Math is such a wonderful and fascinating discipline! Whether you find math polarizing or discombobulating, math is interwoven throughout our lives. Helping students foster a respect and foundational understanding of key math concepts is central to building a lifetime of what I like to call “math usefulness through confidence.” In other words, laying the groundwork early will help students develop the “I can try” mantra instead of the “I don’t get it” mantra while realizing that math skills are serviceable.

Since there are so many wonderful math resources out there, I couldn’t just pick one. Instead I have selected the top three that I have used in my own classroom. These resources have helped build math fluency and increase student confidence in my students, and it is my hope they will in yours as well.

### Math Playground

At math playground there is truly something for all students regardless of age or ability level. From all of the math and thinking games pictured above to all of the instructional step-by-step videos that can used for reteaching, self-guided instruction, or differentiation, this resource has many different opportunities that can impact student learning. In addition, there is a wide host of problem solving activities aligned to Common Core State Standards which will instantly add substance to previously mastered computation skills.

Even for those students who have IEPs and need work on more basic skills, math playground has opportunities to practice algorithm skills. There is a flash card section, blog, and worksheet section. Regardless of student need, math playground is a mainstay in my classroom. Try it!

### Sheppard Math

The next resource I want to share is Sheppard Math. What’s great about this resource is the incredible amount of core applied to its content. We hear all of the time, we as teachers need to strengthen the “core” of our lessons. This resource is a wonderful option to beefing up that core!

As you can see here, there is a wide variety of computational supports in place ready to assist your students. However, that is just the website in “simplest form” – let’s expand this content exponentially (aren’t math puns great?!). Fractions, decimals, integers, geometry are just a few of the other concepts covered in-depth here. In fact, resources range up to Algebra! Give it a try!

### Sumdog

Along the same lines as the previous two resources, let’s say you have students who need reteaching regarding computational skills. Let’s also say, they view math as a hindrance instead of a benefit. Sumdog may be the answer you have been looking for! Not only do students work on highly engaging activities at their skill level, but they do so in a competition format – in other words they are competing against other students at their level, on the same game, at the same time with students across the globe. Set up your free teacher log in, upload a class roster, and off your students will go – to math proficiency and fluency!

# Honorable Mention Resources

Math Computation – http://digitwhiz.com/

Math Games for K-5 – http://www.abcya.com/

A games-based math teaching resource – http://www.mangahigh.com

# Your Challenge

I think in today’s school we hear the terms “differentiation”, “intervention”, “remediation” and so on constantly. If you were to take one of the resources above, how could you use it to differentiate for your students while building math fluency, competence, and ultimately math confidence? If you have used one of the resources mentioned above with fidelity, comment on its effectiveness in your own classroom. Please enumerate as to how it what used and in what capacity!

Remember, even if you don’t teach “Math” you are challenged to share ways that you could integrate at least one math resource in your classroom.

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I teach special ed in middle school. I like to use fun websites to reinforce math skills and to get students interested. Since each student is working on a different level and has different IEP goals, everything is differentiated and used as interventions to help students catch up to grade level standards. I looked at all the websites. I think they are really neat. I did some of the math games on math playground and on Shephard math. I could not get into Sumdog until someone lets me in since our school was already signed up. This is another tool I can use for each student to work on their math goals and track their progress. I have students who need reinforcements on the basics and computation. I also like the videos that explain. On the word problems, I liked that if you got it wrong it would give you another problem just like it but with different numbers to keep practicing.

You know a special ed. teacher is who turned me onto mathplayground. She uses the videos with her inclusion classes to help differentiate their learning.

Oh My Gosh!

Teachers had to design this Sumdog thing! It is beautiful, fun, and easy to use.

I played it and found that it would be perfect for remediation with my students. So I started setting up my account and entering my students. In less than 10 mins, I have uploaded all of my classes (about 100 students), given them a username and password to track their progress, and printed them out in a manageable way. The games are entertaining and fun and I will definitely be using this in class tomorrow.

