Master Math Without Math Class

Nov 13, 2006 by

I must admit, I’ve neglected the Tech Savvy Ed forum a bit lately. I went a month with no Internet after moving to a new house, and then have wrapped myself up in the new job. I haven’t done nearly enough in pulling out the gems posted on the forum and continuing discussions. So I’m really excited to point out an excellent website for teaching math using a cross-curricular approach that was originally posted by cyberschilling.

Math Mastery has that deceptive look of being yet another website trying to sell a commercial piece of software to schools and educators that are already overwhelmed with over-hyped, under-producing, and glitch-filled pieces of “learning software.” Fear not, for while Math Mastery does have commercial products for sale (no, I have not tested any of them, and won’t be endorsing any of their commercial software), they also have a number of very nice FREE features on their website. Perhaps it’s a way to entice teachers to purchase their software, but I’m not going to complain, as the resources I’ve found are quite a nice collection of drills, word problems, and family activities.

Drill?!
These aren’t sheet of one hundred questions, “yuck” inducing drills from days gone by. The CyberChallenge portion of the Math Mastery website allows you to select addition, subtraction, division, or multiplication facts. It then start counting down from 60, seeing how many questions you can answer in that time. I appreciated the fact that you only see one problem at a time, so you aren’t concerned with all the questions that you aren’t going to get finished. Instead, students can always strive to answer just a few more, without worrying about hitting some pre-determined goal.

As for word problems and family activities, I was hooked after reading through several History-themed word problems in the DailyBrains section. All of the stories in the history, science, geography, math, and health categories are well thought out, and provide copious amount of content area information as well as a cleverly hidden math problem. Well, not all of the math problems are cleverly hidden, but students will be presented with facts and information from other parts of the curriculum while attempting to solve the problem. There are even bonus questions which address the extra information in the problem (rather than reward learners who have solved the problem with yet another math problem). Each day of the week has it’s own theme (Monday Super Science, etc.) so there’s a new problem to tackle each day (think “anchor activity” elementary teachers), and the family activities are broken up by subject and grade level up to 8th grade. Definitely a site worth having bookmarked for your students no matter what subject you teach.

Thanks cyberschilling for the great find!

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4 Comments

  1. T.J.

    Ben-
    You are very welcome!

  2. Ben

    Hey TJ; it was a really terrific site, and I’m sorry I didn’t catch it sooner. I’m going to be passing it on to my staff here and see how much traction it gets.

  3. rogersha205

    I clicked on the MathMastery website, and really enjoyed seeing all of the neat drills, activities, and problems they had on their webpage. I think it would be too pricy for me to actually buy one of their dvd’s right now, but I really think that all of their free features will come in handy in my future classroom. I am planning to major in math and to teach elementary school, and this website seems to be perfect for my field. I think that my future classroom can really benefit from the Cyberchallenge portion and the Daily Brains section. I think that students will be able to check their progress in the Cyberchallenge section, by testing each week and trying to improve on their score. What I really liked about the Daily Brains section is that on some problems it gives you a helpful strategy to help you solve the problem, it also gives you the answer to the problem, so you can compare your answer, and it gives you the solution to the problem, so you know if you solved the problem correctly. I think that this website would be excellent in helping students learn the core concepts in math. Thanks for letting me know about this great site, it is definitely going to be bookmarked on my computer!

  4. Thanks for this wonderful article! It has been extremely useful. I wish that you will continue sharing your wisdom with us.

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