HTML> Math Ed Web Sites

Math Ed Web Sites
Education 350, Spring 2001

Site Name: NCTM: Teachers' Corner: World's Largest Math Event
Address: http://www.nctm.org/wlme/

Reviewed By: Katie on 24 April 2001

This section of the NCTM website is a great resource for teachers who are looking for innovative ways to engage their students in thought-provoking mathematical discussion (who isn't?!). The World's Largest Math Event is part of the NCTM's annual celebration of Mathematics Education Month, and over 1 million students participate each year.

The website given above contains links to each of the first seven math events, and the website for individual events is full of pedagogical strategies, activities, and supplemental materials. For example, I liked Event Four in particular; it's title is "World Landmarks," and it uses landmarks such as the Great Pyramids, the Eiffel Tower, the Statue of Liberty, and the Golden Gate Bridge to explore relationships between concepts such as distance, height, volume, and cost. In one activity, students are asked to compare the dimensions of the Sphinx with similarly-sized structures in their school or neighborhood. In another, they measure and analyze the graph of changing heartrate in an exercise that simulates the climb to the top of the Statue of Liberty. The Event site also details ways for teachers to create similar exercises using landmarks in their area, or to allow students to research new landmarks and make presentations to the class. For each of the given landmarks, the website also includes information and relevant history for the teacher to use as he or she chooses.

I found this website extremely interesting - I think students would both enjoy the activities and make a lot of mathematical connections!

Site Name: Eisenhower National Clearinghouse
Address: http://www.enc.org

Reviewed By: Katie on 24 April 2001

This website is exactly what its title suggests - a clearinghouse of information about resources for, and professional development opportunities within both math and science education. It offers links to nearly everything related to this topic imaginable! The most notable include links to curriculum resources, lesson plans and activity suggestions, professional development resources on topics ranging from assessment and equity to family involvement and technology, and recent education research.

Each curriculum resource (videotape, workbook, game, etc...) on the website has been carefully described by ECN so that teachers understand the philosophy behind the tool, its intended audience, and all of its components. The ENC website appears to be equally as thorough in all sections of the site.

Because of the large volume of information, this website will be most useful for teachers who are looking for something specific, whether it is funding resources for their classroom, suggestions for improving a specific skill in classroom management, or an activity to complement a particular lesson. With such a concrete goal in mind, this website is an incredible resource for teachers - they should be able to find almost anything for which they are looking, and likely stumble upon many other useful resources along the way!

Site Name: Compass: Curricular Options in Mathematics Programs for All Secondary Students
Address: http://www.ithaca.edu/compass/frames.htm

Reviewed By: Pete on April 29th, 2001

This website guides people through the complicated decision process of choosing a curriculum. Compass is a program whose goal it is to assist schools, teachers, administrators, parent groups, and other community members and constituencies interested in improving secondary school mathematics opportunities and experiences for their students. They attempt to do this by offering general and detailed descriptions of five new standard based curriculums, CPMP, IMP, ARISE, SIMMS, and Math Connections. They provide links to these five curriculums to help surfers find out more about each one. Furthermore, a link to important questions to ask when choosing a new, standards- based curriculum is a very strong attribute of this web site. This site is great for people who want to compare and contrast new curriculum.

This website is useful to teachers of mathematics in that it helps them thoroughly search through the options for new curriculum. This website would greatly aid a department that is looking to reform their teaching style and curriculum. In addition, it has numerous links to other reform projects and sites dealing with standards and assessment. Furthermore, one link tells of the places where each curriculum is currently being used. This provides a way to perhaps observe different curriculums in neighboring schools. The credibility of the website is solid; it is put together by professors at Ithaca College. I would use this website when choosing a curriculum.

Site Name: ENC Online
Address: http://www.enc.org/

Reviewed By: Pete on April 29th, 2001

You name it, this website can probably get you to it. ENC, Eisenhower National Clearinghouse, has put together dozens of links and search engines for teachers. For example, a link titled “poll” helps teachers answer and find polled results to current hot topics. Timesavers, educational technology, assessment, funding opportunities, and current education news are a few more of these links. One of the strongest aspects of this site is its search engine. It allows you to search any topic, not just mathematics, at any grade level. Furthermore, it includes categories such as lessons, activities, websites, professional development, and standards and framework. That is rich. On a scale of one to ten, I would rate this website an eight.

The only drawback is that there are too many links. Some may like that; others may find it difficult to surf the complex, detailed site. There are so many places to go. While that is good, it can also be sort of a drawback if the site is not well-designed. For example, all the topics are simply listed down the left side of the screen. They go on for a few pages. Perhaps this could be remedied with a separated search engine for topics that this site covers. This is just one example of how the size of this website may be a turn off for those looking for very specific things. However, if people would be persistent and patient, they would probably find anything they wanted on this website.

