Use the lessons as instructional supplements in the classroom. Search by grade and type of standard (NCTM or CCSS) and browse away. To narrow the search, type keywords into the search field. Review the lesson ahead of time to make sure you have all of the necessary materials. Kids can work individually or in groups, depending on the lesson. Use the interactives as enrichment activities for kids who finish work early or need extra practice in a particular content area.Continue reading Show less
Illuminations is a wide-ranging collection of lessons, interactives (including games, virtual manipulatives, and applets), mobile apps, brainteasers, and more designed by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM). The activities are for kids in PreK through 12th grade and are searchable by grade, NCTM standard, Common Core standard, and topic. Lessons are comprehensive and include an instructional plan, a list of objectives and standards, a materials list, assessment and extension ideas, and student questions and reflections. Many lessons also include printable worksheets in PDF format. The apps and interactive desktop games are also standards-based and challenge kids in specific content areas. Kids can also play a Web-based math strategy game ("Calculation Nation") and challenge opponents from anywhere around the world.
Illuminations is packed with excellent teaching resources that kids will find both challenging and fun. Most of the lessons and activities are based on real-world mathematics; for example, in a lesson for grades 3 through 5, kids use the average adult's heart rate to make predictions, do calculations, and draw conclusions about the human heart rate and the heart rate of other animals. The lesson problems focus on critical-thinking and problem-solving skills, and the interactive games and brainteasers are a fun way for kids to test their knowledge. The social features of the "Calculation Nation" game are also great: it's an engaging, interesting way for kids to get excited about math.
This site would be even better if more of its sections required kids to log in like they do for the game. That way, kids could track and share their progress on the brainteasers and interactives, and teachers might be able to use that data for future planning. Additionally, the search engine is fairly broad and does not allow users to find lessons based on particular standards. The high school resources have the weakest connections to Common Core standards, so teachers should be choosy about the lessons, activities, and games they assign to their students. Overall, this is a treasure trove of cool math content to extend your classroom and engage your students, and it'll require some careful study and sorting to find what you need most.
Key Standards Supported
Measurement And Data
Draw a scaled picture graph and a scaled bar graph to represent a data set with several categories. Solve one- and two-step “how many more” and “how many less” problems using information presented in scaled bar graphs. For example, draw a bar graph in which each square in the bar graph might represent 5 pets.
Generate measurement data by measuring lengths using rulers marked with halves and fourths of an inch. Show the data by making a line plot, where the horizontal scale is marked off in appropriate units— whole numbers, halves, or quarters.
Describe measurable attributes of objects, such as length or weight. Describe several measurable attributes of a single object.
Number And Operations—Fractions
Interpret a fraction as division of the numerator by the denominator (a/b = a ÷ b). Solve word problems involving division of whole numbers leading to answers in the form of fractions or mixed numbers, e.g., by using visual fraction models or equations to represent the problem. For example, interpret 3/4 as the result of dividing 3 by 4, noting that 3/4 multiplied by 4 equals 3, and that when 3 wholes are shared equally among 4 people each person has a share of size 3/4. If 9 people want to share a 50-pound sack of rice equally by weight, how many pounds of rice should each person get? Between what two whole numbers does your answer lie?
Operations And Algebraic Thinking
Represent addition and subtraction with objects, fingers, mental images, drawings2, sounds (e.g., claps), acting out situations, verbal explanations, expressions, or equations.
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.”
Use proportional relationships to solve multistep ratio and percent problems. Examples: simple interest, tax, markups and markdowns, gratuities and commissions, fees, percent increase and decrease, percent error.
Statistics And Probability
Recognize that a measure of center for a numerical data set summarizes all of its values with a single number, while a measure of variation describes how its values vary with a single number.