Since my NCTM conference, I've been working with the people at Mathletics to get a new fun app into my students' hands, and in exchange, I get a great tool for myself. For those that aren't in the know, Mathletics, is a very cool way to get your students involved in math by answering curriculum related questions in which they earn points. Students can also compete answering questions with other students from around the world for points. These points can be used to buy cool things for their avatars such as new hair and clothes, or they can be saved up for certificates and leader board recognition.
This is how I am using Mathletics in my classroom:
1) Each Sunday I look over the weekly lessons and assign activities for students to complete each day; I also give them an alternate textbook assignment they have the option of choosing just in case their are problems with internet connections.
2) Each day in class, students play their Mathletics App to warm-up instead of doing a warm-up problem on the board.
3) Sometimes I will integrate activities as classwork, or I will utilize Mathletics' great line-up of workbooks to pull class work assignments from.
4) Students usually have 2 activities to complete each night on Mathletics unless they opt to do the textbook homework.
As a teacher, Mathletics has made it easier for me to assign tasks for my students to complete based upon what we are learning in class. The benefits are multifaceted in that my students get to do homework that isn't always in their textbook, and I can grade homework in a flash! Less papers, more engaged students, and easier grading for me, made this a win-win for my classroom. Add to that an app for their iPads, and Mathletics has made its way throughout our school.
Currently we are working on funding for our school as Mathletics is not free, but it has already shown what an asset it is in the classroom and my students are hooked. The parent comments, phone calls, and emails have all said the same thing; "Thank You Mrs. Ryan for making math fun." Thank you Scott Flansburg and the team at Mathletics for really doing all that work for me!
In the future I will add some screen shots just so you can see how my math classes are doing. My goal is to teach today's students the way they want to learn, and to step outside of my comfort zone so that they aren't stifled by old techniques.