What’s in Your (Math) Closet?


It’s been quite a while since my last post. Life with four children, a husband and a full-time job sure is hectic! But having shared some of my favorites before, this topic was gentle enough to entice me to post.

The Classics:

  1. Dry erase boards – These little white wonders allow everyone (from the shy student to the outgoing one) to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding simultaneously. With students revealing their answers in the air, feedback is easy! There’s the quick thumbs up for accurate solutions or a “Hmmm. Take a look at…” when an aspect of the solution needs attention. I love hearing the board clunk down on the table as a student begins to revise the solution, and the subsequent “yes” when success is achieved.
  2. 10-sided Dice – It’s amazing how the simple roll of a die transforms simple practice into something grand. All of a sudden there is a greater willingness to engage.
  3. Dominoes – These offer the same motivation as 10-sided dice. Dominoes are great for comparing and ordering activities, as well as basic operations (including fractions).
  4. Sorting Activities – There is something satisfying about listening to the discussion generated by a pile of index cards when the only instruction given is to “organize them into groups”. It is fascinating to hear how students think about the cards and make connections between them.
  5. Interactive Student Notebooks – Foldables are awesome! As a lover of all things organized, the ISN had me at “Hello”. I hope to post more about my experience in the future!

The New:

Recently my 6th grade students went 1:1 (iPads), thanks to a very generous donor. The integration of technology into my classroom has been quite exciting and has given me a couple of  new favorites!

  1. Show Me – This app is a technological twist on the classic whiteboard. Show Me is an interactive whiteboard that allows students to record voice-overs. With this little gem, students can narrate their thinking process as they solve problems and show their calculations. Presentations can then be shared! The added bonus – having constant access to a whiteboard and stylus saves precious minutes and improved classroom cleanliness! (No passing out of markers, erasers and boards. No dirty hands from the ink.)
  2. Socrative – Warm-up, exit ticket, check-in or quiz. This app is fast became a staple and has been integrated into our daily routine. Rather than complete the daily warm-up on a dry erase board, students open up Socrative and begin a mixed review (created using the app’s teacher version). Responses are collected and a spreadsheet generated! (Multiple choice quizzes are actually marked for you!). A quick glance at the spreadsheet gives me a snapshot of students’ understanding. Taking it a step further, emails are sent to every student, either informing them that all questions were correct or informing them of which concepts should be reviewed.

I hope to discover some new classics and new technology! So, what’s in your (math) closet?


About shlager

I'm a teacher and rookie math coach who loves designing tasks to motivate, engage, and challenge, a mom to 4 yummy kids, and wife to a hockey lover. Happiness is getting everything organized!
This entry was posted in MS Math Sunday Funday, My Favorites. Bookmark the permalink.

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