Just in time for back-to-school: New distance learning resources are available on Wide Open School.
The Coolmath site is a collection of explanation cards that could be used in class to introduce or describe certain topics. It might be useful for students needing a refresher in various math concepts as a friendlier alternative to a textbook. There are some interactive elements that show concepts, but many of these require Flash, and some don't seem to work.
The site is also linked to a math games site (Coolmath Games) where some of the games could be used to teach strategy or practice concepts. However, many of the games aren't really math-focused -- they're described as "brain-training" -- and may be more useful as a reward or break for students.Continue reading Show less
Coolmath is part of a collection of websites that includes Coolmath Games and Coolmath4Kids. The main site -- Coolmath -- covers concepts for grades 6–12 including pre-algebra, algebra, and pre-calculus. Coolmath4Kids offers content for students from grades K–5, and the games there come from Arcademics. And Coolmath Games has a variety of "brain-training" games. The Coolmath4Teachers and Coolmath4Parents sites seem to be pages with links to the other sites.
The main site has lessons that cover a variety of concepts with explanations and creative ways to remember things. There's also a glossary and a "survival guide," which is a (long) pep talk in segments for students who dislike or struggle with math.
In terms of positives, the range of topics on Coolmath and Coolmath4Kids is impressive, and the reference tools could be useful. The lessons might also be helpful for kids who avoid using the textbook for explanations but could use an accessible reminder here and there.
However, the main Coolmath site uses a very dated interface: a black screen with white and neon text, which could be difficult for some students to read. The content cards and tools and references sections are quite useful but lack any real interactivity, and most of the interactive elements no longer function properly. Students don't really get a chance to develop their own methods of understanding the materials and are required to follow the steps provided in the materials presented. The games are part of a separate website that requires a subscription to remove the numerous ads. Many of the games also require the students to install and use Flash within their browser. Most importantly, the games often don't reinforce math concepts, and if they do, it's rudimentary practice at best. So, if you're looking to offer students some fun, free math games, you might want to look to more current, learning-focused options.
Key Standards Supported
Arithmetic With Polynomials And Rational Expressions
Understand that polynomials form a system analogous to the integers, namely, they are closed under the operations of addition, subtraction, and multiplication; add, subtract, and multiply polynomials.
(+) Understand that rational expressions form a system analogous to the rational numbers, closed under addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division by a nonzero rational expression; add, subtract, multiply, and divide rational expressions.
Know precise definitions of angle, circle, perpendicular line, parallel line, and line segment, based on the undefined notions of point, line, distance along a line, and distance around a circular arc.
Expressions And Equations
Understand solving an equation or inequality as a process of answering a question: which values from a specified set, if any, make the equation or inequality true? Use substitution to determine whether a given number in a specified set makes an equation or inequality true.
Understand that solutions to a system of two linear equations in two variables correspond to points of intersection of their graphs, because points of intersection satisfy both equations simultaneously.
Know and apply the properties of integer exponents to generate equivalent numerical expressions. For example, 32 × 3–5 = 3–3 = 1/33 = 1/27.
Understand that a function is a rule that assigns to each input exactly one output. The graph of a function is the set of ordered pairs consisting of an input and the corresponding output.1
Understand that a two-dimensional figure is congruent to another if the second can be obtained from the first by a sequence of rotations, reflections, and translations; given two congruent figures, describe a sequence that exhibits the congruence between them.
Understand that a two-dimensional figure is similar to another if the second can be obtained from the first by a sequence of rotations, reflections, translations, and dilations; given two similar two- dimensional figures, describe a sequence that exhibits the similarity between them.
Understand that a function from one set (called the domain) to another set (called the range) assigns to each element of the domain exactly one element of the range. If f is a function and x is an element of its domain, then f(x) denotes the output of f corresponding to the input x. The graph of f is the graph of the equation y = f(x).
