A couple of students in my on-line classes have been asking questions about multiplying fractions. Should you simplify before or after multiplying? How should you simplify? By cross-canceling directly, or by a prime factorization and cross-canceling combo? Here are some videos I have made to help clarify the situation.
Here’s a recap of the links that I’ve posted on Twitter over the past week or so:
1. A friend told me that she used this Divisibility Rocks game from over at The Utah Education Network with her Developmental Math students and that it worked really well. It turns out that they have plenty of other great lesson plans as well.
2. Z-Type is a very intense typing game. It turns out that as a Math Instructor, I do have to teach typing, computer, and writing skills as well. For example: One student told me just today that he couldn’t write a paper for my class about an African American Mathematician because he hadn’t had an English class yet.
3. NightMare is an example of a 25-word story. I’m considering having my students write their own 25 word stories about a concept in mathematics. This would be good introductory video to show to students, though, because it is absolutely hilarious! It’s one of the best laughs that I have had in a really, really long time.
4. 100 Ideas for Data Projector and Document Camera – Well, yeah, these ideas really are for my friends who still want to teach like they’re still in the 19th century. And even if you’re already using the document camera, I’m sure that you can’t think of 100 ideas. Well, maybe you can.
5. Times Attack is an awesome multiplication game that takes over the top spot for me as my favorite multiplication game ever! And let me tell you, I learned so much from the hour I played this game just about the world of video games. I was just as frustrated with figuring out how to navigate as I am sure a student would be with doing the multiplication.
6. Math Illustrations is a new program that I just found out about for drawing mathematical figures that I really think that you will like once you watch the tutorial video on this page. It is so great that I am really considering the $59 fee to buy this program because I think it would make my life a lot easier in the long run. And the Word Drawing tools suck, especially for number lines.
7. NCTM Black History Month Resources – It’s Black History Month and I am trying to incorporate some lessons into my curriculum. I found these resources to be extremely helpful. I am even going to check the recommended book out from my library to read over the next month or so. I checked already and it is indeed one of the books that they have!
8. E-Learning Tools for Schools and Education is a Mindomo Mind Map with hundreds of wonderful resources for E-learning. There are a lot of tools that I thought were regrettably left off the list as well. However, I know that there are plenty of resources on the list that I have yet to explore. I hope that you have time to explore some of them as well and to find what will work best for you.
9. Math Wordles – I have talked about Wordles on this site plenty of times in the past and this activity just reminded me of the fact that there are so many things that can be done with a Wordle. My plan is to develop a modified version of this activity in the near future to use with one of my classes. As described, I think this could be a great activity for Math Anxiety toward the beginning of a semester.
10. On-line LaTeX Equation Editor – I think LaTeX is so easy for entering equations, and I especially love how in the newer versions of Word I can type LaTeX code directly into Equation Editor. However, even that bridge until the next time I can use LaTeX is not enough. I can see this on-line tool being a great use to some people.
I have some slightly under-prepared students semester, so I suggested to them that they should try to work on their basic skills outside of class. However, this requires me to provide some recommended resources to them, and these are what I have discovered:
Factoris – Tetris-style game for multiplication facts.
Penguin Jump – Fun Multiplication Game that can be played with up to 4 people from around the world.
Dad’s Worksheets – For those who just want the traditional worksheets to practice with.