## Websites and Apps from NYSCATE 2013 Presentation

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

Here is a list of websites and apps demonstrated during my session at NYSCATE 2013.

commoncore.org: access Eureka, the interface for the full math curriculum modules.

Number Pieces (Free): Virtual Base 10 blocks and whiteboard

AL Abacus (\$1.99): Virtual abacus, sometimes called a Rekenrek

10 Frame Fill (Free): Basic ten-frame game/app.

Virtual Manipulatives! (Free): Fraction, decimal and percentage tiles

Teaching Table (\$2.99): Smartboard-like manipulatives and interactivity for math presentations

Number Bonds: Addition & Subtraction to 99 (\$1.99): Number bonds app for composing and decomposing numbers

Bugsy Kindergarten Math (\$2.99): Fun game to practice K-1 skills

Splash Math website & apps (\$9.99 per grade level): Adaptive Common Core-aligned math practice, with individual users

Numberland (\$2.99): Montessori-based early numbers practice

Marble Math (\$2.99): Game-interfaced math practice with choice of levels & subjects

Hands-on Equations (\$4.99): Learn to solve for a variable step-by-step from concept to procedure

Thinking Blocks (All apps free): Solve word problems while making models interactively

Conceptua Math: Online tools and curriculum for math. Very strong for fractions.

Common Core Standards Viewer (Free): Interactive Common Core standards viewer with flow from one to the next

## Singapore Math Cheat Sheet: Starting a Child Mid-Year

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

A teacher recently asked me a question: “What do I do with the student who is strong enough in his math concepts, but he has no idea about Singapore Math approaches like number bonds, and he starts our school late in the year?”

For her and other teachers in the same boat, I’m making this “cheat sheet,” which is targeted at elementary school children who start mid-year in Math in Focus or Primary Mathematics.

1. Number Bonds

Number bonds show the ways in which numbers relate to each other. They can also be thought of as “part-whole” pictures, in which you see two or more parts that make up a whole.

To catch a child up with these, you can try one of several things.

a) Sit with the child and a laminated number bond page, and write number bonds in them. Ask the child to create number sentences (equations) from the number bonds. Then have the child fill in the missing number in a number bond with a part, or the whole, missing.

Example:

Whole with two parts

Number sentences:

4 + 6 = 10

6 + 4 = 10

10 – 4 = 6

10 – 6 = 4

With practice, the child will realize that all these facts are related, and that subtraction starts with the whole minus one part, while addition is made of two parts forming a whole. I’ve found it can help students who are struggling with subtraction, especially with those problems missing the whole, for example _____ – 7 = 5. Rewriting these as a number bond can assist the child to see that the whole is what is missing, so she needs to add the two parts.

An article that explains number bonds more in depth can be found at Let’s Play Math.

b) Have the child play number bond games. One of the best I have found is called Number Bonds. It is available for both addition/subtraction and multiplication/division. See my review of these games here.

c) Play other games that involve number bonds. Addition War and Subtraction War, which are outlined in this PDF, are both fun games children love. You can customize them to this need by having the student write the problems that turn up on the cards on a laminated number bond sheet with a dry-erase marker, which will show you how much the child understands about number bonds.

2. Model Drawing

Another feature of the Singapore approach to teaching math that is new to many US teachers in model drawing for problem solving. This is a powerful visual approach, and with practice, it becomes much faster than other ways of solving word problems.

A great resource to learn about model drawing is at thesingaporemaths.com. To practice free problems using the model drawing approach, head on over to thinkingblocks.com. There are also videos on that site that explain the approach, and free iPad apps are available for four different types of word problems here.

For a new student when you don’t have much time to give one-on-one attention, set her up on Thinking Blocks to help her understand how to use this.

3. Place value

The Singapore approach places a heavy emphasis on place value. Many other programs do too, but not all, so you may find this lacking in a new student.

Again, considering that teachers may be too busy to spend a lot of one-on-one time with students, I am providing several electronic resources to teach this.

a) NLVM has some good resources for teaching place value. They require Java to run and can be used on a computer or interactive white board, or you can download their app that doesn’t require Java. Here are links to:

b) Here is an Illuminations lesson plan to play a place value card game.

c) A good iPad app for modeling with place value blocks is Number Pieces.

d) If you do have the time, make your own place value chart and use money or place value blocks to represent tens, ones, and other places your student may be learning. This will help a great deal with his number sense.

That wraps it up for this article, but if you have other questions, suggestions or issues, please let me know in the comments, and I’ll update the article as needed. Thanks for reading!

## Free Printable: Money Pinch Strips

Saturday, January 12th, 2013

How is it possible to assess a whole classroom in a moment? One great tool for this is pinch strips. To use these, the children are asked a question, for example, “How much is \$1 minus 95¢?” The children then pinch the strips on the segment showing the correct answer – in this case, the nickel – and all hold them up to show the teacher.

I prepared these pinch strips for lessons on money, and then I realized other teachers would probably find them useful, so here they are.

These get printed on card stock and can be folded in half to be double sided, or save paper and just print one side. They may be modified for children just learning to identify coins by putting the Tails side on the reverse.

Pinch strips can be used for many types of assessment, including multiple choice questions, using the letters in the questions as the answers in the strip segments.