Flip It! Turn It! Spin It!Encourage active exploration with more than 60 virtual manipulatives and activities from the National Library of Virtual Manipulatives (NLVM). The virtual manipulatives are designed to facilitate mathematics learning at PreK–2, 3–5, 6–8 and 9–12. By encouraging active exploration w ith computers, the virtual manipulatives help students visualize mathematical relationships. The manipulatives are organized into five categories based on the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) Standards: Number & Operations; Algebra; Geometry; Measurement; and Data Analysis & Probability. The site is also accessible in Spanish.
Connect to a PointCombine understanding with skill! Problems “with a Point” help students in grades 6–12 learn new mathematical ideas by building on old ones. Each problem or sequence focuses on one mathematical idea and also connects that idea with others. Varying in difficulty and approaches, the problems are classified by topic, time required, suggested technology, required mathematical background and habits of mind that students develop or use as they work. Synopses of the problems are keyword searchable. Answers and solutions are provided, and many problems include hints.
Fantastic Folded FiguresUse the Japanese art of paper folding to invoke mathematical thinking. This site offers general and specific strategies for using activities based on origami. You’ll find background information on origami, including the development and critical aspects of the practice of origami in the United States, as well as suggestions on how origami can relate to the current goals of K–12 mathematics education. The general strategies described can be applied to any origami model. The basic strategy is for students to do the teaching. The examples include a variety of different computer-based techniques that students at all levels can use.
Plus: Follow the links to the origami-folding videos with Michael LaFosse from the Peabody Essex Museum. Invite your students to fold a penguin, polar bear, frog, lotus, butterfly—and more—to create their own origami land!
Money Ins and OutsMotivate your English learners to practice math while shopping at a virtual mall. Math at the Mall is a real-world math adventure in which students must find the exact change, calculate the interest earned at the bank, compare health memberships at the gym and figure out how much to tip their waiter at The Happy Hamburger.
Villainy ThwartedSet the stage for your ESL students’ success in mathematics. Villainy, Inc. is an animated story about Dr. Eugene Wick and his sidekick, Platypus. Wick and “Platy” have ridiculously goofy plans to take over the world. For example, in one mission, Wick wants to turn the Gulf of Mexico into a golf course. Your students take on the role of an advisor to Dr. Wick’s company, Villainy, Inc. Outwardly, they seem to go along with Wick’s schemes. But, secretly, they are really working with the Anti-Villainy Unit (AVU) as double agents, using their math skills to make sure Wick never succeeds. Each story offers tongue-in-cheek dialogue along with comical animated characters and scenes. There’s also a wealth of online and offline activities, printable resources, mission guides and teaching tips.
SPOTLIGHT! On Visualizing*
Based at the University of Cambridge in the UK, the NRICH Mathematics Project has thousands of free mathematics enrichment materials (problems, articles and games) for teachers and learners aged 5 to 19. All of the resources are designed to develop subject knowledge, problem solving and mathematical thinking skills.
The mathematical theme for October is Visualizing. The problems involve visualization, inviting students to reflect on how they “see” mathematics.
Everyone imagines a problem in a different way. By sharing their personal visualizations, your English learners can deepen their understanding of the mathematics within a problem and help to make sense of someone else’s route to a solution.
The Teachers’ Notes accompanying the problems offer insight into how Visualizing might be promoted in your classroom and lead to rich mathematical activity and discussion.
Solutions to the October problems will appear in November. The Web site is updated with new material on the first day of every month.
*Excerpted and adapted from the NRICH Web site
Picturing PlotHelp your ESL students improve their mathematics problem solving by visualizing math concepts. In this free ReadWriteThink lesson, students draw a series of pictures that depict adding or taking away objects. Then they write a story to go with the pictures they’ve drawn. And finally they write equations that symbolize the adding and subtracting written into the stories.
Illuminating TerminologyDevelop your English learners’ understanding of math concepts with the Mathematics Glossary on this site. Grade-appropriate information illustrates each glossary term. Most of the terms in the early grades have real-world examples, and many of the terms at all grades have applets and/or animations to support student learning.
