TeachersFirst's Gifted in any Classroom: Tools for Differentiating in Math

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This collection of resources provides tools to differentiate in your Math classes at all grade levels. Find higher-level math tools that combine math with its STEM partner, writing computer code. Note that YOU do not need to know how to write code. The resources offer tutorials so your gifted students can explore and learn this logical but creative process.

Explore excellent higher-level thinking and problem solving sites. Discover new ways to look at and manipulate data. This collection also offers some basic computation sites at varying levels of difficulty. Take students beyond the basics of math to create their own math animations to illustrate concepts. Be sure to read the suggestions under Classroom Use for specific ideas to use with gifted.

 

 

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Plotly (Beta) - Jack Parmer

Grades
8 to 12
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Plot.ly is a collaborative data analysis and graphing tool. Import data from your computer. Copy and paste, drag and drop a file, or import from Google Drive or Dropbox. Create ...more
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Plot.ly is a collaborative data analysis and graphing tool. Import data from your computer. Copy and paste, drag and drop a file, or import from Google Drive or Dropbox. Create many types of graphs from your data including scatter, line, bar, area, error bar, heatmap, box, and histogram. Options include choice of colors and themes, switching back and forth from data to graphing view, and data filter options. Create your account using email or social networking logins to save completed graphs. Make graphs public or private using sharing options. At the time of this review, this site was still in Beta.

tag(s): charts and graphs (195), data (149)

In the Classroom

Plot.ly is perfect for use on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Use this site to demonstrate different types of graphs using the same data in a math or science class. Create an account and upload your own data for comparison. Challenge students to play around with Plot.ly to create and share their own graphs. Use Plot.ly as a challenge assignment with gifted students who research different data or simply need experience manipulating more sophisticated types of information.

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Tynker - Krishna Vedati

Grades
3 to 8
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Learn computer coding using simple and easy activities, lesson plans, and an interface sure to please all ages! Click Schools to access the free school activities, or click on Hour...more
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Learn computer coding using simple and easy activities, lesson plans, and an interface sure to please all ages! Click Schools to access the free school activities, or click on Hour of Code to find ones you can use at home or school. Build an animated character (everyone loves the zombie) and then animate it. Learn to code by dropping blocks of commands into sequence on the left side of the screen and seeing the results along the right. The lessons provide step by step instructions, missions, and other materials to learn to code. Teachers can create a class and add students to the class. Once lessons are assigned, the progress of students can be tracked. Click on student view of each lesson to see the tools and student tasks. Follow the instructions along the right panel. Note the tools that are along the top including undo and redo! This tool also features a question bar along the top. Note: This free portion of the resource offers three units of lessons, a visual programming environment, an art studio to draw and paint you own scenes, and a media gallery. The free units of lessons have unlimited student space.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): animation (59), coding (26), computers (79), game based learning (101), gamification (63), STEM (123)

In the Classroom

Use this tool to learn basic coding skills. Students will quickly catch on to this program when allowed to "tinker" and see what they can make. Provide a simple assignment with defined rules/tasks to learn the tools. Younger students may familiarize themselves more easily working with a partner. Be sure to recommend that students "ask three before me" (the teacher). Have students use a storyboard to write down what they plan to do/draw/say with their creation in order to keep tabs on students and their creations. When finished with these lessons, move to other free tools such as Scratch, reviewed here. Teachers of even very young gifted students can turn them loose with these challenges when they have already mastered math or science curriculum. Have them create a creature they can explain to the class or share with gifted peers in other classrooms.

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MathFights - MathFights Ltd.

Grades
9 to 12
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Compete in the ultimate Math Challenge with opponents from around the globe on MathFights! Registration is required to access this site, and it requires email. The questions are challenging,...more
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Compete in the ultimate Math Challenge with opponents from around the globe on MathFights! Registration is required to access this site, and it requires email. The questions are challenging, much like those in Math Counts and other math competitions. Begin working your way up from division 10 all the way up to the highest level, division 1. Choose the "Fight" button to connect with a challenger. You can also challenge a friend registered with the site. Each round consists of five multiple choice questions to answer within the given time. Speed and accuracy scores determine the winner for each round. Following each round is an opportunity to review each task and view correct answers and explanations for incorrect responses. Be prepared, MathFights will offer a challenge to even the brightest math minds!

tag(s): gifted (96), logic (229), mean (25), order of operations (33), problem solving (258)

In the Classroom

Create a class MathFights account and have students play on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Allow students to create their own accounts using Gmail subaccounts and challenge each other from computer centers. Read tips for safely managing email registrations here. Create a link on your class webpage or blog and challenge students to share their levels and competition results. Choose difficult questions from MathFights to use as challenge problems in class. MathFights is excellent for use with gifted students as a Math challenge at any time they have completed lesson objectives.

