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May 102016
 

One of the most common questions we are asked is how our library of digital content supports the Common Core.  The easy answer is that our entire library has been aligned to the Common Core standards, so teachers can find resources related to each standard.  The more complex answer is that there are many pieces of content that can be used in flexible ways to support each individual standard, and it is up to teachers to choose the content that best supports their lesson and their students.

Here are five pieces of digital content a teacher might choose from StarrMatica’s library to support and enhance the teaching of: CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.5.G.B.3 Understand that attributes belonging to a category of two-dimensional figures also belong to all subcategories of that category. 

60Quadrilaterals Animation

Students learn the attributes of several shapes, and where they can be found in real life. They then learn how to categorize shapes as parallelograms and quadrilaterals with this animated tutorial.

 

61Shape Shifter

Share part of a shape with students and ask them to determine all of the categories and subcategories the shape would belong to based on the attribute shown.

 

 

62Carroll Diagram Shape Sort

Students sort shapes into a Carroll diagram based on their individual and shared attributes.

 

 

63Venn Diagram Shape Sort

Students choose a Venn diagram and then sort shapes into it based on their individual and shared attributes.

64

Flaming Cannonballs

Students use a cannon to short shapes according to a specific characteristic.  A higher order thinking question is asked at the end of each round to help the students draw a conclusion about the relationship between the two groups of shapes.

Apr 122016
 

One of the most common questions we are asked is how our library of digital content supports the Common Core.  The easy answer is that our entire library has been aligned to the Common Core standards, so teachers can find resources related to each standard.  The more complex answer is that there are many pieces of content that can be used in flexible ways to support each individual standard, and it is up to teachers to choose the content that best supports their lesson and their students.

Here are five pieces of digital content a teacher might choose from StarrMatica’s library to support and enhance the teaching of: CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.4.OA.B.4 Find all factor pairs for a whole number in the range 1-100. Recognize that a whole number is a multiple of each of its factors. Determine whether a given whole number in the range 1-100 is a multiple of a given one-digit number. Determine whether a given whole number in the range 1-100 is prime or composite.

45The Mystery of the Million Dollar Muffins

Students choose the ingredients marked with multiples of the number mentioned in the recipe for the item they are to bake

 

46The Bunratty Manor Mystery

Students use a magnifying glass to identify objects that are marked with number prints showing factors, multiples, the greatest common factor, or the least common multiple of the given number(s).

 

47The Factor Game

Students select a number and their opponent must find the factors. Then, they switch roles.  They can play against the computer or a friend.

 

48The Mystery of the Mixed Up Multiples

Students choose the cup marked with the number that does not belong with the rest of the group to uncover the hidden ball.

 

49Factor Trees

Students learn about prime factorization. Then, use what you have learned to replace missing photos in an album by completing factor trees.

Mar 152016
 

One of the most common questions we are asked is how our library of digital content supports the Common Core.  The easy answer is that our entire library has been aligned to the Common Core standards, so teachers can find resources related to each standard.  The more complex answer is that there are many pieces of content that can be used in flexible ways to support each individual standard, and it is up to teachers to choose the content that best supports their lesson and their students.

Here are five pieces of digital content a teacher might choose from StarrMatica’s library to support and enhance the teaching of: CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.2.NBT.B.8 Mentally add 10 or 100 to a given number 100-900, and mentally subtract 10 or 100 from a given number 100-900.

252525Picking Apples

Help Farmers Wink and Blink pack apples to send to the farmer’s market by adding a group of ten or taking away a group of ten presented in a ten frame.

 

Hundreds Chart Hay Bales

Help Farmers Wink and Blink keep track of their hay bales so the animals have enough food for the winter by adding or subtracting 10 bales or 1 bale on the hundreds chart.

 

10 Less Shoot Out

Students kick the soccer ball that is labeled with the number that is 10 less than the given number.

 

28More Than the Octopus

Students choose the shell that is labeled with the number that is 10 more than the given number.

 

29100 Hunt

Students see how quickly they can add 10 to the target number.

 

Feb 112016
 

One of the most common questions we are asked is how our library of digital content supports the Common Core.  The easy answer is that our entire library has been aligned to the Common Core standards, so teachers can find resources related to each standard.  The more complex answer is that there are many pieces of content that can be used in flexible ways to support each individual standard, and it is up to teachers to choose the content that best supports their lesson and their students.

Here are five pieces of digital content a teacher might choose from StarrMatica’s library to support and enhance the teaching of: CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.1.MD.A.2 Express the length of an object as a whole number of length units, by laying multiple copies of a shorter object (the length unit) end to end; understand that the length measurement of an object is the number of same-size length units that span it with no gaps or overlaps. 

12How Tall

Students estimate and then measure how tall objects are with non-standard measuring tools.

 

13Estimate and Measure with Chef Pierre

Students estimate and measure the length of Chef Pierre’s pans using cinnamon rolls.

 

14How Big Are You?

