Most current math textbooks come with digital content; however, that digital content is limited and doesn’t always meet every instructional need.  StarrMatica’s library puts the additional supplementary content you need right at your fingertips, and our math textbook search makes it easy to find supplementary digital content aligned to each lesson in your math textbook.  Here are a few ways teachers integrate digital content into their instruction:

Use manipulatives as whole class teaching tools or for individual student inquiry

There are hundreds of math manipulatives in StarrMatica’s library that can be used to help students visualize concepts.  Some teachers use them for whole class demonstrations with interactive whiteboards and some have students access them on laptops and tablets.

Want something other than fraction bars?  Try using Kids and Cookies to introduce fractions in the context of a problem.  How can 3 children share 4 cookies and still be friends when they are finished?

Want to try a new place value manipulative?  Try using this place value machine to let your students discover what happens to a number’s place value when you multiply or divide by 10.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/teachers/ks2_activities/maths/activities/thenumbersystem.swf

Are your 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

Use content to remediate for students needing extra assistance

If you need to keep up with a pacing guide, yet several students are struggling to understand a concept, it can be difficult challenge.  You can share content from StarrMatica’s library to help specific students with a previous lesson while moving on to the next lesson with the entire class.  Students can access the content you have shared in their individual digital backpacks during independent work time on computers or at home with their parents.

For example, if a student is struggling with identifying angles, you might share an animated tutorial with them as a review: http://studyjams.scholastic.com/studyjams/jams/math/geometry/classify-angles.htm

Next, they can practice what they have learned with this interactive game:  http://www.childu.com/sample_act/34math_backatyou.html

Use content to challenge students who are getting bored

It is always difficult to meet the needs of every student in your classroom.  Students are at different levels of understanding for every concept you teach, so while you are trying to help students with a lower level of understanding, those who “get it” can easily become bored.  You can share content from StarrMatica’s library to challenge those students, while still engaging them in learning the same concept as the rest of the class.

For example, if you have students who know their 2D shapes, have them play a game that challenges them to identify the mystery shape by eliminating shapes that do not have the given attributes:

http://www.learnalberta.ca/content/mejhm/index.html?l=0&ID1=AB.MATH.JR.SHAP&ID2=AB.MATH.JR.SHAP.SHAP&lesson=html/object_interactives/shape_classification/use_it.html

Use content to engage parents at home

Sometimes the way you teach a concept to students may not be the way their parents were taught the same concept.  Or, their parents may not have had experience with a specific concept for a long time and may need to refresh their memories. It can be helpful to share content with parents that will allow them to understand a concept and to give them resources for helping their children to practice that concept.

For example, parents could watch this animated tutorial about adding and subtracting fractions with unlike denominators:  http://www.learnalberta.ca/content/mec/flash/redirector.swf?url=data/3/b/a3b2.swf

Then they could play pizza parlor fractions to practice what they have reviewed together:

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

Use content as center activities or extra practice for your entire class

Often, students may need more practice than what is provided with your textbook.  Or, they may need practice in a different format than what your core curriculum provides because of the learning styles and interests of your particular group of students.  Content can be shared with your whole class via their individual digital backpacks that can be accessed on computers and tablets for additional practice.

Try having your students practice finding factors in this game versus the computer or a friend:

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

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

How did these ideas work for you?  How do you use our library of content to supplement your math textbook?  Please share below!

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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

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).

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

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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.

Students learn how to count objects with this animated tutorial.

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.

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

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

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

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).

Descartes and the Coordinate Plane

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

The Coordinate Plane Animation

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

Billy Bug and His Quest for Grub

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

Catch the Fly

Students type the correct coordinates to catch a fly.

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

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.

Students learn about line symmetry with an animated tutorial.

Students see lines of symmetry drawn on shapes.

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.

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

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

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.swf

* 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:

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

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:

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.

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:  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?