Category Archives: 537

Top 5 Math Reinforcement Sites

This past year, I taught math intervention to 6th and 7th grade students. The biggest challenge for my students was with automaticity or fact fluency. My  students struggled with multiplication facts, addition fact families and the concept of subtraction. To augment the daily math skill lessons, students used a variety of sites as they worked on developing their math fluency skills

 Here is the list in order of student enthusiasm :

1. sign-in-logo Moby Max   

This affordable site offers a full differentiated and integrated K-8 math and ELA curriculum . The math component not only teaches students new skills but finds and fixes the missing math skills. in addition their is a fact fluency piece. The application has built in motivational components and students earn rewards including: math based game time, badges, and certificates. The class management piece is easy to administer and reports are easy to generate and are data rich.

2. pic_rice_3Free Rice

This site is free. It offers questions in the following subject areas: humanities, English, math, chemistry, foreign languages, geography, human anatomy, and SAT prep. Each correctly answered question results in 10 grains of rice donated to the World Food Programme. No account is necessary to use the site, however, teachers can register a class or people can signup for individual accounts to track progress.

3.mathmagiclogo Math Magician

Created by Mark Cogen for the Oswego School District in New York, this is a fluency building application. Students build both accuracy and speed in basic math facts. Additional games are available on the Oswego District website.

4. multiplication-logo

The focus of this site is for teaching and learning multiplication. The site offers drill and practice, quizzes, and tests for students, along with resources for parents and teachers to teach students to multiply. The available games focus on addition, subtraction, and multiplication to enrich student fluency and motivate them.


This site offers math practice for Pre-K through Geometry and Algebra 2, and grades 2-6 Language arts skills. Each grade level has an array of skills based on standards for students to work on, and games to motivate them as a incentive. The free version limits your daily usage, but paid versions are available for families and schools. With a subscription parents and teachers have a wide variety of reports to monitor student progress.

With the exception of Math Magician, these sites offer other subjects. Occasionally we used Khan Academy, students like the videos but weren’t as thrilled with the interactive piece.

Another resource that many students benefited from was the National Library of Manipulatives


Posted by on July 1, 2014 in 537


Week 3 – Blogging Proposal

For Week 3 the assignment was to compose a proposal with a cover letter requesting that we be allowed to implement blogging within our school. This is the body of my cover letter:

Please consider the attached proposal for implementing blogging as part of the district’s initiative to embed technology as we move toward AVIDizing our school and incorporating WICOR (Writing, Inquiry, Collaboration, Organization, and Reading) strategies across the curriculum.

I propose using Kidsblog as the blogging tool. This application interfaces with Google and provides a safe structured environment where students can develop writing skills while learning digital citizenship. Blogging also provides the students with the opportunity to apply keyboarding composition skills as they prepare for the new constructed response assessments. This application also serves as an effective instrument for students to build their digital portfolios.

Please review the attached proposal, so we can discuss this option next week when we meet to review curriculum maps.

My proposal can be viewed on Google Drive.

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Posted by on July 1, 2014 in 537


Week 2 WOW Moments: RSS and the Things People Publish…

Like many others out there, I was left scrambling for a new reader when Google abandoned theirs. The new reader not only needed to provide the content that I followed, but be allowed by my school’s web filtering. After trying out several different options I settled on the one that wasn’t blocked and seemed to work – ighome. This reader worked fairly well for most of the sites I followed…until the last couple months of school, when the entire “Blog” category was blocked. I tried some different tactics, like using Outlook’s RSS option. This allowed the notifications for new content but still blocked the articles. I found the article RSS: The next killer app for education by Mary Harrsch had two great suggestions that are directly applicable.

The first was the suggestion that using a reader would be useful for administrator’s to keep up with the updates for each school site. This may help the “powers that be” in my district understand the value of unblocking the blog category and filter for content.  The second thing that caught my attention was using a scraping utility to create your own unique feed, even if the content doesn’t have a reader option. A Google search for “RSS feed scraping utility” provided several current solutions. I like the notion of being able to create and customize  what is usable to me, not the masses.  

Next,  were the two Digital Native readings that were rather timely, since I recently had a “discussion” about what a digital native is. I read Prensky’s article first and was thinking one of us needed a reality check! One of us was way off base, because he certainly hadn’t met many of my students. While I have noticed a change in students over the past twenty some years,  I could not bring myself to agree with him. Then, I read the article Digital Nativism: Digital Delusions and Digital Deprivation by McKenzie and my world was back on its axis. It was good to know I wasn’t the only one who had problems with Prensky’s article. McKenzie pointed out the inaccuracies of the Digital Nativism article by citing different studies and then related the overstatements to the digital divide and the impact of digital deprivation.


Harrsch, M. (2003). RSS: The next killer app for education. Technology Source, 6(4). Retrieved from

McKenzie, J. (2007). Digital nativism: Digital delusions and digital deprivation. From Now On, 17(2). Retrieved from

Prensky, M. (2001). Digital natives, digital immigrants – Part II: Do they really think differently? On the Horizon, 9(6). Retrieved from,%20Digital%20Immigrants%20-%20Part1.pdf


Posted by on June 22, 2014 in 537


Leaping through the blogging portal…

This blog is intended to be the portal to which I enter the world of blogging for the classroom.  Incorporating technology is not new to me, I have been using various tech tools for in my CTE business and computer applications courses. However, up until now, other that creating web sites for intercessions, I haven’t used blogging as an educational tool.

Recently, I was fortunate enough to spend several days with some fellow computer tech teachers from other districts, discussing how to best use technology as a tool to support academic success. It was apparent that while the majority of educators are embracing technology, it is still widely under-used and misused. Using blogging in the classroom is an opportunity to work with my students to ethically create their digital footprints. It also provides a platform to assist my fellow faculty members in integrating blogs effectively into their classrooms. Fortunately, I will have the Ed Tech 537 course to help me to develop the skills I need to be successful in my endeavor.

This course comes at an opportune time, as my school district mandates all teachers create and maintain a website and rollings out a new one-to-one student device with digital curriculum adoption in July.


Posted by on June 11, 2014 in 537