I am Marcia Torgrude, a K-12 math specialist with a masters in educational technology and a cadre Verizon Thinkfinity trainer. In the past 5 years I have been a part of a statewide K-5 math initiative in South Dakota. We have been training teacher leaders in almost every district to use the CGI pedagogy as their approach to teaching. This is Cognitively Guided Instruction - looking at each child's level of understanding and moving that child to the next level through many strategies and assessments. Its been a wonderful experience and now these teachers are becoming coaches and teachers to others in their buildings. The research is showing evidence of increased student achievement as well as growth in teacher content knowledge. I love sharing all the wonderful content the Verizon Thinkfinity partners have to offer these teachers to support this style of teaching.
I'm Colleen Brown, and although I'm an elementary technology coordinator, I weave all curriculum areas into my tech lessons and projects. Math has to be the single most favorite subject, and I am always looking for ways to strengthen instruction in this area, whether it be tech or just working withing a grade level curriculum.
So I am anxious to see what everyone shares here, and how I can integrate!
I am a school library media specialist in a South Carolina Public High School. With 3400 students and over 200 faculty members our media center stays quite busy. Anyway that I can reach our teacher through electronic means is a huge help for all of us.
I spoke to our Exceptional Education Teachers last week and they are looking for good math interactives to use with their students. As you can guess, they are teaching at all levels. They use SmartBoards in the classrooms and like interactives with color and sound! I hope to do a workshop with them soon.
I just finished a basic training session with Marcia Torqrude this summer so I have a few tricks up my sleeve.
I am a former teacher and private Algebra tutor who started programming computers as a hobby and eventually left teaching to work as a business software consultant in New York City. I combined those interests by writing some web-based software that emulates as far as possible the things I did as a private tutor working one-on-one with kids, and I plan to resume tutoring Algebra this fall with the software as an add-on that maximizes value to my clientele. I have tried finding work as a math teacher, but at fifty-nine and in this economy.... methinks I better stick to the tutoring and software!
I am a research asisstant in Hacettepe University. Now I am in PhD on mathematics education. I had two masters which is the one on math education and the other on math science. I graduated from department of mathematic science in Ankara Unıversity. So, I am a mathematician and educationer on math. My interesting area includes mathematics education, math education with technology, math, mathematical modelling.
I work for NCTM Illuminations as a marketing and communications coordinator. Illuminations strives to bring the best, standards-based, free resources to educators, parents, students and after school professionals.
We welcome your feedback!
My name is Colleen and I am a Certified Education Assistant and Behaviour Specialist working in an Alternative School. We will be introducing the new Math curriculum next semester and I am looking for some interesting and fun ways to help our students learn. My academic specialty is Math curriculum, Math manipulatives and games. I use tactile manipulatives as well as the Smart Board. I would really like to set up a Moodle for our students to do real life math projects as well.
Our students come to us for many different reasons and must be referred from their host school in our Division. We have space for 12 students and our goal is to get our students back to regular mainstream school with appropriate coping skills and a "personal tool kit" for success, as well as keeping them on track with their academics. We take students from grades 8-11. It is not uncommon for our students to transition to the Outreach School or into our Trades Program/RAP program at one of our high schools. Once a student has come to us, we follow that students' progress until they graduate or enter the work force. Our client population is so diverse but the one common thread we found is that they all want to succeed (whatever that looks like). It is not uncommon for past students to stop in for a visit or give us a hug when we are visiting our concurrent students at the High School. We concentrate on 2 core subjects at a time which gives us opportunities to work with the students on their other areas of concern. We collaborate with many agencies and form what we call "education partnerships" in the community. Some of our partnerships include Ju Jitsu, Skills and Thrills, Equine Assisted Learning, Work Experience, Volunteer work, and Foods. These programs, allow our students to get out into the community and experience activities they wouldn't normally have access to as well as form alliances with community members so that when they leave our school they have other strong relationships in the community. It is during these alternative programming times that we seem to have the most influence on our students. We are always looking for new ideas and forming new partnerships in the community. Our students are referred to us but often don't want to leave, because they feel so comfortable with us. We are like a mini-family and for some of our kids, this is the first time they ever feel part of something bigger than themselves.
I am excited to be part of Thinkfinity's community and look forward to sharing ideas and strategies with many educators.
That sounds like a great alternative program you have. I am just now releasing some new Algebra software that has worked well in the past with struggling students and might work well with your kids. It is unique in that it gets more intimately involved with students as they work solutions, providing hints and checking every step in a solution. I use funny sound effects to lighten the mood without detracting from the emphasis on solid Algebra (but they can be turned off when that starts to get old <g>).
One good thing for weaker students is that even with weak basic skills they can still work effectively, precisely because it tells them as soon as they make a mistake. They go slower of course but then they can correct their mistake and eventually strengthen the basic skills as they are working on Algebra. In my experience, there is a catch-22 when students lack basic skills because they are not ready for Algebra but they are tired of seeing yet another arithmetic worksheet.
The site is still in beta but fairly solid and usable and for now it is free. Eventually there will be a nominal charge to register, but I would be happy to give your great program a free license for your students.
This site has more information and a link (click on "Try it free" to the left) to the actual Algebra trainer: http://www.stuckonalgebra.com/index.html
By the way, the software is quite easy for me to change so feel free to send along suggestions for how it might work better for your students. Right now I am taking a break to jazz up the appearance to make it more appealing to kids.
ps. I like your "alternative" approach to bareback horse riding.
