Thursday, January 23, 2014

Math Facts and Graphing

Math is such a great time for the kids to work on taking their own data!  It is usually on something concrete and the actual process of data collection involves the use of many math skills.  This year in our math groups, we have downloaded the app Flash to Pass (FREE) for our iPads.

This app is not necessarily my favorite math app, but it has a lot of features I like.  First of all, you can choose the operation your students is working on, what numbers you want your kids utilize, different levels, the number of problems, time allotted, etc.

I like the versatility because I don't necessarily want the kids to take data the same way each week at this point.  We are working on taking data in different ways and trying to make progress just in the course of 1-2 weeks.   We will also be trying out a couple different math apps as well, so please let me know if you have one you love

Here is how we used the math app last week.  First of all, we turned the timer mode off.  This week, we were working on "getting faster."  So, instead of having a clock count down, we wanted the timer to track how long it took the students to finish their set of problems.  Also, some of our groups were working on completing 30 problems while others were only completing 20.  You can set the app for up to 50 problems.

We had students at a variety of levels participating in this activity.  Some students were working on multiplication, while others were were working on adding only with +1s and +0s.  So, we showed the students how to select their level before beginning.

 This is what the app looks like while it is running.  The math problem on the left, keyboard on the right, and the time running on the top.  To answer the question, you type in your answer on the keyboard and press "enter."  If it is not correct, the problem shakes and stays in place.  Students have to keep trying until they get the right answer.

Once you finish, this box pops up that says your final time.  We told the kids to "stop" when this box popped up and not to touch the iPad until they got the teacher.

Next, we took the iPads to the board, and had the kids graph their time on the chart below.  Each day, we tried to see if the kids could get "faster" times.  This was already different for our kids, because they are used to wanting their graphs to get bigger for most things…so this time, they had to adjust to wanting their graph to get smaller each day.  

Some other ways we will be taking data will be:
-how many problems you can complete in a given time
-# of corrects/incorrects in a given time (I need a good app for this one!)
-line graphs vs. bar graphs vs. just writing the data in a data sheet

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