“I am just not a math person.” Statements like this drive me crazy; yet as a math teacher, I heard them all the time – and the biggest culprits were the parents, not the students. When we make it socially acceptable to be bad at math, are we setting our kids up to fail? I get it; math is difficult, and unless the subject comes easily to you, traditional methods of teaching it are boring and confusing at best. BUT, luckily for us, there are TONS of great things happening in the math EdTech space that help our kids learn math in different, non-traditional ways.
Rather than just avoid it because it’s difficult, we need to encourage our students to embrace it because of its difficulty. The career possibilities are endless for students who excel in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields. So parents, as hard as it may be, hold your tongue and reserve judgment on the subject. Let kids enjoy the challenge of mathematics…just make sure you are providing the support they need (even if that means brushing up on your math skills).
Here are a couple of my current favorite resources. Check them out, try them at home, or talk to your student’s teachers about them…Do math with your kids, I think you might be surprised what they can teach you!
Supplementary Elementary Programs:
ST Math by MIND Research Institute Why I love it: Teaches math WITHOUT words, research based, and busts the myth that math has to be scary.
DreamBox: Why I love it: Provides students with an individualized learning path, meets students wherever they are in their learning and then moves them forward.
Tools for Understanding
Kahn Academy – Why I love it: Great tools are hard to come by for higher level math, which is why these videos instruct students through all sorts of difficult concepts with detailed step by step instruction.
National Library of Virtual Manipulatives – Why I love it: Variety of visuals that drive conceptual understanding.
Sesame Street STEM – Why I love it: A focus on introducing kids to math (as well as science, technology and engineering) early on. For more details check out last week’s blog post: Starting STEM early with Online Hub from Sesame Street.
Tools for Practice
IXL – Why I love it: tons of practice, all aligned to the Common Core, immediate feedback for learners.
Everyday Mathematics – Why I love it: A parent dedicated section, resources are in both Spanish and English and links to additional resources.
Resources for Parents
Parent Power – Why I love it: keeps parents informed and empowered.
Appolearning– Why I love it: provides parents with a resource to making educated decisions about which apps are best for their family
MasteryConnect– Why I love it: organization of the Common Core
Math File Folder Games– Why I love it: variety of games for different skill levels
Math Formulas – Why I love it: acts as a go to homework helper, dictionary of math formulas
I’d love to open a dialogue with you as I start this regular STEM blog that will often focus on math. Tell me what apps and programs you love. Has a teacher inspired your student to love math? As a teacher, have you found the secret sauce to math education for all in your classroom? Lets work together to change the math dialogue in this country, our students deserve it.
MIND Research and DreamBox are Getting Smart Advocacy Partners. MasteryConnect is Learn Capitol portfolio company where Tom is a partner.