Monday, April 25, 2011

Math It Up: Online Math Resources (Part 3)

For those of you in the elementary/middle school education world, some of the sites listed in today's Math It Up post would be extremely beneficial to your students that require help in math.  Of the sites I will mention today, one of my favorites is  To understand how works, think of it as a YouTube strictly for math! It's a way for student to find help on math problems by watching video examples created by other students.  It does have an area for teacher-created videos as well.  This is not only a great way for students to review by watching other people's videos but they can also get some great review by creating and uploading their own videos!

For a very comprehensive (but still free!) classroom math solution, you should look at Ten Marks.  Since there is so much involved in explaining this awesome site, I'll let Ten Marks speak for itself.  Check out the video below!

Brain Nook is another great site to get kids more interested in math as well as help them learn math concepts.  Brain Nook incorporates games that kids play with other kids to learn these concepts. (There are also English games!)

Learn Your Tables and Yummy Math are the last two sites for this post.  Learn Your Tables is a very simple flash based site that allows a student to practice their multiplication tables easily.  It also allows for the student to practice in multiple languages as well if applicable.  Yummy Math on the other hand, provides relevant, interesting math scenarios in many mathematical subject areas.  Generally each is available for download in .pdf or .doc format.

Check these sites out and try them!  Let me know how you were able to use them or if you have more ideas for others!  Enjoy :)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Math It Up: Online Math Resources (Part 2)

Guess what? The Khan Academy isn't the only online resource out there, though you may have thought that website would be all you would ever need after reading the last Math It Up post.  There are tons of other great online resources that have many of the same components that The Khan Academy offers.

One such resource is a site that serves two purposes.  It serves as both a test prep site (ACT, SAT, PSAT, and AP testing) and a general study site.  This site is called BrightStorm.  This site provides outstanding, teacher led, video lessons on just about every math topic you can think of.  The self-training starts with a concept explanation and then provides several practice problems with a built-in homework checker as well as a forum where you can ask questions to which many other users have the opportunity to respond.  (Also check out BrightStorm's other subject offerings, especially Science!)

Virtual Nerd for Educators is another great resource that falls into the same category as BrightStorm and The Khan Academy.  It also gives free use [for educators] with a simple account sign-up. Virtual Nerd for Educators advertises itself  as a site to provide homework help for students.  It also has a video library set up with interactive mathematical problems worked out step by step along the side as the video is played.  If you need further concept help as you watch a particular video, it allows you to drill down even further to learn those concepts before continuing with the previous video.

To make math even more enjoyable, Manga High, has videos, problems and even unique games to help students advance themselves in math.  Not only that but Manga High provides help from elementary math all the way up to high school math!  This site also aligns to state standards and again is free for teacher use.

Check out these great resources further by going to their websites and signing up for a free account.  Choose which is best for you and your students and then Math It Up!

Enjoy :)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Math It Up: Online Math Resources (Part 1)

Out of all the subjects taught today in schools it seems that math is one of the most difficult for many to keep up with and yet it is one of the most necessary subjects to grasp.  Many students, of all ages, who have trouble in this area also have some apprehension about asking for tutoring due to feelings of embarrassment or shame.  Thankfully in this day and age, technology makes it so easy to rectify this type of situation with little or no feeling of embarrassment.  There are so many great tutoring and supplemental resources available that students (and teachers) should be informed about to help give them an advantage.

This post is the first in a series that will discuss just a few of the many amazing math web tools out there.
To start the series, I think it's only appropriate that The Khan Academy be the first resource discussed due to its popularity and amazing offerings.

The Khan Academy is made up of hundreds of videos discussing how to do mathematical operations from basic elementary math up through calculus.  It doesn't stop there, however.  There are biology, chemistry and other scientific videos, personal finance, economics and even some historical videos available.  The site is constantly expanding and offering more!

Recently, as described much more thoroughly in the video below, The Khan Academy has added a free software piece along with it's already free video library that tracks student progress in a game-like format and helps to automatically fill in gaps in their knowledge through adaptive testing.  It's very intuitive and dynamic, which holds the student's attention.  Another part of the software piece is a portion that allows teachers and parents to track their student's progress and time spent learning the material.  Check out this amazing resource and pass it along to your students. I'm sure they will enjoy it!

