entire game. Use this activity at the end of an economics or money unit as a culminating activity.

What it is: Max’s Math Adventures teaches students math skills (kindergarten-second grade) through fun adventures. Skills include shapes, counting to 30, comparing and ordering, linear measurement, whole number addition, sorting and classifying, patterns, addition, subtraction, equal parts (fractions), counting to 100, size comparison, estimation up to 100, time, money, adding 2-digit numbers, simple graphing, number patterns, and concrete multiplication.

How to integrate Max’s Math Adventures into your math curriculum: Set up a math adventure as a center during math time. Use a projector and use a math adventure as an opening to a math unit. Work through the adventure as a class before the new skill is taught.

Tips: Be sure to check out the teachers guide for some great tips on using the site in your classroom!

I Know That Math

What it is: I Know That Math is a site that teaches and encourages math practice through fun games and activities for students in kindergarten through sixth grade. Activities include math stories where students get familiar with word problems, money workshop, speed building games, an arithmetic workshop where students learn about place value, fraction workshop, real world geometry practice, Leon’s Math Movies where students construct their own knowledge about math concepts, math practice with counters, and more.

How to integrate I Know That Math into your math curriculum: Introduce a new math concept with Leon’s Math Movies. Let students explore with Leon before your teaching. Students can get great fact practice on this site. Use it as a center during math time or as an extended activity.

Tips: I Know That has some advertisements on its site, these can be removed by purchasing a subscription. I use the sites advertisements to teach my students about how to spot ads on a website and to teach why some sites have ads. Check out the teachers guide for each game and activity for some great ideas.

The Little Animals Activity Centre

What it is: The Little Animals Activity Centre has several activities for kindergarten through second grade including read along stories, math practice, and music games. The read along stories are wonderful for following auditory directions.

How to integrate The Little Animals Activity Centre into your curriculum: Use The Little Animals Activity Centre to reinforce classroom learning. It offers read along interactive stories that invite students to follow auditory directions. The math section is great addition, and subtraction practice. Students can have fun with words and practice end sounds, first sounds, and rhymes. These are great little games and activities for practice. This site is also wonderful for teaching students how to use and manipulate the computer mouse.

Tips: Click on the teachers page for activity overviews, lesson plans, and printable worksheets.

e-learning for Kids

What it is: e-learning for Kids offers schools free and unlimited use of their courseware and access up-to-date content on children and learning. e-Learning for Kids provides a fun place to help your students build and strengthen skills in math, science, reading, computers and keyboarding. The programs are designed for kindergarten through sixth graders.

How to integrate e-learning for Kids into your curriculum: You can easily incorporate the e-learning for Kids courses into your current curriculums. Match up the e-learning for Kids courses with your current curriculum. Students can work on specific skills and access the self-paced programs independently. Students will be engaged and work at a level where they can perform successfully.

Tips: e-learning for Kids offers a free CD version of the courses. This is the perfect solution for computers that are not connected to the Internet or have an unreliable connection.