Here are five pieces of digital content a teacher might choose from StarrMatica’s library to use math manipulatives to foster concept development through visual models and problem solving situations.

Number Balance

Use these interactive balances to show the relationship between addition problems or to find the sum to balance and equation.

Create a Graph

Create a bar graph or a pie graph using your own data.

Equivalent Fractions on a Number Line

Use this virtual manipulative to create equivalent fractions and see them plotted on a number line.

FDP Bars I
FDP Bars II
FDP Bars III
Use these virtual manipulatives to visually compare fractions, decimals, and percents.

Click the control panel to set one or two rules for the function machine.  Then place each number in the stream to see the results.

How do you use math manipulatives in your classroom?

Each Friday on Facebook and Twitter, we share a curated digital resource from our library that is one of our favorites.  In May, we focused on web tools.  Here’s what we shared:

Zimmer Twins

http://zimmertwinsatschool.com/movie/create

Picture Book Maker

Create your own picture book. Choose backgrounds, characters, and objects and add the text of your story.

http://www.artisancam.org.uk/flashapps/picturebookmaker/picturebookmaker.php?

Printing Press

Use this interactive to design and print newspapers, brochures, flyers, and booklets.

Make Beliefs Comix

Choose your background, characters, and objects, and add text to create our own printable three panel comic.

http://www.makebeliefscomix.com/make_belief_v10_u11.swf

Here are five pieces of digital content a teacher might choose from StarrMatica’s library use math manipulatives to foster concept development through visual models and problem solving situations.

Use these interactive number lines to demonstrate addition concepts.

Are your students losing interest in your ten frame?  Try using bears in a boat to catch their attention!

Try having your students group cows to practice counting by 5’s and 10’s or to practice adding and subtracting with a partner.

Use a number balance to compare numbers.

Use the counters on the blank hundreds square to practice skip counting.

How do you use math manipulatives in your classroom?

Each Friday on Facebook and Twitter, we share a curated digital resource from our library that is one of our favorites.  In April, we focused on social studies resources.  Here’s what we shared:

Civil War Soldier

Choose a side, enlist, and follow an actual regiment as a civil war soldier.
https://www.nps.gov/webrangers/activities/civilwar/civilwar.swf?activityID=3&userID=

Treasures of Congress

Explore historical artifacts from the beginning of our government to the present day.
http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/treasures_of_congress/page_1.html

Pathways to Freedom

Step through a journey on the underground railroad. Roll over images to collect clues that may help on your journey.
http://pathways.thinkport.org/flash/ftf_1_0.html

Go West with Lewis and Clark

Travel westward with Lewis and Clark and make decisions along the way to ensure a successful journey.
http://www.nationalgeographic.com/west/

It can be difficult to find supplementary resources to meet the needs of the students in your classroom who need a challenge.  StarrMatica’s library is packed with content that can help encourage those students to grow in their thinking.  Here are a few examples:

Engage your students in the scientific process

Ecolonization Use your knowledge of organisms to construct a bio-dome with a self-sustaining food chain.

Plant Growth Experiment View the results of an experiment to test whether water, light, and temperature affect whether seeds grow. Then answer questions about what you have discovered.

Ask your students to make critical decisions in the shoes of a historical figure

For Crown or Colony Become a 14 year old living in Boston when the Revolutionary War begins. What will you do?

Strike it Rich! Become a miner and see if you can strike it rich!

Who Do You Want To Be? Become an Immigrant and make your voyage to America.

Challenge your students to use STEM thinking

Tinker Ball Engineer a machine to complete a specific task.

Science Detectives: Training Room Escape Use scientific processes to find your way out of a dark room.

City Creator Design your own city with the city creator interactive

Allow your students to demonstrate their knowledge in different ways

Printing Press Create a newspaper, brochure, flyer, poster, or sign.

Zimmer Twins Create a movie using animations of the Zimmer Twins. Add transitions and your own text. Then press play to watch your creation. You must create an account to save your movie.

How do you use digital content to challenge your TAG students?

Each Friday on Facebook and Twitter, we share a curated digital resource from our library that is one of our favorites.  In March, we focused on math resources.  Here’s what we shared:

The Data Bank Research Company

Great interactive with a real life reason to gather and display data.

http://www.learnalberta.ca/content/me3us/flash/lessons/15/m3_15_00_x.swf

Explore numbers, counting, addition and subtraction with an online rekenrek.

Free Fractions Unit

Check out this free fractions unit that includes video clips and activities for a variety of fractions topics.

http://oame.on.ca/CLIPS/index.html?ePractice=T/?EP_Topic=Fractions

How Big Are You?

