Thursday, April 25, 2013

Math vs. Zombies

Math vs. Zombies

You can find this app in the iTunes store for FREE!! Zombies are attacking and you can turn them back into children by solving math problems. This app gives good practice for 2-3 digit mental math addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division problems. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Teaching Symmetry

Teaching Symmetry

In the new Common Core State Standards for Mathematics, symmetry is mentioned in the fourth grade 4.G.3 standard:

Draw and identify lines and angles, and classify shapes by properties of their lines and angles.

3. Recognize a line of symmetry for a two-dimensional figure as a line across the figure such that the figure can be folded along the line into matching parts. Identify line-symmetric figures and draw lines of symmetry.

Thinking about how to add technology to enhance teaching symmetry, here are a few ideas.......

Get students to move around the classroom, school, or playground with the iPad and take pictures of objects they believe contain a "line of symmetry". Then use the Explain Everything ($2.99) to place the picture on the screen while placing a line of symmetry through the object. The nice aspect of this app is creating a video recording of the student placing the line of symmetry through the photo. Here is a simple sample video of this activity:

Geoboard (Free) Students can create shapes with the Geoboard app, take photo by clicking on the home button and power button at the same time. Then use the Explain Everything app to create lines of symmetry on the shapes that were created through Geoboard.

Concept Mapping is another strategy when learning symmetry. The following free versions of Sticky Notes (Free) and Inspiration Map (Free) will give you a start. Both of apps can be updated and give more options that may be useful when working with concept maps.

Inspiration Map Example (the lite version does give you the options to embed photos):

Sticky Notes Example (the free version does not allow you to embed photos):

Symmetry Shuffle ($1.99) The app explores line and rotational symmetry through the use of turns, flips, and slides. This app may look like a no-brainer, but trust me it takes some thoughtful thinking to work through each level. Teachers watching their students use this app can periodically have their students demonstrate which move would be a slide, flip, or turn and even give the alternate vocabulary word (translation, reflection, rotation).

Mandalar ($.99) is an inexpensive app if you are looking for virtual pattern block manipulatives. If students were in pairs, the first student could create a shape using the blocks and the second student would create a symmetrical image right next to the original.