Measurement And Data
Recognize angles as geometric shapes that are formed wherever two rays share a common endpoint, and understand concepts of angle measurement:
Number And Operations In Base Ten
Understand that the two digits of a two-digit number represent amounts of tens and ones. Understand the following as special cases:
Add within 100, including adding a two-digit number and a one-digit number, and adding a two-digit number and a multiple of 10, using concrete models or drawings and strategies based on place value, properties of operations, and/or the relationship between addition and subtraction; relate the strategy to a written method and explain the reasoning used. Understand that in adding two-digit numbers, one adds tens and tens, ones and ones; and sometimes it is necessary to compose a ten.
Fluently add and subtract within 100 using strategies based on place value, properties of operations, and/or the relationship between addition and subtraction.
Add up to four two-digit numbers using strategies based on place value and properties of operations.
Add and subtract within 1000, using concrete models or drawings and strategies based on place value, properties of operations, and/or the relationship between addition and subtraction; relate the strategy to a written method. Understand that in adding or subtracting three- digit numbers, one adds or subtracts hundreds and hundreds, tens and tens, ones and ones; and sometimes it is necessary to compose or decompose tens or hundreds.
Fluently add and subtract within 1000 using strategies and algorithms based on place value, properties of operations, and/or the relationship between addition and subtraction.
Fluently multiply multi-digit whole numbers using the standard algorithm.
Find whole-number quotients of whole numbers with up to four-digit dividends and two-digit divisors, using strategies based on place value, the properties of operations, and/or the relationship between multiplication and division. Illustrate and explain the calculation by using equations, rectangular arrays, and/or area models.
Add, subtract, multiply, and divide decimals to hundredths, using concrete models or drawings and strategies based on place value, properties of operations, and/or the relationship between addition and subtraction; relate the strategy to a written method and explain the reasoning used.
Recognize that in a multi-digit number, a digit in one place represents 10 times as much as it represents in the place to its right and 1/10 of what it represents in the place to its left.
Recognize that in a multi-digit whole number, a digit in one place represents ten times what it represents in the place to its right. For example, recognize that 700 ÷ 70 = 10 by applying concepts of place value and division.
Fluently add and subtract multi-digit whole numbers using the standard algorithm.
Multiply a whole number of up to four digits by a one-digit whole number, and multiply two two-digit numbers, using strategies based on place value and the properties of operations. Illustrate and explain the calculation by using equations, rectangular arrays, and/or area models.
Number And Operations—Fractions
Add and subtract fractions with unlike denominators (including mixed numbers) by replacing given fractions with equivalent fractions in such a way as to produce an equivalent sum or difference of fractions with like denominators. For example, 2/3 + 5/4 = 8/12 + 15/12 = 23/12. (In general, a/b + c/d = (ad + bc)/bd.)
Understand a fraction 1/b as the quantity formed by 1 part when a whole is partitioned into b equal parts; understand a fraction a/b as the quantity formed by a parts of size 1/b.
Understand two fractions as equivalent (equal) if they are the same size, or the same point on a number line.
Operations And Algebraic Thinking
Add and subtract within 20, demonstrating fluency for addition and subtraction within 10. Use strategies such as counting on; making ten (e.g., 8 + 6 = 8 + 2 + 4 = 10 + 4 = 14); decomposing a number leading to a ten (e.g., 13 – 4 = 13 – 3 – 1 = 10 – 1 = 9); using the relationship between addition and subtraction (e.g., knowing that 8 + 4 = 12, one knows 12 – 8 = 4); and creating equivalent but easier or known sums (e.g., adding 6 + 7 by creating the known equivalent 6 + 6 + 1 = 12 + 1 = 13).
Understand subtraction as an unknown-addend problem. For example, subtract 10 – 8 by finding the number that makes 10 when added to 8.
Understand the meaning of the equal sign, and determine if equations involving addition and subtraction are true or false. For example, which of the following equations are true and which are false? 6 = 6, 7 = 8 – 1, 5 + 2 = 2 + 5, 4 + 1 = 5 + 2.
Fluently add and subtract within 20 using mental strategies.2 By end of Grade 2, know from memory all sums of two one-digit numbers.