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

 

15Measuring Crystals

Students estimate and then measure crystals with non-standard measuring tools.

 

Read the following books with your students to explore non-standard measuring. In the first book, Several small worms use their varying lengths to measure the vegetables in a garden.  In the second book, three friends–Laura, Juan, and Sarah–compete in a sand castle building contest and measure their castles with spoons, shovels, and bare feet.

Inchworm and A Half  By: Elinor J. Pinczes

Super Sand Castle Saturday  By: Stuart J. Murphy

Jan 192016
 

One of the most common questions we are asked is how our library of digital content supports the Common Core.  The easy answer is that our entire library has been aligned to the Common Core standards, so teachers can find resources related to each standard.  The more complex answer is that there are many pieces of content that can be used in flexible ways to support each individual standard, and it is up to teachers to choose the content that best supports their lesson and their students.

Here are five pieces of digital content a teacher might choose from StarrMatica’s library to support and enhance the teaching of: CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.K.CC.B.5 Count to answer “how many?” questions about as many as 20 things arranged in a line, a rectangular array, or a circle, or as many as 10 things in a scattered configuration; given a number from 1-20, count out that many objects.

1Counting Objects

Students learn how to count objects with this animated tutorial.

 

 

2Counters to Show Numbers

Use the objects as counters and arrange them in a line, a rectangular array, or a circle, or as many as 10 things in a scattered configuration.  Or ask your students to choose an object and place a number from 1-20 of them on the mat.

 

 

3Animal Count

Students count the number of each identified animal in the picture and can immediately check their answers.

 

4Counting with Lecky

Students help Lecky catch a given number of balloons and can immediately check their answers.

 

5Counting Balloons

Students count the number of a given color of balloon as they float around the screen and can immediately check their answers.

Dec 082015
 

One of the most common questions we are asked is how our library of digital content supports the Common Core.  The easy answer is that our entire library has been aligned to the Common Core standards, so teachers can find resources related to each standard.  The more complex answer is that there are many pieces of content that can be used in flexible ways to support each individual standard, and it is up to teachers to choose the content that best supports their lesson and their students.

Here are five pieces of digital content a teacher might choose from StarrMatica’s library to support and enhance the teaching of: CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.5.G.A.1 Use a pair of perpendicular number lines, called axes, to define a coordinate system, with the intersection of the lines (the origin) arranged to coincide with the 0 on each line and a given point in the plane located by using an ordered pair of numbers, called its coordinates. Understand that the first number indicates how far to travel from the origin in the direction of one axis, and the second number indicates how far to travel in the direction of the second axis, with the convention that the names of the two axes and the coordinates correspond (e.g., x-axis and x-coordinate, y-axis and y-coordinate).

65

Descartes and the Coordinate Plane

Students learn how the coordinate plane was created with this animated tutorial.

 

 

66

The Coordinate Plane Animation

Students learn how to locate and name points on a four quadrant coordinate plane with this animated tutorial.

 

67

Billy Bug and His Quest for Grub

Students help a bug find food by moving him to given coordinates in the first quadrant.

 

68

Catch the Fly

Students type the correct coordinates to catch a fly.

 

 

 

69Maze Game

Students enter coordinates to move a robot through a mine field to a target location.

 

Nov 102015
 

One of the most common questions we are asked is how our library of digital content supports the Common Core.  The easy answer is that our entire library has been aligned to the Common Core standards, so teachers can find resources related to each standard.  The more complex answer is that there are many pieces of content that can be used in flexible ways to support each individual standard, and it is up to teachers to choose the content that best supports their lesson and their students.

Here are five pieces of digital content a teacher might choose from StarrMatica’s library to support and enhance the teaching of: CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.4.G.A.3 Recognize a line of symmetry for a two-dimensional figure as a line across the figure such that the figure can be folded along the line into matching parts. Identify line-symmetric figures and draw lines of symmetry.

40Symmetry Animation

Students learn about line symmetry with an animated tutorial.

 

 

41Symmetry Explorer

Students see lines of symmetry drawn on shapes.

 

 

42Symmetry Grid

Students use a grid to create a symmetrical drawing or can create half of a drawing and swap with a partner to complete each others.

43Symmetrizer

Choose one of eight faces and explore what happens to its image in the Symmetrizer.

 

44Symmetrical Pattern Grid

Students complete a symmetrical pattern on this virtual grid, or create a pattern of their own for someone else to complete.

