Khan Academy – Free Online Educational Videos

Here is a great resource for teachers and students!  Khan Academy, a global classroom for anyone in the world who has access to a computer, has a library of over 3,200 videos online that are free.   This provides quality instruction to areas all over the world, no matter where they are located.  Incentives for students are also on the cite to motivate them with a game of earning badges and points, “game mechanics” as they refer to it, and they also offer Teacher Resources as well.  Here is an example of one topic they cover:

ALGEBRA (many lessons in each of these subtopics):

  • Algebra Intro
  • Linear Equations
  • Inequalities
  • Rations & Proportions
  • Absolute Value
  • Exponents and Radicals
  • Logarithms
  • Polynomials
  • Quadratics
  • Functions
  • Conic Sections
  • Complex Numbers
  • Matrices

It’s easy to see by this listing that there are many lessons from which to choose.  Here is a partial list of more topics without subtopics listed:

  • American Civics
  • Arithmetic & Pre-Algebra
  • Art History (for many different eras)
  • Astrology
  • Banking & Money
  • Biology
  • Brain Teasers
  • Cryptography
  • Calculus
  • Chemistry
  • Differential Equations
  • Economics
  • Finance
  • Geometry
  • Healthcare & Medicine
  • History
  • Physics
  • Statistics
  • Trigonometry
  • Computer Science

Khan Academy is a global classroom of students who learn at their own rate and choose what they want to study.  Here are reviews and stories of the academy so you can read first hand from teachers and students all over the world.

Making Math More Fun

Would you use a math games package that has ideas for making math more fun? If so, this package has print and play math games to enhance learning.   Print and play math board games, print and play game sheets, or print and play math card games can make learning more fun.  If you’re interested, just simply download these e-books for a fast and efficient way to make math games that are interesting and stimulating.

Kids’ Recipe: “Silly” Muffins

Here is an easy and fun recipe for kids to make. It’s also a great time to teach measuring.
INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup of your favorite ice cream (not ice milk)
  • 1 cup self rising flour

Let the ice cream sit out at room temperature until completely melted but still cold.  Stir in the flour.  Do not overstir.   Spoon into greased muffin tin.  Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes.  Makes 6 muffins.

Teaching Children to Count Objects

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As a first grade teacher in the public schools and in doing private tutoring in my home, I found it very rewarding to teach young students, and I know there are others who feel the same way.   Aspiring pre-school and elementary teachers can earn a teaching certificate online from a wide array of universities.

One student I tutored at my home knew how to count to ten, but one of the skills we had to work on a lot was how to count objects up to ten.  He would often get mixed up after counting five objects, would start counting too fast and miss some objects, or  he would start moving backwards and recount objects he had already counted.  It took a lot of repetition for him to learn to do this, and so we did various activities.  These are some of the activities we did:

  • Have student put 10 Teddy Grahams or Fish Crackers in a row.  Have student count slowly, touching each cookie or cracker as they count it.  Count with the student a couple of times if necessary. If successful, they get to eat one cookie.  Then count the 9 remaining cookies.  If successful, they get to eat one more cookie.  Repeat until all cookies have been eaten.
  • Use simple number workbooks.  I was able to find two sticker and activity workbooks for this student that he enjoyed. Some pages involved stickers and some involved coloring.
  • Line up various objects to count such as blocks, pennies, game pieces, etc.  Count how many there are and make a game out of it, such as put six blocks in the bucket, nine pennies in the piggy bank, etc.

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How to Teach Young Children Patterns

A very simple, inexpensive way to start out teaching young children patterns would be to have three different colors of caps from gallon milk or water jugs.  Have several of each color.  If you don’t have the caps, then cut out circles out of colored tagboard.  Start with a very simple pattern and then make it progressively harder.  Start out demonstrating the whole pattern at first, showing how to duplicate the pattern to make sure the child understands the concept of “pattern.”  Then see if the child can duplicate it.  For example:

  • Red, blue, red, blue, red, blue, ____, ____, ____, ____, ____, ____
  • Red, green, red, green, red, green, ____, ____, ____, ____, ____
  • Red, blue, blue, red, blue, blue, ____, ____, ____, ____, ____, ____
  • Red, red, blue, red, red, blue, ____, ____, ____, ____, ____, ____
  • Red, blue, green, red, blue, green, ____, ____, ____, ____, ____
  • Red, green, green, blue, red, green, green, blue, ____, ____, ____, ____, ____, ____, ____, ____

As the child masters each level, have more complicated patterns.

Then add in two dimensions of color and shape:

  • red circle, blue square, red circle, blue square
  • red circle, green square, blue triangle, red circle, green square, blue triangle

As the child progresses, make patterns out of stickers (excellent way to make patterns) and other things besides color and shapes.

Teaching Patterns with Pattern Blocks

One thing that I purchased years ago was a set of pattern blocks and pattern block design cards.  These are great for teaching mathematical patterns.   Students not only get to see the patterns, but they get to touch and feel them.  They are able, through trial and error, to see how patterns work.  My own children got to use them at home while they were growing up, too, and now I am able to use them in private tutoring and in a couple of years hope to use them with our young grandson.   It’s worth the investment of $20-$30 to have these materials which not only develop cognitive thinking but are just plain fun to do!

If you don’t have the money to invest in these materials right now, you could make your own set of  one-dimensional shapes and simple pattern cards with colored tagboard.  Just look online at pattern blocks and pattern block design cards to get ideas.

Teach Math Concepts Through Educational Video Games

Big Brain Acadamy and Brain Age are two of the best video games out there that can teach or strengthen several cognitive skills including math concepts.   Here are some of the math skills children (and adults) can learn through these games:

  • Basic computation
  • Estimation
  • Value of coins
  • Spatial relations
  • Patterns

These games cover many different cognitive areas.  If you are not familiar with them, I highly recommend them.   They are good brain stretchers!  We own both games, and they are great for young and old alike.

Leap Frog Learning Products

Leap Frog learning products are great products for teaching reading, math, and other skills.  From what I have seen and read, they are exceptionally good products.   Someone I know said that her child loved the music in Leap Frog Math Circus and didn’t even realize that she was learning because she was having so much fun.  And that is a big key to teaching children, making it fun!

Free Counters for Teaching Math

Having the “teacher packrat syndrome” of saving anything and everything that could be used for teaching, I have a lot of caps from gallon water bottles.  They come in different colors such as red, blue, and purple.  These are great for counting, teaching patterns, for teaching beginning addition and subtraction, for teaching multiplication and division, for fractions, etc.   Anything that you buy a lot of, whether it’s water bottles or Coke bottles, you can save the bottle caps for teaching math.