Enjoy :)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Wolfram Alpha: A Teacher's Friend

Last week we posted information about Wolfram Alpha and it's amazing abilities to extrapolate information from sets of data from the Internet. Well this week we wanted to offer a follow-up posting about another one of Wolfram Alpha's resources. Wolfram Alpha for Educators is a collection of free lesson plans, query examples and ideas for using Wolfram Alpha in the classroom. There is even a video gallery showing how teachers are using Wolfram Alpha for their lessons. Currently there are lesson plans available for Math, Science and Social Studies. They also have these resourses for educators:

  • Wolfram Education Portal - classroom demonstrations from the Wolfram Demonstration Project.

  • Wolfram MathWorld - infomation on algebra, calculus, geometry, statistics, number theory, and other math-related topics

  • Wolfram Mathematica Online Integrator - symbolic integration solver

  • Wolfram Products & Technologies for Educators - engaging full color graphics, interactive exercises, classroom demonstrations, quizzes, and assignments with Mathematica.

The Big Deal Book

The Big Deal Book, which is put out by CDWG, is an awesome resource that contains a large repository for things like free educational web 2.0 sites, interactive learning experiences, grant opportunities, and much more!  The best part about The Big Deal Book is that it's free!  Check it out here and let us know your favorite resources found in The Big Deal Book!

Fifty Ways

Check out  This has some great ideas to help you go green in your digital life as well as in your non-digital life.  See below for a peek at some of the suggestions. Enjoy :)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Staying Secure Online

In this day and age, it can be hard to trust people and companies on the internet.  It is so important to make people, and especially students, aware of the dangers that sometimes await them on the internet.  There some awesome resources out there to help you determine what is safe and what isn't.  Today on the blog, Free Tech For Teachers, there is a great post about this topic with some of the resources listed.  Read more here!

If you come across any more of these resources, please let us know so we can share! Enjoy :)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Wolfram Alpha: A Researcher's Friend

Google has some handy calculators built right into the query box, but an even more sophisticated answer engine exists that acts much like Google. It's called Wolfram Alpha. It is an online service that attempts to answer queries by computing the answer from structured data instead of a list of documents or webpages that might contain the answer like a search engine would. To see how this works, enter some of these examples into Wolfram Alpha and see what you get:

  • "mortgage 5.25%, 30 year, $100000" displays the monthly payment, effective interest rate, amortization table and total interest paid.

  • "419-499-4663" (a phone number), displays the city/town of the number as well as the current time there and the current weather conditons, the population of the city and lists nearby cities

  • "temperature milan, ohio 2007", displays the average low and high temperature in 2007 and shows a graph of the temperature by month. You can also switch out the word temperature with precipitation to get the rainfall and snowfall amounts.

  • "May 25, 1982", which happens to be my birthday will show you how long ago the date was (or is in the future if a future date) in many different ways as well as what happened on that date and sunrise/sunset times as well as the phase of the moon.

  • "IBM Apple" compares the two businesses with respect to financials, stock performance, projections, and others.

  • "1 apple, 1 orange" compares apples to oranges, literally! Nutrition facts, minerals, even physical properties such as mass, serving volume and serving density are also compared.

  • "William John" who has the more popular name?

  • "dollars euros" as you can guess shows you just how bad the current exchange is.

  • "int sinx/x dx, x=0..infinity". Calculus is a breeze too.

You can also ask plain english questions:

  • "How old was Queen Elizabeth II in 1974?"

  • "What is the forty-eighth smallest conuntry by GDP per captita?"

  • "What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?"

Wolfram Alpha shows that just searching for information is not the only thing the web can do for you. In fact, it can help you to do research on the fly and find answers to questions that have never even been asked or answered before. It is no replacement for Google, but it has the potential to be the smartest search utility on the web. I wonder if Wolfram Alpha will soon be another one of Google's purchase. We'll just have to wait and see.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Automatic Proofreading

For most of you teachers, especially those who teach English, I'm sure you've pounded the topic of proofreading into your students until they were sick of it.  However, how many of those students actually proofread or remember to have someone else proofread their papers? My guess is not many.  To help with this issue, there is a great site available called PaperRater.  This site automatically proofs a paper by checking for spelling and grammar but it doesn't stop there!  It also checks for plagiarism and also provides helpful writing suggestions in areas where the paper could be improved.  Check it out for yourself at:

Enjoy :)