There are many sites and tools to enhance math instruction out there, but there’s a world of difference between a site featuring math facts on virtual flash cards, and one with tools and games that students can use to actually solve problems. Shodor’s Interactivate falls into the latter category.
Interactivate provides a variety of tools and activities to help teach math. From simple spinner applets, to sample dialog of how to teach certain concepts, it’s a great stop for math teachers both old and new. The applets aren’t flashy, but they get the point across. (And really, how many times have you seen a flashy kids’ site with absolutely no point?) Interactivate provides lesson plans as well. The lessons are aligned with standards for North Carolina, South Carolina,Tennessee, and Virginia, as well as the National Council for Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM). In addition to being linked to standards, Interactivate is also linked to packaged curriculums like Connected Math, MathScape, and MathThematics. All the tools you need to follow the plans are on the site. Have a student teacher this semester? Interactivate’s Lesson Plans and Discussions resources can be great training wheels for a preservice teacher.
Interactivate is free on the web, but if you have a specific need for the resources to be available offline, you can get a CD with your $25 donation to Shodor, an organization whose mission is to “improve math and science education through the effective use of modeling and simulation technologies.” It’s a good product for a worthy cause. -GRETCHEN SCHAEFER