Site Name: Mrs. Glosser's Math Goodies
Address: http://www.mathgoodies.com/

Reviewed By: Pete on April 29th, 2001

On a scale from one to ten, I would rate this website as a five. It has a great deal of potential, but it doesn’t follow through with all its ideas. Let’s start with its strong point, lessons and activities. There are many links to lesson plans and activities that I would find helpful in my classroom. The lessons cover a few of the standards, number theory, stats and probability, and area of polygons and circles. These lessons are great. The web site is traditional; it is lacking when it comes to the ideas on the new teaching styles such as student-centered and constructivist learning. Many of the lessons are traditional examples and questions. These definitely have their time and place, but there are many more ways to teach.

The major drawback of the site is that it is underdeveloped. It has areas for teachers to share ideas on home schooling, educational gems, homework help, disciplinary techniques, technology uses, etc. Yet most of these links lead to empty pages that have gone unused. The idea behind the links is great; teachers simply aren’t sharing their ideas on it. That’s unfortunate. Again, this web site has a solid foundation and some good ideas. However, they are often times very traditional and some of the good ideas aren’t being used regularly by teachers.

Site Name: NCTM: Teacher's Corner
Address: http://www.nctm.org/corners/teachers/index.htm

Reviewed By: Pete on April 29th, 2001

The NCTM, if anyone, should be able to put together a complete website for teachers. This website, more than any other that I have seen, places a large emphasis on the career and occupational situations that teachers face. They have links for “employment opportunities” and “jobs online”. The website focuses on helping teachers find jobs and then supplying them with support and help in order for them to prosper. The largest portion of the page is titled, “Professional Development.” On this site, teachers can subscribe to journals, sign up for conferences, buy products, sign up for memberships, etc.

This site focuses less on specific lesson plans, activities and tips and more on the broad principles and standards that are sweeping mathematics education. This can be a fresh change for a teacher, who can be tired of plugging away at lesson plans and teaching strategies. It is nice to take a step back and look at the basic goals of teaching math. This site would compliment a detailed site that supplied specific teaching lessons and strategies. On a scale from one to ten, I would rate this site a.nine. It only lacks specific teaching ideas; everything is quite helpful. Lastly, the credentials for this website speak for themselves. Professionals from around the country have put time into this organization and this website. That suggests that it is worth taking a look at.

Site Name: Breaking Away from the Mathbook
Address: http://emmy.nmsu.edu/breakingaway/Lessons/lessons.html

Reviewed By: Pete on April 29th, 2001

This website has a very specific purpose, to provide ideas for lessons that break away from the textbook. All of the activities suggested involve the students more actively in their own learning. They are making things with paper and scissors, creating charts, finding patterns, making conjectures and testing them, etc. An example of one lesson has students making containers designed to hold a specified volume. They can use any shape they want, and they do this for many different volumes. Volume, area, and measurement are learned much more completely this way than by simply telling the students the algorithm for volume.

This premise of this website seems to make some assumptions, namely that the textbook being used in the classroom is traditional and presents ideas on the lower levels of Bloom’s taxonomy. The new integrated surriculum will already have many similar ideas built into them. But if the older texts are being used, then these lessons compliment that text well. The specificity is an obvious downside of this web site. The only thing it offers is creative, interactive, constructivist lessons. But at the same time, huge sites with hundreds of links can be confusing. With this site, you know what it offers and it is easy to navigate and find things.

Site Name: Curriculum Connections
Address: http://www.edc.org/mcc/mconn.htm

Reviewed By: Katie on 29 April 2001

This website is the K-12 MCC's curriculum newsletter entitled "Curriculum Connections." Teachers can browse past journals to find articles of particular interest or for specific application to their classroom. Each issue of the journal features an article which deals with a certain aspect of incorporating standards-based curricula into individual classrooms or entire districts. Examples of recent feature articles include "Understanding Costs and Resources for Curriculum Implementation," "Planning Professional Development for your New Curriculum," and "The Curriculum Selection and Implementation Process."

In addition to these feature articles, teachers will find these journals helpful because they include feedback on these issues from teachers and administrators, information about seminars and professional development activities, as well as updates on curriculum and resources that are proven helpful in the classroom. This website is a great way for teachers to increase their understanding of the opportunities and challenges that accompany the implementation of standards-based curriculum.

