What Math Practice Resource is Best for My Students?

When it comes to choosing resources that will enhance the learning and experiences of your students the process can be a little overwhelming. There are so many programs that all provide something a little different. So how do you decide?

You can do what Ms. Trautz did in her class and let the student’s decide! Ms.Trautz found 4 programs that she was interested in using with her math students, set up student accounts for all of them and then left it to her students to explore and evaluate each program. They were happy to take on the role of “guinea pig” and provide feedback on their experience.  Check out what the students had to say on Ms. Trautz’s blog.

 

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New BuzzMath Mission – ATTENTION: MISSING FORMULA!

While you may hear this a lot in your classroom as your students refer to a formula as “missing” when they have simply forgot it; this is different. This time a very important formula developed by Professor Quetelet has gone missing and he is requesting the help of students everywhere to join him on an exciting journey through Brussels to find it.

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Students will put what they have been learning and practicing to good use as they embark on this mission. They will be asked to analyze graphs to help an ice cream vendor, interpret graphs for a florist, navigate with a map to help a lost man and calculate percentages for a delivery man. Each time they successfully complete their tasks they will gain back pieces of the document that contain the formula. Students will not only emerge as heroes for retrieving this important formula that will later prove to impact the world, but they will also restore another part of the devastated BuzzCity.

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What formula could possibly be worth all of the commotion and effort to find?

Check out The Missing Formula

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#NCTMDance : Fun and mathematics in Boston at NCTM 2015

Did you know that more than 8,000 of your math education peers are in attendance at the NCTM Annual Conference? It is the perfect opportunity to have some fun!

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We kicked off the festivities at our booth with the Buzzmath #NCTMDance contest. Educators from across the country are being challenged to perform a dance move representing a math function of their choice to win a premium classroom subscription to Buzzmath!

Rules are simple:

The two most liked comments here will be crowned Queen or King of Math-dancefloor on our Facebook page (and win premium classroom subscription to Buzzmath).

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The two most liked pictures on our Instagram account  with hashtag #NCTMDance or #Buzzmath will be named Bowtie dancers (and win premium classroom subscription to Buzzmath).

The two most retweeted tweet with hashtag #NCTMDance or #Buzzmath will win be our social media champions (and win premium classroom subscription to Buzzmath).

If you are in Boston be sure to come boogie with Buzzmath and be part of the #NCTMdance!

Visit our #441 booth, follow us on social media and please be sure to subscribe to our newsletter.

NCTMdance

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New BuzzMath Activity – Factor Expressions with Rational Coefficients

Let’s factorise! That sounds like a workout, doesn’t it? But there’s nothing strenuous about factorising. The term factorise is used in the UK instead of its American counterpart, factor. The activity, Factor Expressions with Rational Coefficients, is about just that…factorising, or factoring expressions!

This activity uses the Distributive Property to factor and expand algebraic linear expressions. Students are already familiar with the Distributive Property from earlier grades where they used it to expand and factor numerical expressions. So this activity should not feel like a workout. They will now use the same concepts to expand and factor algebraic expressions.

Students begin the activity with rectangular models that build on their understanding of the Distributive Property to expand algebraic expressions. They then use this understanding to factor these types of expressions. To accomplish their tasks, students use a variety of Buzzmath input, matching, and select tools.

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New BuzzMath Activity – Introduction to Cube Roots

Are you perfect? If you are a 4, 16, or 36 you are. You also are if you are an 8 or 27. By perfect we mean, a perfect square or a perfect cube.

Students will use unit tiles to cover a large square as they explore perfect squares and then use unit cubes to fill a large cube as they explore perfect cubes. This manipulation and visualization of squares and cubes introduces students to these concepts while providing a foundation that students will build upon later in this activity as well as in additional activities. They will apply this understanding as they find the cube the root of some numbers and cube others.

Introduction to Cube Roots

Click here to try New BuzzMath Activity – Introduction to Cube Roots

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New BuzzMath Activity – Proportional Relationships

Proportional relationships are all around us–in nature, music, design, art, and a myriad of other real-world spheres. Patterns, prediction, efficiency, and aesthetically pleasing objects result from proportional relationships. How do we know when relationships are proportional?

