Each week, Education World's Great Sites for Teaching About page highlights Web sites to help educators work timely themes into their lessons. This week's sites are among the best on the Web for teaching about math.
The online presence for AIMS (Activities Integrating Math, Science, & Technology) offers lots of great teacher support in math and science, including puzzles and activities, an activities database, an idea exchange, correlations to state standards, history of math resources, a pattern-based curriculum, and file downloads.
- Change Maker
This Funbrain simulation provides the opportunity for students to practice that most arduous of tasks, making change. Choose a level of difficulty (easy, medium, hard, or super brain), and then proceed to make change for amounts from $1 to $100. The site now offers practice in the denominations of the United States, Great Britain, Australia, Canada, and Mexico!
- Elementary Problem of the Week
This Swarthmore site challenges elementary-school students to solve unusual problems and encourages them to verbalize their solutions. Registered students can have their submissions answered by "visiting math mentors"; students also have the opportunity to become mentors themselves. Great real-world problem-solving applications make this site a winner -- and it has a great archive too!
- Escape from Knab
In this simulation, students find themselves on the planet Knab. By making the right financial decisions, they can find their way back to Earth -- in a different game every time they play. The site provides lots of fun and math activities at a variety of different levels to keep it a challenge!
- MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive
Math instruction can be much more powerful when you include the background and rationale for major ideas and applications. This site provides an overview of the history behind math, including biographies of famous mathematicians and historical perspectives of their ideas. This site has awesome material in the hands of a master math teacher!
- Interactive Mathematics Miscellany and Puzzles
Did you know there were many ways to construct a triangle? This fabulous Web resource catalogs a multitude of games and puzzles on arithmetic, algebra, geometry, probability, fast reckoning, mathematics as a language, proofs in mathematics, a dozen ways to construct a triangle -- and many other teaching ideas and activities. If you are looking for stimulating, higher-level ways to integrate technology into your math classroom, this may be the place you've been looking for!
- Math in Daily Life
Yes, they're still asking, "Why do I need to know this?" in math classes, and now you can have additional answers in your arsenal. Math in Daily Life is another great site from the Annenberg Project, this one on everyday math applications for upper elementary and middle school students. Using such practical applications as banking, cooking, decorating, and determining game probability, students complete activities that help them appreciate the importance of math as a discipline -- and as the "universal language"!
- Math Never Dies
"You have infiltrated the secure site of the Hex Agency. Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to track down international criminals using your math skills." This ThinkQuest site covers algebra, geometry, and trigonometry as it entices students to complete scenarios in espionage. Who knew math could be this exciting?
- Symmetry and Pattern: The Art of Oriental Carpets
This site presents the study of symmetry as one approach to analyzing patterns in Oriental carpets. Through symmetry analysis, students can identify areas of pattern that exhibit expected repetitions and areas that vary from that expectation. This unique way of studying patterns is ideal for upper elementary and middle school classes.
- ThinkQuest Stock Game
This ThinkQuest site allows students to develop a hypothetical stock portfolio and track their investments using actual stock market quotes. Students set up a free login and password and then get ready to buy and sell stocks -- starting with $100,000 to spend! Don't let the references to past years fool you; this game is still up and running and ready to go!
Article by Walter McKenzie
Copyright © 2000 Education World
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