Math instruction continues to evolve and become more interactive. Students use manipulatives and other math tools, draw pictures to help them solve problems, and even reenact math problems. It seems that many elementary teachers today use a combination of hands-on and paper-pencil activities, which is great! Interactive whiteboards and digital activities have also become a staple in many classrooms today. Today's featured website is full of fun, interactive math activities and games you can incorporate into your math curriculum.
Math Playground has the slogan “Give your Brain a Workout”. A friend of mine is an avid gym-goer who tells me that the human body is made to adapt to things that are challenging. Thus, with enough practice, something that was challenging two weeks ago, might not be challenging now. That’s why athletes have to change up their workout routines in order to reach their goals. Without switching things up, the body just gets used to doing a certain exercise and doesn’t feel challenged. Similarly, students need to switch up their learning routines to keep their minds growing. Math Playground offers math games, instructional videos, math stories and logic problems for grades one through six. The website is easy to navigate, so students can quickly find games that fit their interests and abilities. Students can either select a grade level or the type of games they would like to play. This will bring them to a menu of various games and videos to choose from.
There are games for multiplication, subtraction, addition, fractions and much more. In one of the addition games, for example, students use the mouse to drag numbers together that will “make 10”. However, they have to complete the level before the time runs out. Is it just me, or does this sound like a more modern version of math drills to anyone?
In another game, for Second Grade, students are shown a graph and given coordinates to plot. When a student clicks on the correct spot on the graph, a spaceship flies over and lands on the selected location. What a fun and engaging way to replace the typical graphing worksheet!
I still find value in the traditional paper-pencil methods for teaching math but I also think it is great to incorporate technology into learning whenever possible at home or in the classroom. What ways have you found to keep students engaged and growing in math? I would love to hear your ideas in the comments below! :)