Sep 302015
 

Our Friday Favorites series launched at the beginning of the school year.  Each Friday on Facebook and Twitter, we share a curated digital resource from our library that is one of our favorites.  Here’s what we shared in August and September:

* Two of our favorite virtual manipulative collections – perfect for exploring math concepts with IWBs, laptops, and tablets: http://www.glencoe.com/sites/common_assets/mathematics/ebook_assets/vmf/VMF-Interface.html

http://media.emgames.com/em-v2/eToolkit/eTools_v1.swfletter formation

* Awesome interactive for learning to write the alphabet – so many options!

http://www.doorwayonline.org.uk/letterformation.html

* A nice online way to alphabetize word wall words:

http://www.readwritethink.org/files/resources/interactives/alphabet_organizer/

* One of our favorite StarrMatica K-2 place value games – Picking Apples (in tens and ones)

packing apples

 

 

 

 

 

and a noisy favorite for working with base ten blocks:

http://www.learningbox.com/Base10/BaseTen.html

*  We love this place value challenge that really makes kids think and plan:

http://education.jlab.org/placevalue/

*  A way to help visual learners with the concept of compare and contrast:

http://pbskids.org/toopyandbinoo/index.php?ID=MAGC1JEU2

and for our StarrMatica members a Find the Differences Game:

comparing

Feb 052014
 

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?  As teachers we know that engaged students learn more than passive students, so we need to construct learning experiences in ways that lead students to discover a concept by drawing their own conclusions rather than directly teaching them the concept.  Here are a few ways a directly taught concept can be modified with digital content to encourage students to draw their own conclusions.

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

Student Discovery of that Concept:  In this StarrMatica activity, students conduct a probability experiment 10 times and 100 times and then compare the results to draw a conclusion. (You must be a StarrMatica member to access this content.)

http://www.starrmatica.com/lessons/direct.php?l=probability&id=4586

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

Student Discovery of that Concept:  In this StarrMatica activity, students sort 2-D shapes into categories and then compare shapes in those categories to draw a conclusion.  (You must be a StarrMatica member to access this content.)

http://www.starrmatica.com/lessons/direct.php?l=2dshapes&id=4248

Directly Taught Concept:  The commutative property of multiplication tells us that factors can be multiplied in any order and the product remains the same.

Student Discovery of that Concept:  Students create multiplication arrays for multiplication pairs (ie:  6 x 5 and 5 x 6) and draw a conclusion about the relationship between the factors and the product.

http://staff.argyll.epsb.ca/jreed/math9/strand1/multiply_arrays.swf

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

Student Discovery of that Concept:  In this StarrMatica K-2 activity, students use footsteps of different sizes to measure around a garden.

http://www.starrmatica.com/lessons/k2/index.php?lesson=123&id=1032

In this StarrMatica 3-6 activity, students use fish of different lengths to measure the length of a blue whale.

http://www.starrmatica.com/lessons/direct.php?l=usmeasurement&id=4656

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.  (You must be a StarrMatica member to access both pieces of content.)

How do you encourage students to draw conclusions in your classroom?

Do You Give Too Much Information In Story Problems?

 Posted by on January 2, 2014  Math Resources  Comments Off
Jan 022014
 

In his 2010 TED Talk, educator Dan Meyer talks about creating patient problem solvers and how the ways in which we approach problem solving in our classroom encourage students to be impatient problem solvers.  Dan’s TED Talk was the inspiration for this post, and it can be viewed here:  http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_meyer_math_curriculum_makeover.html

Whether they are called story problems, word problems, or problem solving problems, connecting mathematical concepts to real life situations is a core part of high quality mathematics instruction.  In the past, and in some classrooms still today, problem solving time consists of presenting students with a word problem to solve.  A typical problem might read something like this:

A patio floor is 40 feet x 40 feet.  I want to cover the floor with tiles that are 2 feet x 2 feet.  If each tile costs $1.10, how much will it cost to tile the entire floor?

Have you ever stopped to think how unlike real life this problem solving situation is?  When we set out to solve a problem, we first need to figure out what information we need.  Then we need to gather that information.  And finally we can use that information to solve the problem.  But in the problem solving situation above, we have provided students all of the information they need.

Here’s how that problem might look when presented to a class in the context of a real life problem solving situation:

How much will it cost to cover this patio floor with decorative tiles?

It seems incomplete, doesn’t it?  That’s the point!  Students can work in groups, pairs, or individually to determine the information they need to know to answer the problem.  Only after students have requested the information do you reveal the dimensions of the floor, the dimensions of the tiles, and the cost of the tiles.

Students who are used to being given all of the information they need may need to be prompted with additional questions:

  • What are you trying to find out?
  • What do you need to know to find a solution?
  • What do you need to know before you go to the store?
  • What do you need to know at the store?

Using an interactive whiteboard can add another dimension to the problem by allowing students to find the measurement of the floor, to find the measurement of the tiles, to pay the cashier for the tiles, and to tile the floor to check that they purchased the correct number of tiles.

Problems like these can be used to evaluate the ability of students to apply a learned concept such as area, or they could be used to introduce the same concept in the context of a problem solving situation.

For an online problem solving experience with area and perimeter, check out The Paving Slabs Problem.  What information would you remove?  What would you keep?

https://hwb.wales.gov.uk/cms/hwbcontent/Shared%20Documents/vtc/ngfl/maths/cynnal/slabs/saesneg/paving_slabs.swf

Share with us below what you thought of the TED Talk, this post, The Paving Slabs Problem, or how you are creating patient problem solvers in your classroom.