Do your math students love using technology? Playing math games?
Do you love math resources that are easy to use? AND great quality?
The digital math activities on my site are perfect for those who answered yes to these questions!
As more and more teachers and students are using the digital games on my site, I've received a few commonly asked questions, so I'm taking some time to answer them here, for anyone who has the same questions, but hasn't asked:-)
Evolution of the Digital Math Activities:
The digital math activities page of this site has been active since August 2019. It started out with 14 Truth or Dare math games for only members to use. Over the past year, I've added seven free activities for anyone to play, as well as several new member activities (member activities are up to 28 and I'm adding more as quickly as I can).
I've migrated the activities to a stand-alone math activities site, called cognitivecardiomiddleschoolmathdigitalactivities.com (I'm still adding/updating new activities there.) On that site, I added 'upgraded' versions of the free activities to the member section - I added question banks and more exercises to them, so students don't get the same questions each time. So, while you may see the 'same' activity on both the Free and Member pages, the activities aren't quite the same.
On to the FAQs...
Q: How do I know what content is in the activities?
A: This document gives an overview of the current activities - content covered, types of questions, number of questions in the question banks. (Plus, there's a free trial week July 22 - 28 so you can check out all the activities - you can sign up at the bottom of this post.)
Question: Do students get the same math questions every time they do an activity?
For the Truth or Dare games: yes. The logic in designing the Truth or Dares was pretty intense and can't be quickly changed to offer different questions each time; however, I will explore making versions that will allow for that.
For all other member activities: NO. All the other member activities will pull from question banks, so while a student may get one or two repeat questions when they play multiple times, the entire set of questions they see will be a bit different each time.
For free activities: yes
Question: How many students can log in at once?
A: As many students as you want. Students use a password to access each activity and there's no limit to the number of students who can access at the same time. None of the teachers who've used the site have reported issues with using the password/logging in.
Q: Can I assign an activity in Google Classroom?
A: Yes! Each activity has its own link, so you can assign an activity by adding the link to your assignment in Google Classroom. In the left image below, I circled the instructions I might write for students; and I circled the 'Link' section under 'Add.' This is where you'll add the link to the activity you want to assign. In the right image, you can see the way the link appears for students (since the page is password protected, that does show in the assignment.)
Q: How do I see students' results?
A: All of the math activities show results in some form. For example, the Truth or Dare games have an "Answer Sheet" (shown below). Many of the other activities show students' points on the main screen; some show the point totals on an ending results screen. Others show results by color, like the absolute value activity shown below (green for correct, red for incorrect).
Regardless of where the results are shown in the activity, students need to take a screenshot of their results page to send to you (or upload into Google Classroom, or another LMS you may be using.) Unfortunately, the software I use can't be programmed to report scores to all the different LMSs classes are using.
The image below shows the student side of Google Classroom, with the screenshot of the results page.
* The Truth or Dare games do have a Print button on the Answer Sheet, so if you're in the classroom and students can access a printer, they could print their results.
Q: How are teachers using the digital math activities?
A: Teachers are using the activities for:
Q: How are parents and tutors using the activities?
A: Both parents and tutors have been using the digital math activities to provide extra practice/reinforcement for students at home.
Q: Where can I find pricing/membership information?
A: Membership Information is listed on Teachers Pay Teachers.
If you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch - email@example.com
To Read Next:
Color by number math activities and distance learning? You bet!
Digital color by numbers? Nope, not for me:-) I like the paper and pencil!
A Little Distance Learning History
As we know, distance learning and digital learning are not synonymous. Distance learning has existed for a looonng time. Early on, it was called 'correspondence education' or 'correspondence learning.' Students received assignments in the mail, completed them, and mailed their work back to their educational institution.
A few examples of early distance learning include:
Check out this infographic for more detail about distance learning history.
Distance Learning Doesn't Have to Mean Digital Learning
Why consider this history? With schools moving to distance learning in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, I think it's important to remember that even though we have the technology to provide digital learning experiences, distance learning doesn't have to mean just digital learning. Paper and pencil activities have their place in distance learning; in some cases, such activities can provide greater benefits than digital activities.
Color by Number Activities Help Children (and Adults)
Why are color by number activities an important part of the current distance learning needs? Because of the many benefits coloring provides!
During this difficult time, the benefits of coloring are so helpful to our students and our own children (and to us). Here are just a few:
What type of math activity do you most like to have your middle school math students work on?
For me, it's almost always been problem solving. This could include word problems that apply specific math concepts, word problems that incorporate a variety of math concepts, logic puzzles, or word problems that focus on problem solving strategies (create a table, make an organized list, find a pattern, work backwards, draw a picture, etc). I love using problems that have more than one correct solution, so students can share the thinking that leads to different answers.
When we work on problem solving activities, I often have students work together, so they can model for each other and share/listen to each others' thinking and reasoning.