Thanks for your reply, I checked out your site...wow, nice work. Just the voice at the beginning will be enough to get my boys interested!! All joking aside, I would be very interested to try your Math site. I haven't actually set up an account yet, because I was wondering if each student needs his or her own account or can we sign up as a school for one account? Let me know, and thanks again for the help.
Ha-ha, yes, Kelly LeBrock from the movie "Weird Science", quite a voice. In the final version there will be a random silly greeting, but "So, what do you little maniacs want to do now?" is too perfect. But let me know if you get pushback from the powers that be over any of the sounds and I'll get them out of there... hmm, maybe for educators I should have a sound-effect preview page where you can sample them all. I was pretty good, but standards vary.
Regarding registration, I do need some differentiation for each student so I can save their work and progress up the Algebra hierarchy between sessions. What I will do now is quickly add a few fields to the registration screen to support all this. The students when registering will have a "teacher's screen name" and "class ID" as optional fields, you will then have a checkbox "I am a teacher" which will then give you access to a "console" where you can add/remove class IDs, see the students in each class, review their notebooks etc etc.
I do not want to spam this list too badly, so if this sounds good send me a note at kentilton AT gmail DOT com and we''ll continue off-line.
Thanks for the reply, I think I will try it first to see if it has enough to supplement our new math curriculum that we will be starting next semester. The best part of the team I work with is that we are all the "powers that be" and make our decisions based on student success. If this is something that we think will help our students then we will try it, that is that! If it doesn't work, well then at least we tried. Remember, I am part of an alternative program and we are always trying ways to keep our students interested and the closer to real life it is, the better. Our curriculum is grade 10 math, specifically Grade 10C and 10-3 from Alberta Education. I'll sign up myself and give it a go. Talk later,
PS Keep the voice!!!
That sounds like a great situation you have there, have a great school year. Let me know if you have any problems with the software or think of ways it could help your kids better, it is quite easy for me to change. Right now I am messing with the way the math editor handles fractions because it drives even me crazy. Thanks especially for the encouragement on Kelly--she stays!
My name is Larisa Bailey. After teaching for 21 years, the last 11 of which were in middle school math, this year I have become a math recovery teacher. I now work one-on-one with 1st grade students. I just joined Thinkfinity this fall. I am looking forward to finding great lessons and ideas!
I am a "mature," brand-new teacher! I am currently subbing in K-6 classrooms. I had a negative experience with math as an elementary student, and continue to teach myself about math concepts in elementary grades. I am a subscriber to www.nctm.org. I am particularly interested in problem-solving via games and incorporating children's literature into the math program.
Hi Leeanne! Welcome to the community. Here is a unit to get you thinking about, and using childrens literature, in your math lessons. http://illuminations.nctm.org/LessonDetail.aspx?id=U83
Additionally, feel free to check out http://calculationnation.nctm.org If you check out the section "For Parents and Educators" you will see that each game correleates to an Illuminations lesson.
Please let us know if we can be of more assistance to you!
My name is Ann. I am a middle school Math TA (grades 6-8). I retired from my original career after starting a family. Once my children were older, I started stubbing in their school district. After 5 years of subbing, I started as a math TA in another school district. This is my second year as a math TA.
Hi, I am a special education teacher at a level four facility. I am so excited to join this group since there are only 5 teachers in my school. I am looking for new ideas from experienced and new teachers.. I have been teaching since 1974 and I love technology and am not afraid of it. So bring it on. I love interactive sites for my students and they love them as well. I am especially interested in multiplication and fractions, seems no one these days know about these creatures.......(students I am talking about)
Hi, I teach the new math in Georgia. We have gone to Math 1, 2, 3 and 4 at the high school level rather than algebra geometry, etc. I only use the technology available from my system website and I want to do more. A great place to begin would be???? any input would be great.
I am so glad to see more schools going in this direction with the higher level maths because none of the subjects should be taught in isolation. They are all interconnected. I hope the universities catch on to this soon and make the appropriate changes to accommodate this.
As to your question, first Illuminations on Thinkfinity is a great resource. Then there are a couple of other great sites:
National Library of Virtual Manipulatives
Virtual Manipulatives -
Project Interactive -
Also, don't forget about geometer's sketchpad. It is an excellent resource. I observed it being used in a pre-calculus class yesterday. What a valuable tool to model student thinking.
I am Biju Thomas. I am from India , presently teaching in Bahrain. I have been teaching Maths to students of grades 11 & 12 from past 17 years. I have joined this group recently hoping to find some great ideas to make my classes more exciting.
I am interested in tips to integrate technology with classroom teaching.
Hi, I am new to thinkfinity and am looking forward to new lessons and ideas in math for kindergarten students. My team and I have realized our students are having some difficulty comparing objects, especially when describing likenesses and differences. At this point in time, we are looking specifically at comparing shapes. Any new ideas would be welcome.
Hi Teresa -
Here are some resources from ReadWriteThink.org:
Going on a Shape Hunt: Integrating Math and Literacy (http://www.readwritethink.org/classroom-resources/lesson-plans/going-shape-hunt-integrating-776.html)
We're Going on a Shape Hunt! (http://www.readwritethink.org/parent-afterschool-resources/activities-projects/going-shape-hunt-30090.html)
Teaching Shapes Using Read-Alouds, Visualization, and Sketch to Stretch (http://www.readwritethink.org/classroom-resources/lesson-plans/teaching-shapes-using-read-797.html)
Introducing the Venn Diagram in the Kindergarten Classroom (http://www.readwritethink.org/classroom-resources/lesson-plans/introducing-venn-diagram-kindergarten-378.html)