Online Math Lessons—for the Offline Classroom

You may have heard tales of hidden math treasure out there on the World Wide Web, but how to find it for your middle school classroom? Consider this blog post a treasure map, with X marking five sites that we’d like to recommend for productive digging. At each you will find activities, lessons, or projects that can be used directly as is, or easily adapted to an offline classroom. I include samples of the material as an enticement and encouragement to dig further on your own. Good treasure hunting!

If you have a site you’d recommend to other middle school teachers, add to the treasure trove by adding a comment to this blog post.

PBS Teachers
This site offers a wealth of multimedia resources for pre-K –12 educators!  From this page for math teachers, you can choose a grade range (say, 6-8) and a math topic (say, Numbers and Operations) to find 62 shovel-ready lessons on this topic alone. The Factor Game for example, begins with practice on factors, but through analyzing the best first move in the game, students move into discussion of prime and composite numbers and other ideas from number theory.

Illuminations
Illuminations was developed to provide materials that illuminate the vision for school mathematics set out in the NCTM Standards. While the Activities section depends heavily on Internet access, the Lessons Search returns 110 middle grades lessons that are, in general, independent of online access. One example under Algebra is Constant Dimensions. Beginning with simple measurements on a rectangle, students are led to consider an essential concept: the ratio of width to length remains constant, no matter the unit of measurement.

Ohio Resource Center for Mathematics, Science, and Reading
A unique collection of peer-reviewed lessons! The page for Math Educators allows you to search under grade level and topic for not only lessons but also assessment items, rich problems, and professional development resources.

Figure This! Math Challenges for Families
Here you have 80 problems created for middle school students. To get an idea of the material here, check out The Statue of Liberty: Is Her Nose Too Long? All problems are easily printed, provide complete solutions, and offer similar problems for further practice.

Middle School Portal 2: Math & Science Pathways
This site was developed for middle school teachers as a direct line to selected online resources. Some of these digital resources are interactive and, therefore, require online access during instruction. However, as a whole they offer an array of instructional ideas tailored to the middle grades. On this site I particularly recommend the Explore in Depth Publications which provide an in-depth exploration of a topic you teach. For example, you may enjoy Ratios for All Occasions and Triangles from Three Sides.


We Want Your Feedback
We want and need your ideas, suggestions, and observations. What would you like to know more about? What questions have your students asked? We invite you to share with us and other readers by posting your comments. Please check back often for our newest posts or download the RSS feed for this blog. Let us know what you think and tell us how we can serve you better. We appreciate your feedback on all of our Middle School Portal 2 publications. You can also email us at msp@msteacher.org. Post updated 11/16/2011.

1 thought on “Online Math Lessons—for the Offline Classroom

  1. Thanks, these are excellent resources that can really make the learning process more effective. Kids are naturally drawn to online media and it’s an oppotunity to use these sites to teach better. Would like to suggest NeoK12.com for its online maths lessons and videos, all selected and reviewed by K-12 teachers.

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