How many times have you heard, “I hate math” from your students over the years? Sadly, maybe too many to count! It may be time to try out some nontraditional ideas with your tried-and-true math instruction and supplements to get kids excited about math. Use these fun out-of-the-box tools in your lesson plans to build a love for math and continue to make it exciting!
1. The “Math On the Move” Option: Go Noodle
You may be familiar with Go Noodle already, as it hosts some of your students’ favorite brain break videos and activities. But, have you ever considered Go Noodle videos as a way to sneak a little extra math practice into your day? Activities like Mega Math Marathon and Freeze It pepper in math questions among training for a marathon or throwing a dance party. What could be more fun?
2. The “It Doesn’t Seem Like Work” Option: Math Vs Zombies
When can you use math in real life? When you’re trying to survive a Zombie Apocalypse! Your students may not even realize they are learning when they play this math app that will remind them of their favorite video games. Math Vs Zombies is appropriate for students in first through sixth grade, and takes them from basic math facts through multiple-digit multiplication and division problems.
3. The “All-Around” Option: Prodigy
Prodigy is a curriculum-aligned program that blends math with online games for students in grades 1-8. After students complete a diagnostic test, teachers can set the pace for each individual student. With real-time reporting on students’ progression and skill mastery, teachers can identify who needs additional support and what concepts need to be reinforced in future lesson plans. There’s even the option to create summative assessments right in the Prodigy program.
4. The “Math for Book-Lovers” Option: Sir Cumference Math Adventures
Do you have a hard time getting some students to put down a book they’re really into long enough to practice math? The Sir Cumference Math Adventures series, a humorous series of books for 8-12 year olds set in the era of King Arthur, introduces students to math concepts like place value, geometry, algebra, charting, and estimating.
5. The “Math Goes High Tech” Option: Osmo
Using a classroom iPad, the Osmo gaming system opens up math learning to be incredibly interactive. When math problems appear on the screen, the Osmo software allows it to “read” the manipulatives that students place in front of the screen to build equations or solve problems. Starting with simple counting games for younger elementary classrooms, students in older grades can progress through adding, subtracting, and multiplying. Osmo also works to help students see that there is more than one way to arrive at the right answer.
Additional programs allow students to explore coding and shape their spatial relational skills with tangram puzzles. Teachers can also download lesson plans shared by the Osmo educator community.