Lesson ideas and preparation

 

Rationale: Many teachers have been prepared to share their successful lessons with teachers elsewhere. There are inevitable differences in style and in the local curriculum constraints under which teachers work. However much is to be gained from the experiences of others, and it seems likely that teachers will share only their best lessons. Hence many lesson collections contain excellent ideas for teachers, to support planning their own lessons for their own curricula in their own contexts. Of course, many lessons available in this way may not suit the needs and interests of particular teachers with particular classes, so that discretion is needed. Most of the sources below provide lesson materials for many areas of the curriculum, not only mathematics, and most contain some form of search engine. Several of the sites involve subscriptions, although generally there are also resources available without subscription (partly to give potential clients a good idea of what a subscription might provide.)

 

Here are some examples:

 

 

Maths300

 

Maths300 is an Australian web-based project available on subscription which aims to support teachers in the delivery of excellent mathematics education. Visitors to the site can sample some of the resources for free. The aim is to resource members with extensive notes for, at least, the best 300 maths lessons (K-12), building on the highly successful MCTP project of recent years. Lessons have been successfully trialled in schools and are presented in an easy style. Many lessons are supported by specially written, small down loadable computer programs. In addition, lessons are supported by Investigation Sheets (with answers), game boards where relevant, and a regular newsletter. The Search Engine allows teachers to search for lessons by pedagogical feature, curriculum strand, content and year level. Lessons notes can be saved or printed directly from the site.

 

Teachnology

 

The broad focus of this US site is to use technology to improve teaching and learning. Although the site is only entirely accessible by subscription, there are many resources for lessons available without subscription, as well as other support for teachers. While there are many worksheets available, some of which are inevitably less valuable than others, the site offers an opportunity for teachers to get a range of advice quickly for teaching particular topics. The search facility seems very good, efficiently providing access to many sites of help, while both the Tips, Tools and Themes offer useful materials and advice from other teachers. While many of the resources are for younger students, the site is also likely to be helpful to secondary school teachers as well.

 

 

Discovery Education

 

This site offers access (via substantial school-based subscription) to thousands of videos that might be used in educational settings. Although not many of these are mathematical, there are some. The link above goes to the Lesson Plans Library for mathematics, which has some examples at a range of levels. While these are unlikely to fit precisely a particular lesson planned by a particular teacher, they do offer some ideas and suggestions for ways of using digital media within classrooms. Other parts of the site might also offer help with planning lessons.

 

 

Educator Reference Desk

 

This site provides access to briefly described lesson plans in various branches of mathematics at various levels, typically from US teachers. The site also provides Resource Guides, which conveniently link to various places related to teaching mathematics. The site is maintained by the Information Institute of Syracuse, also responsible for AskERIC and the Gateway to Educational Materials (which is itself directly accessible from this site).

 

 

Math Forum lessons

 

The Math Forum is a very large US site that has pioneered Internet use for mathematics teachers, and now has a very substantial collections of resources that are effectively targeted at particular elements of the curriculum. This link provides access to both Lesson Plans and Collections of resources related to a particular topic. The materials are helpfully sorted by topic and by level, helpful for initial browsing. However, as the site itself suggests, using the keyword search engine is a good idea to find useful materials efficiently. Most (but not all) of the resources are US in origin, unsurprisingly. There is a wealth of ideas for teaching here, with of course quite a range of quality.

 

UTK lessons

 

The University of Tennessee at Knoxville (UTK) has been involved in providing access to resources for maths teachers for many years. This site links in turn to many other sites that contain collections of lesson plans or descriptions or ideas for lessons. Some of the links offer significant collections of ideas from many teachers: a good example is the SMILE collection. Another is the PUMAS collection, written mostly by scientists and engineers focussed on uses of mathematics and science. The UTK site is now a little dated (so there are several missing links), but there are still many good opportunities here to tap into good ideas from others (in the form of lesson ideas as well as many other forms.)

 

HotChalk Lessons

 

HotChalk is an online learning environment for K-12 teachers, available free, with many teachers involved from many countries. (Premium content and professional development are also available at a price.) This link to the lesson plans allows access to various kinds of resources for lessons, including advice on lesson planning, tools of various kinds, a searchable collection of lesson plans at various levels, and a discussion forum for teachers. There is a range of materials here, sometimes strangely described, but many good ideas amongst them.

 

Illuminations

 

This excellent NCTM site gathers resources for teaching mathematics across a wide range, organised into four categories: (online) Activities, Lessons, (the NCTM) Standards and Web Links. There are several hundred exemplary lessons available in the Lessons category, organised by topic and grade level, and it should not be hard for a busy teacher to gets lots of helpful advice for many topics. While the lessons (and the NCTM Standards) are US in origin, the ideas for many of these will easily translate to other contexts. The online Activities comprise a rich collection of interactive Java applets, together with teacher notes.

 

TeachLED

 

This site, constructed and maintained by UK teacher Spencer Riley, provides Flash resources he has written for use on Interactive Whiteboards. Most resources at present concern an aspect of mathematics, and their focus is for teachers to lead the lesson, deciding how best to use them with their class. (This is in deliberate contrast with materials designed to be used by students themselves.) There are some nice resources here across a range of mathematical topics, mostly around middle school in level. Many of them come with additional downloadable resources for classroom use.

Interactive Mathematics Classroom

 

This Australian site has been compiled and maintained by Rex Boggs, an innovative Queensland teacher, in order to help mathematics teachers locate good digital resource materials to use, especially on interactive whiteboards. There are hundreds of good resources on this site, classified by topic and also by file type. While teachers may use a particular resource directly, if it suited their facilities and needs, others may serve the important purpose of suggesting ideas or approaches to topics.

 

Developing Quality in Mathematics Education

 

This website offers lesson resources from a consortium of European countries, resulting from collaborations between schools, universities and teacher education institutions. The resources are searchable and can be downloaded for classroom use. English versions are available for many. It is necessary to register (quick and free) to use the resources, many of which are very interesting. These European resources have been developed and trialled across national borders.

 

Interactive Whiteboard

Mathematics

 

This is a rich resource of materials of various kinds for use on interactive whiteboards. These have been compiled, developed and maintained by Dave Miller and colleagues at Keele University in the UK, recognised as leaders in the use of this technology. The well-organised website offers many lesson ideas for secondary teachers, and has been recently revised to provide for primary lessons as well. While most of the site offers free access, interactive resources require a school subscription after October 2009.

Top Drawer Teachers

 

This is a superb collection of materials developed by the Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers, offering detailed advice to support good teaching. What is in your top drawer for teaching particular aspects of mathematics? Rummage through the drawers to get expert advice, teaching suggestions and classroom activities for a range of key topics.

Body weight data sources

 

This site contains links to many authoritative Australian data sources related to body weight and related health issues. The data have been organised by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, and are provided here in the expectation that they might find a place in some mathematics classes.

 

 

Return to Teaching Mathematics page.

 

Feedback welcome.

 

Last updated: 26 April 2015