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Middle-School Math

Studies -- and a great deal of anecdotal evidence -- show that many students become turned off by math when they reach middle school. It is particularly important that teachers at this level engage students in math instruction and involve them in their own learning as much as possible. The sites below provide lessons and activities that are interesting, fun, and instructionally valid -- perfect for use at the middle school level.

Cardboard Cognition
The 235 board and card games at this site were created by students at San Diego State University. Students were asked to answer the following questions as they developed educational games in a variety of subject areas:

  • How can you identify elements in the content that you want to teach and make them analogous to game elements like suits, ranks, pieces, moves, and chance cards?
  • What can be done to ensure that the task of winning the game requires that the player spend more time processing the educational content than thinking about game gimmickry?
  • How do you make a game motivating and interesting without losing instructional effectiveness?
  • How can you make a game that does all of these things and still has rules that are simple and clear?

The assignment resulted in 13 math games for middle school students and 16 elementary level math games that might also be appropriate for middle schoolers. You can find those 29 at the sites Content and Grade Matrix.

Figure This
Developed by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, in cooperation with the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering, Widmeyer Communications, and the Learning First Alliance, Figure This provides challenging middle school mathematics activities that middle-school students can do at home with their families. Each challenge features: