Resources and Tools for Elementary Math Specialists and Teachers

Common Core State Standards for Mathematics

Grade(s) K-12 resources related to the following standard:
Standards for Mathematical Practice
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This interactive Sudoku puzzle develops logical thinking and perseverance. With this puzzle a player must place the fall items in the cells such that each picture appears only once in each row, once in each column, and once in each 3x3 grid.
Activity, Interactive Media
Grade Level: 4, 5
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This Sketchpad activity, which opens on Geometer's Sketchpad as well as on iOS with Sketchbook Explorer (cataloged separately), allows students to use a scale to make conjectures about the properties of powers of 2 based on their observations. Students are given a random value between 1 and 63 on one side of a scale and must balance it by selecting variables whose assigned values are powers of 2 (1, 2, 4, 8, 16, and 32). A five-minute movie provides detailed instructions and downloadable PDF of teacher notes and student worksheets are also included.
Activity, Lesson Plans, Video
Grade Level: 3, 4, 5, 6+
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This Sketchpad activity, which opens on Geometer's Sketchpad as well as on iOS with Sketchbook Explorer (cataloged separately), allows students to use a scale to develop early algebraic concepts of the equal sign and variables. Learners determine different ways to place shapes with assigned numerical values on one side of a scale to balance with given shapes on the other side. A five-minute movie provides detailed instructions and downloadable PDF of teacher notes and student worksheets are also included.
Activity, Lesson Plans, Video
Grade Level: 4, 5, 6+
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This Sketchpad activity, which opens on Geometer's Sketchpad as well as on iOS with Sketchbook Explorer (cataloged separately), develops early algebraic reasoning and logic skills in students by writing and analyzing inequality statements. By observing the behavior of a scale when various shapes are placed onto it, students can represent the relationships between the shapes with algebraic statements that include “greater than” or “less than” symbols. A five-minute movie provides detailed instructions and downloadable PDF of teacher notes and student worksheets are also included.
Activity, Lesson Plans, Video
Grade Level: 3, 4, 5, 6+
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This Sketchpad activity, which opens on Geometer's Sketchpad as well as on iOS with Sketchbook Explorer (cataloged separately), is the first of three balance activities in which students develop intuitive strategies for writing and solving simple algebraic equations. Students drag a shape whose numerical value is known onto one side of a scale and then drag copies of a shape with an unknown numerical value to the other side of the scale until both sides are level. Students then solve the equation to determine the value of the unknown shape. A five-minute movie provides detailed instructions and downloadable PDF of teacher notes and student worksheets are also included.
Activity, Lesson Plans, Video
Grade Level: 4, 5, 6+
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This Sketchpad activity, which opens on Geometer's Sketchpad as well as on iOS with Sketchbook Explorer (cataloged separately), is the third of three balance activities in which students develop intuitive strategies for writing and solving algebraic equations. In this final activity, users must simplify algebraic equations by removing identical shapes from both sides of a scale. A five-minute movie provides detailed instructions and downloadable PDF of teacher notes and student worksheets are also included.
Activity, Lesson Plans, Video
Grade Level: 5, 6+
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This Sketchpad activity, which opens on Geometer's Sketchpad as well as on iOS with Sketchbook Explorer (cataloged separately), is the second of three balance activities in which students develop intuitive strategies for writing and solving simple algebraic equations. In this follow-up activity, students create and solve balance puzzles in which the variable must first be isolated on one side of an algebraic equation in order to determine its value. A five-minute movie provides detailed instructions and downloadable PDF of teacher notes and student worksheets are also included.
Activity, Lesson Plans, Video
Grade Level: 4, 5, 6+
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This interactive Java learning tool, which was constructed using the cross-platform open educational resource GeoGebra, allows a teacher to demonstrate and explore integer operations with students using two different balloons and sandbags models. Drag balloons, sandbags, and/or zero pairs onto the board and students see how the total result shown on the board changes the models. Nine pre-set integer addition and subtraction problems are given, as well as the ability to create your own problems (option 10). An alert is given when the first term of each expression is formed. (The models can also be used during discussions of multiplication and division, although no problems are included.)
Demonstration, Interactive Media
Grade Level: 5, 6+
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This 8-page monograph explains bansho, a research-informed instructional strategy for mathematical communication and collective problem-solving. Following a brief overview, the article outlines how bansho can be used to plan and implement an effective three-part problem-solving lesson. Bansho can be incorporated into collaborative planning sessions, in which teachers work with partners or in groups within communities of practice to learn about mathematics for teaching. The author provides a sample grade 2 lesson on the development of multiplication concepts and a list of references.
Instructional Strategy, Reference Materials, Article
Grade Level: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Resource is part of a PD collection
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This flexible interactive Java applet helps users develop place value concepts with whole numbers or up to 3 decimal places. Users can use the virtual blocks to freely explore place value grouping rules or to represent a target number provided by the applet. Users may change the default of base 10 to any of the bases 2, 3, 4, or 5.
Activity, Interactive Media
Grade Level: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6+
Resource is part of a PD collection
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