Estimate how many of a non-standard measuring tool it takes to measure a large dinosaur. Then measure to check your estimate.

http://www-tc.pbskids.org/dinosaurtrain/media/swfs/howBig.swf

Super Math Golf

This is a fun center idea to practice angles.

One of the benefits of having access to an entire library of content is being able to easily differentiate your instruction.  For example, if you are working on place value concepts, you could create three collections of content. (Note:  To view some of the examples, you must be a StarrMatica Member.)

In Level 1, you could include content that uses base-ten blocks for your students who need visual support.  Here are a few of our favorites with directions you could include in the collection:

Base Ten Blocks         Watch this animation first.

Base Ten Blocks III     Build 10 different numbers using the blocks.  Record those numbers and the blocks you used in your notebook.

Place Value Chart       Build 10 numbers with the cards and write them in expanded form in your notebook.

In Level 2, you could include content that moves on to place value with numbers for your students who understand the concept, yet need some extra practice.  Here are a few of our favorites with directions you could include in the collection:

Value of a Number      Watch this animation first.

Mystery Numbers II     Can you build really big numbers?  Find out!

Build a Word                Try this challenge last.  Write the words you have spelled in your notebook.

In Level 3, you could include content for students who understand the concept of place value and need a challenge.  Here are a few of our favorites with directions you could include in the collection:

Place Value Machine            Use this manipulative to help you answer this question in your notebook: How does multiplying and dividing affect a digit’s place value?

Hacker’s Number Machine   Can you create a number larger than the computer’s?

Place Value Game               Create the largest number possible from the digits you are given. Choose wisely! Once you place a number, you cannot move it!

Once the collections are created, you can place them in the digital backpacks of three different groups to differentiate your instruction for every student in your classroom!

Each Friday on Facebook and Twitter, we share a curated digital resource from our library that is one of our favorites.  In February, we focused on math resources.  Here’s what we shared:

The Factor Game

Play The Factor Game against the computer or a friend. Select a number and your opponent must find the factors. Then, switch roles.

http://illuminations.nctm.org/Activity.aspx?id=4134

Bears in a Boat

Are students losing interest in your ten frame?  Try using bears in a boat to catch their attention!

http://www.glencoe.com/sites/common_assets/mathematics/ebook_assets/vmf/VMF-Interface.html

Pizza Parlor Fractions

This is a fun game for practicing adding and subtracting fractions.

http://kevinmuma.com/software/pizza/Instructions.swf

Grouping and Grazing

Try having your students group cows to practice counting by 5’s and 10’s or to practice adding and subtracting with a partner.

http://illuminations.nctm.org/Activity.aspx?id=3526

Each Friday on Facebook and Twitter, we share a curated digital resource from our library that is one of our favorites.  In January, we focused on science resources.  Here’s what we shared:

Molecularium

Great resource for introducing students to atoms and molecules.

http://nanospace.molecularium.com/

Career Town

Explore career town to learn about job possibilities.

http://vacareerview.org/k5/play-it/career-town/main.cfm

Goldburger to Go

Design a Rube Goldberg machine!

http://pbskids.org/zoom/games/goldburgertogo/rubegame.html

Lab Hazards

Can you identify all of the lab hazards?

http://www.interactivesolutions.co.uk/games/flashGames/labhazards.swf

How many times have you taught a concept only to have to re-teach it the next day because your students don’t remember what you taught the day before?  We know that engaged students learn more than passive students, so we need to be masters at constructing learning experiences in ways that lead students to discover a concept by drawing their own conclusions rather than directly teaching them the concept.  Here a few easy ways a directly taught concept can be modified with digital content from StarrMatica to encourage students to draw their own conclusions.

Directly Taught Concept:  The more times an experiment is conducted, the closer the results will be to the theoretical probabilities.

Student Discovery of that Concept:  Students conduct a probability experiment 10 times and 100 times and then compare the results to draw a conclusion.

Directly Taught Concept:  All parallelograms are quadrilaterals, but not all quadrilaterals are parallelograms.

Student Discovery of that Concept:  Students sort 2-D shapes into categories and then compare shapes in those categories to draw a conclusion.

Directly Taught Concept:  We need to use a standard measuring tool for accuracy when communicating measurements to others.

Student Discovery of that Concept:  Students use footsteps of different sizes to measure around a garden.  Students use fish of different lengths to measure the length of a blue whale. In both activities, students use the information that non-standard measuring tools result in different measurements to draw a conclusion about the need for a standard measuring tool.