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Math Disk - MathDisk Technologies Pvt Limited

Grades
6 to 12
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Explore the many tools available at this website for learning and demonstrating every area of math. Students and teachers alike can create OR use the ready-made activities. Use the...more
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Explore the many tools available at this website for learning and demonstrating every area of math. Students and teachers alike can create OR use the ready-made activities. Use the tools to create "worksheets" (actually online interactives!), animations, and even videos to embed into a website. Math expressions are easily entered without special tools. Create 2D or 3D graphs and even special effects for images or videos. This tool is powerful because each step of the concept can be animated and explained for better understanding. Your creations can be shared for others to use. Be sure to check out the MathDisk Gallery for resources. Search easily in the gallery by tag. Notice that there are even some applied math activities such as physics interactives. Even if you cannot figure out how to create activities using the Math Builder, you can EMBED the activities from the ready-made Gallery into your own class wiki or webpage. Try clicking on the Arithmetic tag at the left to see an interactive abacus and a simple lever game to practice basic additional and subtraction skills. Roll your mouse and click "embed this worksheet" to get the embed code. Join for free and download the app for use on all devices to easily access resources you have created. Don't miss the introduction video (hosted on YouTube). If your district blocks YouTube, you may want to view this at home so you are prepared to teach your students how to use this fabulous site. There is a support forum, but it assumes a basic understanding of how to install Math Builder and then download activities to run on your computer offline. An iOS app version to play the activities is supposed to be released soon, There is a link to download an Android app now.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (192), problem solving (258)

In the Classroom

Bookmark (or save) this site for students to use on classroom computers. Demonstrate HOW to use existing activities on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Experiment together to learn how to build your own activities, as well. Challenge your gifted students to create a simple activity on their own or with a partner, and share it with the class. Find great explanations of various math concepts on this site. Use the search by tag feature. Use to explain the rules of various problems or functions in Math. Have students look over the solutions to the problems and discuss the rules for solving similar problems. Provide time for students to teach the solutions to the class. Follow up with additional problems for practice. Consider using embeds from this site to create your own homework help section of a blog, site, or wiki. Not comfortable with wikis? Check out the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through. Teachers of gifted will love the open-ended challenge of having students create their own interactive "worksheets."
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Stella's Stunners - Ohio Resource Center and Rudd Crawford

Grades
7 to 12
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Stella's Stunners is a collection of over 600 "non-routine" math problems. They range from visual problems to those that involve use of pre-algebra on up through pre-calculus. In addition...more
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Stella's Stunners is a collection of over 600 "non-routine" math problems. They range from visual problems to those that involve use of pre-algebra on up through pre-calculus. In addition to the math problems, the site also includes tips for extending problems, using the problems in the classroom, and suggestions for grading. Each problem also includes a link to the solution. Search for specific topics by math course, problem title, or Stella decimal system. To FIND the collection, click on Complete Stella Library.

tag(s): logic (229), problem solving (258)

In the Classroom

Use Stella's Stunners as a problem of the day to begin math class. Assign problems for homework or extra credit. Have students create an online or printed comic using one of the tools and ideas included in this collection to describe how to solve problems. Use as part of student math journals and have students explain the problem solving process for each problem. Use this site with your gifted students. Challenge your gifted students to create their own "Stunners."

Comments

I like this idea because it uses technology, something kids enjoy, and engages them in mathematics. Thanks, Heather Heather, CA, Grades: 9 - 12

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Figure This - KnowNet Construction, Inc.

