Math and Project Based Learning: 27 Amazing Resources, Part 5

What an amazing website from Cambridge University!
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What an amazing website from Cambridge University!
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Welcome this fifth in what was suppose to be a four part series intended to provide Math teachers with some outstanding PBL resources. Why more resources? It is because of your tremendous response. First, to ensure you do not miss one of these valuable posts or other resources covering PBL, Digital Curriculum, Web 2.0, STEM, 21st century learning, and technology integration, please sign up for 21centuryedtech by email or RSS. As always, I invite you to follow me on twitter (@mjgormans). Please give this post a retweet and pass it on. Have a great week – Michael Gorman (21centuryedtech)

I hope you enjoy these twenty-seven resources that are a part of what is now a five part series. Is there something that should be added? Let me know! Keep those ideas coming in and start getting ready for a possible Science and PBL. Do you have a resources? Please return, share, and provide a retweet.

Math and Sports – What an amazing website from Cambridge University! These free online mathematical resources explore math and science through sports. These resources include activities designed to develop problem-solving and mathematical reasoning skills for students aged 5 to 18. You will also find articles aimed at older students. Also, be sure to visit video maths challenges which is produced with input from Cambridge by BBC Two Learning Zone. Another must visit site includes activities on Maths and Football (European style). It is possible to discover articles and activities that are arranged by Key Stage. The site also allows the user to access tabs at the top of the page, or view content by sport or topic.

Plus Magazine – That is right… it is a magazine. Another plus… it is free. Most important it is all about the world of Math. This is a wonderful resource that will bring the authentic world of math to your students. Stories and activities can be a scaffold in a PBL Unit or possibly the catalyst for an entire project. This is one that I could have spent an entire post on. In fact read their own quote!

“Plus is an internet magazine which aims to introduce readers to the beauty and the practical applications of mathematics. A lot of people don’t have a very clear idea what “real” maths consists of, and often they don’t realize how many things they take for granted only work because of a generous helping of it. Apparently, some people even have the idea that it’s boring! Weird. Anyway, we hope that even if you’re such a person now, you won’t be after looking through one or two issues of Plus, and that you’ll come back and read future issues as they come out.”

You will find that Plus provides articles and podcasts many areas of mathematics. These topics include but are not limited to art, medicine, cosmology and sport. Be sure to visit the news section, showing how recent news stories were often based on some underlying piece of math. You can also check out reviews of popular maths books, and puzzles that will help to sharpen your students, and your wit. There is also a regular interview with someone in a maths-related career. In these interviews students are shown the wide range of uses of math in the real world. Listen to a podcast that will open up real world math or read one of the new Ebooks! Last, for those real PBL enthusiasts you just might discover the basis for an entire unit in the area called packages. In fact, you will find this online magazine to be a wonderful collection of packages just waiting for you and your students to open.

NRICH – The slogan of this site is “Enriching Mathematics” As one tours the site it is evident that math can be rich! The aim of NRICH is to focus on the problem solving aspect of math. In the PBL world this could be construed as PrBL (Problem Based Learning). This difference can be discussed in a future article. In short… PrBL is shorter and may not contain all of the 8 elements of PBL. It can be turned into a full PBL or could be a scaffolding piece in a PBL. The belief of teaching Math using problem solving and inquiry is stated by NRICH in the following:

  • Our activities can provoke mathematical thinking.
  • Students can learn by exploring, noticing and discussing.
  • This can lead to conjecturing, explaining, generalizing, convincing and proof.
  • In a classroom, the students’ role is to focus on the mathematics while the teacher focuses on the learners.
  • The teacher should aim to do for students only what they cannot yet do for themselves.

It is especially exciting to see that last statement, allowing students to own their learning. All of the materials is built into age appropriate categories. It is certain that exploration at NRICH will lead on a path to some wonderful math richness! Enjoy the journey to a real home of rich mathematics.

BBC Bitesize Math – OK… this may not have full scale PBL in its design, but there are some amazing scaffolding activities that will fit into a PBL unit. Add in the opportunity for some formative assessment, and you have an outstanding math site for educators. Explore this provided content:

  • Algebra: Formula and equations, inequalities, graphs, quadratic equations, sequence
  • Statistics and probability: Collecting data, averages, representing data, probability
  • Number: Number, fractions, decimals and ratios, factors, powers and roots
  • Geometry and measures: Shapes, coordinates, transformations and vectors, calculating lengths, areas and angles, measurements

Please note that you will find activities for all age groups. Perhaps you wish to start at the Activity Page. You are sure to find some great Math resources and be sure to incorporate them as part of your Project Based Learning in Math!

Mathematics, Learning, and Web 2.0 – You may not have noticed but the last four resources have come from the UK. I really don’t want to switch countries or continents so I will conclude this post with an amazing Math Blog from the UK; “Mathematics, Learning, and Web 2.0″ is written by Colleen Young. Her posts provide thoughts and ideas in a very math practical manner. It is a wonderful blog that will allow any math teacher to dream up a new PBL, or scaffold an activity inside an existing project!. Not only that… it is just wonderful reading… so enjoy!

Note… One of My most Amazing Math PBL Finds is the emphasis of my entire next post! … Sign Up Now!

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Michael Gorman oversees one-to-one laptop programs and digital professional development for Southwest Allen County Schools near Fort Wayne, Indiana. He is a consultant for Discovery Education, ISTE, My Big Campus, and November Learning and is on the National Faculty for The Buck Institute for Education. His awards include district Teacher of the Year, Indiana STEM Educator of the Year and Microsoft’s 365 Global Education Hero. Read more at