In the activity Proportional Relationships, students learn how to identify these relationships. They complete tables and graphs, and use select, drag and drop, and input tools to show off their skills when determining proportional relationships. They also learn that the unit rate is the constant of proportionality, and determine these from tables, graphs, and real-world situations.

Proportional Relationships

Click here to try  New BuzzMath Activity – Proportional Relationships

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New BuzzMath Activity – Proportional Relationships and Graphs

When you go to buy something, if you don’t buy it, you pay nothing. In other words, zero of that item cost you zero dollars. But if you do buy it, for each item that you buy, you will pay a certain amount. This is a description of a proportional relationship. If you were to graph this relationship, you would get a straight line going through the origin, (0, 0). Well, that’s exactly the focus for the activity, Proportional Relationships and Graphs!

Proportional Relationships and Graphs

In this activity, students examine graphs of proportional relationships. They focus on two special points on the graphs–the point at the origin, (0, 0), and the point that shows the unit rate.

Students begin the activity with a review of unit rates and quickly move to tables and graphs of proportional situations. Over the ten pages of the activity, students interpret points on the graph focusing on the point at the origin, and the point that represents the unit rate.

Click here to try it: Proportional Relationships and Graphs

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New BuzzMath Activity – Rational and Irrational Numbers

Is it rational or irrational? The answer depends on who you ask! In the real world, if it is reasonable or logical, then it is rational. But ask a mathematician and you will find out that if it can be expressed in the form of a fraction, only then is it rational. Does that make it logical or reasonable?

In the Rational and Irrational Numbers activity, students identify different types of numbers and classify them as rational or irrational. They learn that rational numbers have decimal equivalents that are either terminating or repeating.

Rational and Irrational Numbers

In previous grades, students learned to convert terminating decimals to fractions using models and by writing and simplifying fractions with denominators containing powers of 10. In this activity, they convert repeating decimals to fractions by completing step-by-step procedures in which they write and solve equivalent equations. Although students may have previously converted fractions to repeating decimals, this is the first time they are converting repeating decimals to fractions.

Click here to try Rational and Irrational Numbers

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New BuzzMath Activity – Operations with Decimals

In a perfect world everything would be whole and we would not have to deal with parts of a whole. But in real life, a whole is often broken in parts. This is most evident in our monetary system–a cent is a part of a dollar, and we use a decimal to separate the whole (dollars) from the part (cents). Because money and decimals are a huge part of our daily lives, we need to be able to add, subtract, multiply, and divide decimals fluently.

In the activity Operations with Decimals, students use standard procedures to perform the four basic operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division) with decimal numbers.

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Students begin with models that help them to perform an operation, and then connect the standard procedure to the operation they performed on the model. For example, students use a grid to add two decimal numbers, and then use the standard procedure by aligning the decimal points in the numbers, and then adding the digits in the same place value. By the end of the activity students are exposed to real world situations they must solve by performing the appropriate operation(s) with decimal numbers.

Operations with Decimals

Click here to try it: Operations with Decimals

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Properties of Negative Integer Exponents to Generate Equivalent Numeric Expressions

If you are going to be negative, you are on the wrong side of the line. If you are an exponent, that is. If an positive exponent tells you how many times to multiply a base number, what does a negative exponent mean? It means that you will do the opposite and divide. 

Properties of Negative Integer Exponents to Generate Equivalent Numeric Expressions

Students will explore patterns and properties of negative exponents as they work through this activity. They will gain an understanding of why a base number with a negative exponent in the numerator is equivalent to that same base and positive exponent in the denominator.  Using the same table that was used in a previous activity, Properties of Positive Integer Exponents to Generate Equivalent Numerical Expressions, they will be able to determine that positive, zero or negative exponents are part of the same simple pattern.

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 Click here to try it : Properties of Negative Integer Exponents to Generate Equivalent Numeric Expressions

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