Fluently multiply and divide within 100, using strategies such as the relationship between multiplication and division (e.g., knowing that 8 × 5 = 40, one knows 40 ÷ 5 = 8) or properties of operations. By the end of Grade 3, know from memory all products of two one-digit numbers.
Understand division as an unknown-factor problem. For example, find 32 ÷ 8 by finding the number that makes 32 when multiplied by 8.
Fluently add and subtract within 5.
Ratios And Proportional Relationships
Understand the concept of a ratio and use ratio language to describe a ratio relationship between two quantities. For example, “The ratio of wings to beaks in the bird house at the zoo was 2:1, because for every 2 wings there was 1 beak.” “For every vote candidate A received, candidate C received nearly three votes.”
Understand the concept of a unit rate a/b associated with a ratio a:b with b ≠ 0, and use rate language in the context of a ratio relationship. For example, “This recipe has a ratio of 3 cups of flour to 4 cups of sugar, so there is 3/4 cup of flour for each cup of sugar.” “We paid $75 for 15 hamburgers, which is a rate of $5 per hamburger.”1
Recognize and represent proportional relationships between quantities.
Reasoning With Equations And Inequalities
Understand that the graph of an equation in two variables is the set of all its solutions plotted in the coordinate plane, often forming a curve (which could be a line).
Similarity, Right Triangles, And Trigonometry
(+) Understand and apply the Law of Sines and the Law of Cosines to find unknown measurements in right and non-right triangles (e.g., surveying problems, resultant forces).
Understand that by similarity, side ratios in right triangles are properties of the angles in the triangle, leading to definitions of trigonometric ratios for acute angles.
Statistics And Probability
Understand that a set of data collected to answer a statistical question has a distribution which can be described by its center, spread, and overall shape.
The Complex Number System
Know there is a complex number i such that i2 = –1, and every complex number has the form a + bi with a and b real.
(+) Know the Fundamental Theorem of Algebra; show that it is true for quadratic polynomials.
The Number System
Understand that positive and negative numbers are used together to describe quantities having opposite directions or values (e.g., temperature above/below zero, elevation above/below sea level, credits/debits, positive/negative electric charge); use positive and negative numbers to represent quantities in real-world contexts, explaining the meaning of 0 in each situation.
Understand a rational number as a point on the number line. Extend number line diagrams and coordinate axes familiar from previous grades to represent points on the line and in the plane with negative number coordinates.
Understand signs of numbers in ordered pairs as indicating locations in quadrants of the coordinate plane; recognize that when two ordered pairs differ only by signs, the locations of the points are related by reflections across one or both axes.
Understand ordering and absolute value of rational numbers.
Understand the absolute value of a rational number as its distance from 0 on the number line; interpret absolute value as magnitude for a positive or negative quantity in a real-world situation. For example, for an account balance of –30 dollars, write |–30| = 30 to describe the size of the debt in dollars.
Fluently divide multi-digit numbers using the standard algorithm.
Know that numbers that are not rational are called irrational. Understand informally that every number has a decimal expansion; for rational numbers show that the decimal expansion repeats eventually, and convert a decimal expansion which repeats eventually into a rational number.
Understand radian measure of an angle as the length of the arc on the unit circle subtended by the angle.
(+) Understand that restricting a trigonometric function to a domain on which it is always increasing or always decreasing allows its inverse to be constructed.
Vector And Matrix Quantities
(+) Understand that the zero and identity matrices play a role in matrix addition and multiplication similar to the role of 0 and 1 in the real numbers. The determinant of a square matrix is nonzero if and only if the matrix has a multiplicative inverse.
(+) Understand that, unlike multiplication of numbers, matrix multiplication for square matrices is not a commutative operation, but still satisfies the associative and distributive properties.
Understand vector subtraction v – w as v + (–w), where –w is the additive inverse of w, with the same magnitude as w and pointing in the opposite direction. Represent vector subtraction graphically by connecting the tips in the appropriate order, and perform vector subtraction component-wise.