Site Name: High School Teachers' Place: Individual Lesson Plans
Address: http://forum.swarthmore.edu/teachers/high/lessons-individual.html

Reviewed By: Katie on 29 April 2001

This website, which is a branch of Swarthmore's Math Forum site, is an excellent resource for high school teachers seeking to integrate innovative lessons that fit into standards-based curricula into their classroom. The site provides links to over fifty lesson plans developed either by high school teachers or university professors seeking to use creative means to help students achieve the mathematical reasoning skills specified by the NCTM's Principles and Standards of Teaching Mathematics.

Each lesson starts with a real-life situation to grasp the students' attention, and then provides multiple ways to incorporate relevant mathematical reasoning and understanding into the lesson. The topics include everything from algebra and geometry to discrete mathematics, and each lesson plan provides links to other websites that are potential resources for the lesson.

One of the other notable strengths of this website is that many of the lessons provide great ways for incorporating technology. Often, they provide templates for sketchpad activities, or include the site needed to conduct a web exploration of the topic. This is a great way for teachers who are less comfortable designing such lessons to increase both their own and their students' exposure to technology, as well as a way to make concrete connections of abstract topics.

Site Name: Teaching Mathematics is More than 2 + 2: Exploring Instructional Practices
Address: http://cyrus.piedmont.edu/users/athens/nctm.htm

Reviewed By: Katie on 29 April 2001

This website relates to the NCTM session 833 given by Dr. Angela Humphrey Brown & Dr. Anna P. Uhde. The website is a detailed description of their graduate level course intended to model meaningful mathematical instructional techniques, focus on the process of mathematics (as opposed to rules, definitions, and algorithms), teach graduate students how to think about mathematics holistically and develop a cognitive understanding of mathematics, build graduate students’ understanding of NCTM standards and help them to integrate these standards into daily mathematics instruction, and facilitate graduate students’ skills in developing their students’ higher order thinking skills related to mathematics.

The website is helpful for educators interested in achieving these goals because it provides the syllabus of suggested readings as well as helpful discussion material on each of these. It also includes key topics raised in class, along with student discussion and response to these. The final element which is most helpful is the students' reaction to the standards- based instruction in light of their actual experiences teaching.

Although this website is not as comprehensive as others that I have found, it does provide great information that is helpful in the training of educators who seek to responsibly and thoughtfully integrate the NCTM standards into their curriculum.

Site Name: The Stock Market Game
Address: http://www.smgww.org/

Reviewed By: Cory on 4/30/01

This is a site designed for use in a classroom. Teachers can set their class up to play a mock Stock Market. Students buy, sell, and trade stocks like they were real, but without the money.

The Stock Market Game has many benefits for students. It teaches them about economics, finance, and the American economic system. It also fits well into the standards. This is a game that is geared more towards economics than math, but there is definitely mathematics involved. The program touts itself as being cross-curriculum, and so has possibilities of being connected with other classes.

Site Name: The Consortium for Mathematics and its Applications(COMAP)
Address: http://www.comap.com/

Reviewed By: Cory on 4/30/01

This site is designed as a resource for teachers. It is full of curriculum material and teacher development programs.

COMAP’s materials are built around its educational philosophy that is centered around mathematical modeling. They support the reform movement in mathematics and design their materials in the light of the NCTM’s Standards. Material is available for elementary through undergraduate classes.

I found the material to be good, but hard to recover. Their quarterly magazines are available for download in .pdf format, but I found it difficult at times. However, when found, the material seems to be very useful.

Site Name: The Geometry Center
Address: http://www.geom.umn.edu/

Reviewed By: Cory on 4/30/01

This site is the product of the Geometry Center at the University of Minnesota. I found out later that the Geometry Center is no longer open. Even though the site is no longer updated, it still has much good information.

Unlike other site listed here that are specifically for use in a classroom, the site is more of a supplement to education. It has a number of Java Applets of things such as fractals and hyperbolic triangles that could be used as examples. It also has a section on The Distance Learning Initiative.

Site Name: Now is the Time to Stand and Deliver: Process and Content Need to be Mutually Inclusive
Address: http://www.sra4kids.com/teacher/math/phmea/cmoore.html

Reviewed By: Cory on 4/30/01

This is a site that is connected with the Carolyn Moore presentation from the conference. It has her handouts available for download in .pdf format.

The handouts are sample worksheets. They are great for ideas on how to teach simple functions. The site does not, however, go in depth on Ms. Moore’s talk.

The value here was the larger site, www.sra4kids.com. This is a site that focuses on education in just about all subjects, and is geared to elementary and middle school students. It features many resources that have been compiled and put together. Sra4kids also has a student section with some games and activities for kids.

http://www.iss.stthomas.edu/HansonMathw/

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