So You want to Use Technology in 4th/5th Grade Math

I knew I was in for a great session when I introduced myself to the presenters and learned that not only were these ideas for math integration coming from a Technology Coordinator, but also from a classroom teacher. In other words, everything in the presentation is classroom tested/approved.

The MDE has been sponsoring workshops for K-12 and higher ed to help integrate both the GLCEs and Math. With 4 days to develop lesson or unit plans, there was a wealth of resources developed (over 200 lesson plans developed!). Gail Lewis made a note that the lesson plans aren’t “professionally developed”, but I consider anything developed by teachers for teachers as highly professional, no matter the format. Lesson plans included covered everything from geometry to algebra, and not only were they tied to Michigan Grade Level Math benchmarks, but also Michigan Technology Benchmarks, which are based on National Technology Benchmarks, so they’re applicable to classrooms in other states.

The goal of the MDE workshops was to present technology integration to these educators in a simple way, a way that inspired the teachers and students. Understanding that the technology integration process is gradual and that lack of hardware or software is a challenge. Jennifer Nordin-Rockwood, the co-presenter and classroom teacher, was eager to point out possible solutions for meeting those challenges like seeking older computers donated from local businesses that might otherwise be tossed out, writing grants, and enlisting the help of parents by donating older software or hardware they aren’t using. It’s surprising what you can get, even in the under-privileged district Jennifer teaches in.

Some resources:
This page has all of the links from the presentation as well as others.
One of the websites they mentioned using to help kids get to the math websites they used. All of the phone of online bookmarking, with none of the dangers of social networking.

The two nice ladies also provided links to the MDE developed lesson plans, which are available for copmletel free online, cover many math topics, and range from Kindergarten to 12th grade and beyond. The lessons are all neatly categorized and the pages include HUGE lists of links and resources for simple uses of technology in the classroom, not just Math.

MDE Tech Integrated lesson plans from 2005 workshop
MDE Tech Integrated lesson plans from 2006 workshop

1 comment

  1. Hey Ben

    For Math Teachers in GR 6-8, check out the CTAP Middle School Math Project (
    We’ve aligned all of the CA State Standards and the state-adopted math texts for GR 6,7 and 8 math with web resources that are listed by chapters in the book so that teachers find them exactly when they need them. The resources are all free and offer alternative methods of teaching and learning through videos, online tutorials, manipulatives and games. Some resources target teachers and demonstrate best practices. There’s also a meaty differentiated instruction module on the site that provides resources in 8 areas. (See

    We’ve presented this content at math and educational technology conferences up and down the State of California and at NECC. Teachers usually stand up and cheer. There’s a lifetime of work in there, all easily accessible. Some content is also suitable for struggling high school students, since 40% of the high school exit exam is based on 7th grade math.

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