Beyond Word Processing: Why We Should Replace Typing Time with Technology Infused Math Lessons - and How We Can Do It Without Losing Our Sanity
This summer I had the opportunity to present about math technology in the elementary classroom at my district's Technology Conference. We have a wide range of technology in my district, ranging from a couple of computers to one on one Chromebook classrooms. So I needed to present ideas to these teachers which would help them learn about technology and math in elementary no matter what technology they had.
Technology at the elementary level is often used for typing essays and doing research. My presentation was about why and how we should be using it for technology based math lessons too! After the presentation I had multiple teachers stop and thank me for the information and ideas I had shared with them. So I decided to share a similar presentation here for you. I have recorded my presentation and below you will find the video, as well as the links to websites that I discuss in my presentation. I hope it will help you to infuse technology into your math lessons, making your technology time more impactful.
SAMR Technology Model
In my presentation, I use the SAMR model for technology. This model encourages teachers to look at the different ways they are using technology. It explains that technology can be used as a:
substitution for what you are already doing, like using virtual flash cards instead of paper ones or typing up something that could easily be written on paper.
augmentation to what you are doing, where the technology gives the assignment a little boost, but isn't irreplaceable. For example, websites like Khan Academy help us differentiate and using formatting tools makes our essays look better, but neither can't be done with paper/pencil tasks.
modification of an assignment that begins to take the task to the next level. This is where the assignment begins to NEED technology in order to work. You can do modification tasks like creating presentations or completing complex projects without technology, but it would be a lot more work. Modification often allows us to be willing to try out more complex tasks with our students because the technology is making the task easier for us and our students. A lot of project based learning and connecting with other classes falls under modification.
reinvention of a task into something unheard of before technology. These are the tasks that you wouldn't be able to complete WITHOUT technology. This is where coding and video making start to come into play and this is where students start to truly immerse themselves into the technology. This, of course, is also where some of the highest levels of thinking happen.
In my video I make it very clear that although we should all aspire to use technology as a reinvention tool when we can, teachers and students should be working at all levels of the SAMR model, just as we work at all levels of Bloom's Taxonomy. Here is the video with specific examples on how to do just that:
Links and Resources
Within the video, I discuss a wide range of websites and technologies. Here are quick and easy links to those resources:
- Websites for "online flash cards": Math Magician, Sumdog
- Google documents
- Online Math Games
- Math teaching videos and activities with Khan Academy
- Math practice websites that track student data and allow for specific differentiation:
Free: Prodigy Zearn
Paid: IStation IXL
- Google Forms
- Google Sheets
- Presentation Sites: Prezi, Google Slides
- Video creation websites: Powtoon, Screencast-o-matic, IXplain
- Video game creation websites: Tynker, Scratch
- Website creation and online portfolio websites: Google Sites, Live Binder, Weebly
The challenge from my video is also a challenge for my readers: Come up with a way that you can use technology in your math lessons at least once a week (once a day if you have a one-to-one ratio) during the upcoming school year. Please feel free to post your ideas here i the comments so we can learn from each other!
In the meantime, here are a few resources from my Teachers Pay Teachers store that may help you along the way:
Math and Technology Project Matrix (Free)
Technology Integration Bundle
Tutorial Video Creation Planning Sheet
Have a great day!
There are so many great websites out there for Elementary students that I decided to put together some Top 10 Lists for websites to use in the upcoming school year. For the next few weeks, I’ll be posting lists of sites to use for various subjects.
10. TVOKids: The math and science games on this site are wonderful for working on many different math concepts, including counting coins, addition and telling time. In addition, there are great videos that demonstrate various math concepts (click on Watch to view videos).
9 . ICTGames: This great site has tons of math games, that are nicely aligned to the UK standards. The games are sorted by math concepts, and use great techniques like number lines and abacuses.
8. Math-a-Rama: This site is more than just games, it also includes manipulatives, brain teasers, an e-glossary, and a place to work on a data survey. Supported by Houghton Mifflin, this website is sorted by grade level, and is a wonderful resource for your classroom.
7. Erich’s Puzzle Place: Critical thinking and solving puzzles are such helpful skills in math. This site has almost every puzzle imaginable, from sudoku, to arithmetic puzzles, to rebus puzzles to mazes.
6. Math Playground: This site has tons and tons of really great games for tons of different math concepts. In addition, there are video tutorials that walk kids through many different math concepts. But, one of my favorite features is the interactive word problems. Students can do a series of word problems, and the site will keep track of their right and wrong answers. I love to use it as an easy problem solving center.
5. HSP Math: This site was developed by Harcourt School Publishers, so if you have a Harcourt math series at your school, it will align very well with your texts. However, no matter what your math adoption, the lessons and games are amazing reinforcements for the kids. My kids this year particularly loved the measurement games.
4. PBS Kids – Cyberchase: Although there are many great shows on PBS Kids, Cyberchase focuses in on many different math and problem solving concepts. At the PBS website, there are games and video clips that you can use in your classroom to help your students work on math concepts and problem solving.
3. Oswego Math Games: Some of the best math games I’ve ever found have come from this website. It was designed by teachers for students in their school district, so the activities are generally so much better than others I find out there. Some of my favorites are Mathmatician (for math facts) and Find the Dog’s Bone (for working on 100’s chart).
2. Cool Math: This site has so many games, it’s crazy. While not every game is completely educational, most are at least logic building games. The best games for the classroom are the number games and the logic games. Many of these games start out in my classroom as a teaching game, and then the kids like them so much, that they become a reward for completing quality work early or having a great behavior day.
1. Virtual Manipulatives: Every math manipulative that you have (or should have) in the math manipulative kit that comes with your math series can be found in virtual form on this website. In addition, there are new, different ways to manipulate these manipulatives that I have found only here. For example, this site allows you to subtract with base ten blocks, and the blocks that are “taken away” truly go away. In addition to base ten blocks, there are also number lines, clocks, money, tangrams, pattern blocks and more. It works fabulously with a projector and an interactive board, but is just as much fun at a single computer during centers.
For more resources to integrate technology into your classroom, check out my Technology Integration Kit.
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