Grades
5 to 10
1 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Looking for a way to add challenges to your middle school math curriculum or gifted classes? Try Figure This, a site of math challenges developed by the National Council of ...more
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Looking for a way to add challenges to your middle school math curriculum or gifted classes? Try Figure This, a site of math challenges developed by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. Figure This offers a number of challenges in English and Spanish to be used in a classroom or offered to families for math challenges at home. A PowerPoint is included to help increase parent involvement. Learn why most manholes are round, how fast your heart beats, and numerous other interesting topics. At the time of this review, there were 80 "Challenges" to explore. All of high interest and intriguing topics! Although mainly math activity, many border on science topics as well. Each activity offers hints and answers explained in many ways. Finding the answer is rather tricky! Scroll to the bottom of the page and look for the link to Answer. Don't miss the Teachers Corner. It includes all beginning materials; PowerPoints, forms, and ideas you need to begin!

tag(s): critical thinking (92), geometric shapes (159), logic (229), percent (82), probability (130), problem solving (258), statistics (122)

In the Classroom

In the classroom, use Figure This to help differentiate instruction for all levels, especially the high-achievers and gifted students. Allow students to work independently, or work in pairs to solve challenges. Introduce the challenge on your interactive whiteboard projector. Then allow students to dive into the challenge! Use for gifted enrichment, or even a Math Challenge Day for a reward. Offer extra credit for the number of challenges solved. Use as a model to allow students to create their own challenges. Add to your website as a fun resource for students and families.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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The Differentiator - Ian Byrd

Grades
K to 12
4 Favorites 0  Comments
Differentiating activities for all learners has become easier with this tool. Use this free Bloom's Taxonomy tool, created by an educator, to develop great objectives for differentiated...more
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Differentiating activities for all learners has become easier with this tool. Use this free Bloom's Taxonomy tool, created by an educator, to develop great objectives for differentiated instruction. Move through developing your goal on this site by choosing a level of Bloom's Taxonomy and a thinking skill. Then move on to your content, resources, finished product expected, and what kind of grouping you want. These are all tabs at the top of the page. Watch the sentence at the top of the screen change as you create your objective.

tag(s): blooms taxonomy (9), critical thinking (92), differentiation (47), newbies (18)

In the Classroom

As an example, use a verb from Bloom' taxonomy such as "evaluate." Click on the part of the sentence at the top, in parenthesis, to enter your content such as "patterns of environmental issues." Choose the resource you want students to use, the product you want them to make, and the number of students in a group by clicking on the tabs. Example objective: Students will evaluate the patterns of environmental issues using websites to create a news report in groups of two. Save your objective by copying and pasting it into any document or online tool. The Differentiator will give you many project ideas that you may not have thought of yourself, and serves as a welcome reminder of different activities and expectations you can use in your classroom. Take a look at this site at the beginning of the school year or when creating a new unit (or project). Find new ways to differentiate for your gifted students using this creative and powerful tool. If your gifted students test out of your current math lessons, use this site to find new material to challenge their minds. This site is deceptively quick and simple, but it could be very useful when writing detailed, powerful lesson plans.

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HippoCampus - Monterey Institute for Technology and Education

Grades
9 to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Find multimedia content and lessons ready to go, and customizable by your preferences on this incredible, free, online learning site. Whether you need a comprehensive curriculum for...more
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Find multimedia content and lessons ready to go, and customizable by your preferences on this incredible, free, online learning site. Whether you need a comprehensive curriculum for selected high school courses, a way to differentiate instruction, or materials to reinforce challenging topics, this site has it. The current subjects include Algebra, American Government, Biology, Calculus, Environmental Science, Physics, Religion, and U.S. History. The subjects extend through high school and into AP and college level material. Open a course at the left and browse the topics, especially the multimedia offerings. A free instructor account allows you to select the modules you want your students to see and share them via a unique URL for assignments or at-home review. Since the content is offered collaboratively from multiple sources, the courses each have their own "look." The ones our review team explored all included audio-- a real plus for ESL/ELL or low level readers. Requires Flash and Quicktime. Get them from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): environment (317)

In the Classroom

Explore the curriculum topics for your subject area and select some options for students to use in class or for review. This is also an excellent option for leaving plans for a substitute who may have no expertise in your subject area! Many of the multimedia modules are well-suited for interactive whiteboard or projector (or for students to navigate at an individual pace on laptops). Have gifted students? Allow them to "compact" new content and extend into higher levels using this site. Be sure to share a link from your teacher web page for students who need an alternate presentation of material or for absentees. Share this site at the beginning of the school year for students wanting more of a challenge.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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