I wrote the "Party Planning" problem to give students practice with decimal operations and with solving problems with multiple solutions. To solve the problem, students worked with one or two partners to come up with combinations of foods that Reggie could buy for a party. To find their solutions, students needed to add decimals; multiply if they were going to include several of one item; and possibly subtract, if their total was over $50.
Student Conversation and Feedback
I loved listening to the kids' conversations as they worked on this problem. I heard comments like, "No one eats pretzels," or, "I'd choose candy and chips over pretzels," and so on.
The students had a few important questions for me, as they were pretty serious about this planning.
"Is this a "regular" party or like a sleep-over party, because the kind of food would depend on how long the party is."
"How big is the container of ice cream?"
"How big is the bag of candy?"
Tip #1: Establish a morning routine - for YOU
Establish a morning routine - not just in your classroom, but as part of your 'personal' morning. Some of us are morning people, and we like to get up extra early, do our workouts, read, walk the dog, make a big breakfast, read to the kids, etc, before we head off to work early, to prep at little at school and then share our day with the students in the classroom.
But others of us are NOT morning people, hit the snooze button five times before slowly rolling out of bed, getting ready as fast as physically possible, getting our kids ready, grabbing our morning coffee (and maybe a bagel or something), and getting into the classroom right on time....about 5 minutes before the kids arrive.
Which one of these scenarios sounds like you?
USING SLIDE MASTERS
Does This Sound Familiar?
You're close to finishing a resource for your classroom, or for TPT, and then you decide you want to rearrange/move elements, add/change the clip art, or change the font.
That may not be a huge deal if your pages are all designed differently, have no repeated elements, or there aren't many pages; but if you're creating task cards or multiple pages with the same elements over and over on all the slides, making those changes can be a pain!
Slide Masters Can Help!
All those little changes can be made more quickly and easily if you create your resources using slide masters (in PPT or in Google Slides). Slide masters make some parts of resource creation a bit faster - using them can definitely save you time! Before we look more closely at how they work, check out a few benefits of using the slide masters:
What Exactly Are Slide Masters?
According to the PPT description, “Slide Masters control the look of your entire presentation, including colors, fonts, backgrounds, effects, and just about everything else. You can insert a shape or a logo on a slide master, for example, and it will show up on all your slides automatically.”
So, slide masters are basically a way to control the elements on your slides.
Bingo - an oldie but goodie!
This post is from my old blog (and adjusted some:-), sharing how I used algebraic equations bingo in my 6th grade math class.
Even in middle school, math students have a great time with bingo! We've used the algebraic equations bingo to practice and review for an upcoming test and to revisit the concept of solving equations before we tackled solving equations with fractions and decimals.
The Algebraic Equations Bingo set has 11 different bingo cards (printable sheets). Students solve the one-step equations found on their cards before we play, so they know what numbers they're listening for instead of scrambling to figure out answers once we start calling numbers. When I use this activity, I don't laminate the cards, because I like the fact that students can solve and write their answers right on the cards. This makes the numbers a bit easier for students to find when I call them. However, if you have good dry erase markers so students can solve on the cards and then completely erase the ink, laminating would be great for reusing every year - it would definitely cut down on the copying!
Back to School Activities
Always looking for new ideas for the beginning of the year? Me too!
I've got a few for you and your students, for when you head back to school!
The Name Game
I used this game for many years.....many times I'd plan not to, but then I couldn't stand not knowing kids' names right away, so we'd play:-) Students and I get into a big circle, and I ask students to come up with an adjective that describes them and begins with the same sound as the beginning of their first name, like 'Energetic Ellie." The first student to my left shares his/her name; the 2nd student repeats the 1st student's name and then shares his own. The third student repeats the first two names/adjectives, and adds her own. The activity continues in this way around the circle until we get to me, and I get to repeat all the names.
This game helps me to get to know all the students' names during the first class session. It also helps me learn about the students - it tells me who seems to have a good memory and who has more difficulty. I can see who appears to be confident and who is more hesitant; who's willing to accept help (I always prompt if they want/need) and who isn't. And of course, their adjectives usually tell me something about them:-)
Getting to Know You Truth or Dare
Truth or Dare - kids are intrigued when they hear the name! “Math Truth or Dare – Getting to Know You” is a set of 30 questions you can use to get to know your students and to help your students get to know each other.
There are 15 “Truth” question cards and 15 “Dare” question cards. Most of them do not have a “correct” answer, so if more than 15 students choose to answer a “truth” question or a “dare” question, then the questions can be used again.
The Truth questions ask about the students, while the Dare questions ask students to complete math computations (some of the computations are based on facts about the student, so these can also be used again, as students’ answers may be different.) You can grab this freebie on TPT.
Hey there! I'm Ellie - here to share math fun, best practices, and engaging, challenging, easy-prep activities ideas!