TeachersFirst's Gifted in any Classroom: Tools for Differentiating in Math
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.
Grades8 to 12
In the ClassroomPlot.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.
Grades3 to 8
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In the ClassroomUse 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.
Grades9 to 12
In the ClassroomCreate 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.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomBookmark (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."
Grades7 to 12
In the ClassroomUse 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."
I like this idea because it uses technology, something kids enjoy, and engages them in mathematics. Thanks, HeatherHeather, CA, Grades: 9 - 12
Grades5 to 10
In the ClassroomIn 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.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomAs 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.
Grades9 to 12
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