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Patterns, Functions, and Algebra

Channel Talk

Re: [Channel-talkalgebra] Web Sites

From: Mrs. Dudones <[email protected]>
Date: Wed May 02 2007 - 10:21:42 EDT
X-Mailer: Microsoft Office Outlook 11

Good points. I understand what you are saying about turning the kids off.we
had a teacher a few years ago who kept a rewards chart like they use for
elementary students, and the students got to pick a prize for improving
their time or number correct, etc. The kids really liked it, and it
benefited them to know the facts better. That is the type of thing I was
considering doing.


The students I have worked with in study hall over the years have most often
been stumped by poor basic skills. They feel "stupid" because they don't
know their basic facts, and then they are basically self-defeated because
they think they can't do any math right. Then, when they are faced with a
new operation or problem solving, they give up before they even begin.


Thanks for the website referrals. I will check them out!


Julie Dudones



From: channel-talkalgebra-bounces@learner.org
[mailto:channel-talkalgebra-bounces@learner.org] On Behalf Of
Sent: Wednesday, May 02, 2007 9:43 AM
Subject: Re: [Channel-talkalgebra] Web Sites


NCTM website is also wonderful. Their illuminations site has many unit and
lesson ideas along with applets you can use as part of your lesson or
independently with students at a computer. the website is


Some more great sites I use are:

www.explorelearning.com has gizmos that visually represent algebra topics
and many others

http://nlvm.usu.edu/en/nav/vlibrary.html : This site is the national
library of virtual manipulatives which has many applets to use with

I'd like to comment on the discussion of using timed fact tests. I do not
like using these kinds of tests with students because it creates anxiety
especially those students that struggle with math. Timed tests only tell us
that the child has memorized their facts but doesn't tell us anything else.
It doesn't evaluate their math fluency or if they know when to use the
operation when solving problems. It also doesn't let us know if the child
has developed the conceptual idea of multiplying and division. Many
children already struggle with math concepts because they have a hard time
understanding the connection to real life and the usefulness of it. Timed
tests is another way in my opinion to turn them off.

 If you want to work on math facts with your students I would suggest
playing games with cards ... multiplication war etc. I use to set up
centers in my room. One of them the students would work on their math
facts... if they got the flash card right, they could either move their
piece on a board I created or throw a nerf basketball and try and get it in
the hoop. There are many things you can do to reinforce math facts without
using timed tests. You might want to test them just to see where they are
with their facts as an assessment tool and then try and see what facts they
need help on and work on those together. There are many rhymes and songs
(like another person suggested) to reinforce this.

Some children will not be able to memorize their facts and will have on
their IEP's to use calculators or math fact sheets.... so make sure you know
what accommidations your students have in your subject area. Many state
standard tests in Middle School have students using calculators because they
want to assess problem solving skills and not if a child knows their facts
or not.

Julia Downey

Orange-Ulster BOCES
Math Specialist
(845) 781 - 4363 x 10783

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Received on Wed May 2 10:29:23 2007


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