It’s PuzzlingCreate a learning environment that can help your students learn to enjoy puzzles and the mathematics behind them. The AIMS Puzzle Corner provides more than 100 interesting math puzzles—from arrangement puzzles to number puzzles to visual puzzles. The puzzles are categorized by type, and within each category, they are listed in order of increasing difficulty. The puzzles have not been assigned a grade level because the ability to do a puzzle varies by individual rather than by grade level. The puzzles are available as free, downloadable PDF files, and an archive of past puzzles and solutions is available.
What’s the Category?Create a computer-based Jeopardy-style game for your class by specifying topics, questions and point values, using the template on this site.
Try, Try Again!Make an endless supply of printable math worksheets at The Math Worksheet Site. The intuitive interface gives you the ability to easily customize each worksheet to target your students’ specific needs. Every worksheet is created when you request it, so the exercises are different every time. This way you can add the practice that individual students need to a curriculum you already like, or you can be freed from the constraints of a workbook or textbook that gives either too much or too little practice. The worksheets are provided as free, downloadable PDF files.
Lines or Bars?Save yourself money and a trip to the store! On this site, you can print graph paper free from your computer—perfect for science and math homework, craft projects and other graph-paper needs. All the graph-paper files are optimized PDF documents. Take advantage of your printing flexibility: print on transparency film for sharp graph overheads, or waterproof paper for field data-collecting.
Enjoy free access to the Fall 2009 Big Deal Book for Educators of English Language Learners in eBook format. You’ll find some 200 active links to well-vetted resources especially for ELL professionals like you. Look for funding sources, interactive lessons, online multimedia programs, engaging Web destinations and a bounty of ideas to introduce interdisciplinary themes for the 21st century classroom.
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Get help in the face of financial challenges and budgetary constraints to purchase technology products for your 21st century ESL classroom. Troxell Communications’ Education Scholarship/Grant Rebate Program makes funding available to any educational institution that purchases products made eligible for rebate by Troxell’s participating vendor partners. There is no limit on the number of rebates an institution can receive. Find enrollment information on the company’s Web site.
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View the free video examples, sample worksheets and lesson plans for EASY (English Academic Success for You) – The ESL Series and see how easy it is to take your beginning ESL students to intermediate level and into the workforce with the new series EASY at Work. The program is correlated to the CASAS Workforce Skills Certification System.
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Help your English language learners achieve academic success with Northpoint Horizons’ Content Academic Vocabulary System. The five-step teaching plan (Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, Evaluate) helps you provide differentiated instruction to meet the diverse needs of your students. Visit the site to learn more about the system and to access sample math and science vocabulary lists for K–2 and 3–6.
Click Here to Access Sample Math Vocabulary
Click Here to Access Sample Science Vocabulary
Individualize your ESL instruction with ESL ReadingSmart, a Web-based learning environment designed to accelerate the development of English as a second language. ESL ReadingSmart provides instructional materials for newcomers as well as for intermediate and advanced English learners (grades 4–12, college and adult education). Each lesson offers activities and reading selections for students, as well as online lesson plans, worksheets and printable handouts for teachers. Instructional materials are written at a variety of ESL levels, helping teachers solve the challenge of teaching English learners in multilevel classrooms. Try the demo and then sign up for a free trial.
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Introduce young English learners to English pronunciation, vocabulary and essential phrases with Ben and Bella as they explore and have fun with English. In Britannica’s Discover English with Ben & Bella DVDs, language learning is presented through engaging animations, live action, chants and songs. An Activity Book, a Storybook and Parent Guide for each episode/lesson make language learning easy and enjoyable for ESL students and their parents. By encouraging young English language learners to actively participate with mind, voice and body, this delightful program provides an engaging and dynamic setting for teaching the fundamentals of English. Visit the program’s Web site where you’ll find synopses of the 18 episodes in Series 1–6, as well as free, downloadable sample worksheets and activities for the three episodes in Series 1.
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Provide multiple avenues for tackling a wide variety of math topics with Learning.com’s Aha!Math Spanish/ELL edition, a new, Web-delivered supplemental math curriculum for K–2 native language instruction and for students transitioning into English language instruction in grades 2–5. Digital coaches present all Aha!Math content for K–2 in Spanish—including onscreen math vocabulary. ELL strategy guidesâ€¨ help teachers in grades 2–5 use Aha!Math English content with ELLs for content mastery. Spanish–English vocabulary exercises support language acquisition and academic vocabulary development for ELLs in grades 2–5. Sample the curriculum online at no charge.
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