Update:

It is a phenomenal site. And can be used to practice so many awesome math facts. My one problem? For more advanced info (useful information such as which skills they need help with, how they did, number of correct answers, etc.) it requires a subscription of 2$/student.

True. Maybe that is something that can written into a SIP. Grant money is out there!

Update: I talked with them and they were able to cut a deal with us in order to better accommodate our financial need! They lowered the price and set it to just the end of this year.

I am very pleased and excited with the way it has helped my class. I am so glad that I have been participating in these discussions and challenges.

That is stinking awesome! I am really excited for you! Way to go!

Sorry, But I am going to sound like a parrot. I don’t teach math… but I can see the value of the websites for a math teacher. I know part of the challenge is to look at these sites and find a to use them in my class, but honestly, these sites do not lend themselves well to my objectives. I guess we could look at key words used in math problems and see if they match key words used in Language Arts prompts.

I do not teach math, but our teachers use Acuity and the instructional resources (including BrainPop) that go with it to assess students and provide additional support. Acuity allows teachers to drill into the standards and determine where a student may have gaps in their learning. Once the gaps are identified, resources such as the ones listed above can be used to provide additional support by differentiating what each student needs. This process also provides extension opportunities for students that are working above grade level. Some of these resources are introduced in the classroom, but then students can also work on them from home. For example, my 2nd grader loves using my computer to play ABCYA. He especially asks to play it after he has used it in class that day.

I do not teach Math, but when I was teaching Technology in 1st-8th I used abcya a lot. The graphics and audio are easy for 1st and 2nd graders. It also has a great area to teach the 1st and 2nd graders mouse skills and drop and drag skills.

I teach Biology and have noticed students tend to forget simple math skills needed in labs, such as rounding a decimal calculation, calculating averages, means, percentages of occurrence, etc. Shepard Math would be a nice tool for a quick review of rounding and commutation rules involving decimals.

Hopefully these tools would help bridge math skills with calculations needed in gene pool calculations, natural selection labs, and sharing of class data.

Thank you for the introduction of such a variety of tools! Loving it!

I really liked Sheppard Math because it would be nice and easy to pick a skill for students to work on after instruction. This has been bookmarked and will be used as a supplemental activity. I explored Math Playground a few years ago using it with some entertaining story problems for my younger students. These would certainly be more useful at the younger levels but some middle school students would really enjoy these and benefit.

It is amazing how engaging some of these activities are for kids. They really do enjoy doing them.

I don’t teach Math, but I think the biggest way that I can use the resource would be to continue working on reading the information carefully. I know that students struggle with word problems, so I work really hard in Language Arts to teach them about picking out vital information.

I did share all of these resources with the Math teacher on my team and she is going to check them out. Hopefully, she will find them beneficial.

Amen! At one of the schools I work for, the POP is answering the question asked. So often students can compute data, but apply or understand what they are doing it for. The whole question of “What is being asked” and “Why are doing this” come into play.

If I were a math teacher, I’d look closely at Sheppard Math. This summer I taught 6-8 grade math in summer school, and I wish I had known about this site. I administered a pre-test on the first day to figure out how advanced the kids were. I used that data to place the students into four groups. They all advanced at different rates by working on their weaknesses.

Most standardized tests break down students’ performance by skill. Even if you didn’t have ISTEP, PARCC, or ECA data to go on, you could give still a pre-test. Sheppard Math makes it really easy to pick skills that students struggle with and focus on them.

I have used Sheppard Math in the past (I don’t teach Math this year.) and it was very useful for Math centers on iPads. I could have activities pulled up for my students that are below level, on level, and above level and then work through them. It was also a great resource for those “early finishers” that needed something to keep them engaged when they had finished everything that was assigned for a given day. They best part is, there was such a plethora of activities for me and them to choose from, that they never got bored with it. :)