5 Great Math Resources for the New Year!

I recently came across a great math resource online that reminded me of how much fun experimenting with new ways to do math can be.  With many different types of learners in our classroom, it is so important to differentiate our teaching and the tools that we use in our instruction.  With that in mind, I’d like to share five awesome math resources that you may be interested in checking out for the new year.

I.  Video Resource: Japanese Multiplication

The math video below illustrating a Japanese Multiplication Trick was very eye-opening for me and describes a way to do multiplication that I really hadn’t seen in great detail.  The video, uploaded by Tecmath, was very easy to understand and provided a great strategy for multiplying large numbers.

Viewing that video helped me learn a new trick that others have been utilizing for years.  With that in mind, I’d like to share some other resources that are very familiar to me but may be new to others.

II.  Math Practice Resource: IXL Learning

I first began using IXL Learning in 2013 and I love how easy it is to use.  Since it is a K-12 program, I can utilize it both with my own children who are in Kinder and 4th, as well as in my 2nd grade classroom.  The program is extremely well organized and easy to use, breaking content out into skills and standards.

Even Pre-Readers can Practice Independently!
Besides having each skill and standard organized, IXL offers meaningful practice for both of my children.  It is hard to find interactive practice that Jacob, my 4 year old, can use independently.  Though there are a few wonderful apps and websites that he loves to play on, I wanted a site where I could track how long he practiced and what his areas of strength and weakness were.  
My Kids Love to Practice & Earn Virtual Badges
Riley is more interested in tracking her progress, but she does enjoy collecting tokens of pride as she completes her tasks.  Jacob, however, is all about the prizes.  He’s driven by advancing levels.  For him, this math practice is more like active game play.  
As my children practice more, they receive more treasures to discover in IXL.  You should see Jacob’s face light up when he’s earned a new award.  Though I am a firm believer in intrinsic motivation, there is something that my kids enjoy about these virtual awards.  They view them as goodies within their ‘game.’  It reminds me of when they go to the Mushroom House on Mario to gain items for their characters.  They go crazy over these little treasures.
To learn more about IXL Learning, please click here
To view my full review on IXL Learning, please click here

III.  Game & App Resource: ABCya Games

ABCya: The Leader in Education Computer Games for Kids!

over 50 games for EACH grade level ~
ABCya.com is My FAVORITE website for elementary learning!  There is not a day that goes by in our classroom where we don’t pop on the site for at least five minutes.  The children enjoy the games so much.  
The site is perfect for any elementary grade level.  There is truly so much to offer.  I especially love that the website is free to use and super simple to navigate.

Math Content:

ABCya.com has dozens of great games for all subjects in each elementary grade level.  I teach second grade, and there are 31 games categorized for 2nd grade math alone.  One of my favorites is Math Facts Shoot-Out, which you can watch me demo below.

To learn more about ABCya, please click here.

IV.  Game Resource: Educational Insights

A great way to create connections between the learner and the learning is through games.  Games are fun for students, can spark their competitive fires, and help to incorporate other family members into a student’s learning.

One of my favorite places to find great educational games for my students and children is Educational Insights.  They have many different games for a variety of subjects, at reasonable prices.  

Recently, I brought home their math game Even Steven’s Odd.  Using simple concepts, this game helps children understand sequencing, evens/odds, math facts, and many other concepts, all while playing a really fun and fast-paced math game.  

The concept of this game is easy to understand for children and is quickly taught by those who have played before.  Players compete in a series of math related dice rolling challenges to be the first grab the Steven figure.  The game moves extremely fast, and many children won’t even realize they are playing an educational game.  The game is recommend for grades one and above and is still fun even at higher grade levels.


V.  Fast Finisher Resource: Think Math

One of the most fun things I’ve been involved with this past year is Scholastic’s Top Teaching Blog. When I was first asked to join the group, I decided to spend some time looking back at some of the posts previously published by their teaching team.  I found many great ideas for all kinds of things here, and was very impressed by the quality of the work included in their blog.

One of the posts that first caught my eye was written by fellow Michigander Genia Connell and included many great activities for fast finishers.  Featured within this group of activities was a bulletin board based activity called Think Math.  Students work toward a question to a given math answer, similar to how Jeopardy requires a question instead of an answer from the players.  This is a really neat idea to help students get their creative ideas flowing and try to come up with great questions.

You can view Genia’s Scholastic post in its’ entirety here.

Disclosure: ABCyaGames and IXL Learning are both sponsors of this site.  

The views in this post are my own.  


Mother. Teacher. Keynote. Author

Erin Klein is an award winning educator, national keynote speaker, author, and mother.

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