Math Cats is best used to introduce math in non-traditional ways and for free exploration. However, the games can also align directly to specific units. Doing a unit on time? Use the time calculator to calculate exactly how long it is until each student’s next birthday or how long has passed since various historical events. A unit on place value? Use the birthday cake to play around with ones, tens, and hundreds. Use the scale to explore mass, weight, and multiplication, or the Egyptian cats fraction activity to teach about adding fractions, or about Egypt. There are also lots of ideas for crafts that would be fun class activities. Teachers can also follow the examples of other classrooms and make it a class or individual activity to design and submit a Math Cats craft, activity, or word problem.Continue reading Show less
Math Cats offers unique math exploration tools and suggestions for math-related crafts and other offline activities. The teacher who created Math Cats uses cats to attract kids and add a touch of whimsy and entertainment (who doesn't like pictures of cats?). Content is divided into interactive math activities such as a coin flipper that graphs results and teaches about probability; online and offline crafts such as using shapes and geometry to make unique creations; exploration tools such as the time calculator, which kids can use to find their exact age in years, months, weeks, days, and seconds; math-related trivia like sports statistics and math terminology; and user-submitted content like kid-created word problems.
Math Cats covers a lot of ground, including geometry, fractions, and multiplication. Most prominent, though, is its goal to inspire kids to enjoy working with math. For the most part, Math Cats succeeds in making math (and cats) an integral part of a wide variety of activities for which kids will surely find something that catches their fancy. See weather from around the world, compare the mass of cats, buildings, and planets, start a math club, make a number city, or practice using money and making change. Math Cats shines as an exploratory math playground, but it's less successful as a structured learning tool. Kids need to be directive of their own experience as there's limited difficulty leveling, little feedback, and no way to track progress. Math concepts are timeless, but the site is outdated, with the most recent user submission from 2009. This may be distracting or discouraging to kids who want to participate in the social, sharing opportunities the site offers. There's also a lot of text, so kids will need to be strong readers to do some of the activities.
Key Standards Supported
Compose two-dimensional shapes (rectangles, squares, trapezoids, triangles, half-circles, and quarter-circles) or three-dimensional shapes (cubes, right rectangular prisms, right circular cones, and right circular cylinders) to create a composite shape, and compose new shapes from the composite shape.4
Recognize and draw shapes having specified attributes, such as a given number of angles or a given number of equal faces.5 Identify triangles, quadrilaterals, pentagons, hexagons, and cubes.
Understand that shapes in different categories (e.g., rhombuses, rectangles, and others) may share attributes (e.g., having four sides), and that the shared attributes can define a larger category (e.g., quadrilaterals). Recognize rhombuses, rectangles, and squares as examples of quadrilaterals, and draw examples of quadrilaterals that do not belong to any of these subcategories.
Recognize a line of symmetry for a two-dimensional figure as a line across the figure such that the figure can be folded along the line into matching parts. Identify line-symmetric figures and draw lines of symmetry.
Measurement And Data
Draw a picture graph and a bar graph (with single-unit scale) to represent a data set with up to four categories. Solve simple put- together, take-apart, and compare problems4 using information presented in a bar graph.
Solve word problems involving dollar bills, quarters, dimes, nickels, and pennies, using $ and ¢ symbols appropriately. Example: If you have 2 dimes and 3 pennies, how many cents do you have?
Tell and write time to the nearest minute and measure time intervals in minutes. Solve word problems involving addition and subtraction of time intervals in minutes, e.g., by representing the problem on a number line diagram.
Number And Operations In Base Ten
The numbers from 11 to 19 are composed of a ten and one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, or nine ones.
The numbers 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90 refer to one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, or nine tens (and 0 ones).
The numbers 100, 200, 300, 400, 500, 600, 700, 800, 900 refer to one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, or nine hundreds (and 0 tens and 0 ones).
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.)
Decompose a fraction into a sum of fractions with the same denominator in more than one way, recording each decomposition by an equation. Justify decompositions, e.g., by using a visual fraction model. Examples: 3/8 = 1/8 + 1/8 + 1/8 ; 3/8 = 1/8 + 2/8 ; 2 1/8 = 1 + 1 + 1/8 = 8/8 + 8/8 + 1/8.
Compare two fractions with different numerators and different denominators, e.g., by creating common denominators or numerators, or by comparing to a benchmark fraction such as 1/2. Recognize that comparisons are valid only when the two fractions refer to the same whole. Record the results of comparisons with symbols >, =, or <, and justify the conclusions, e.g., by using a visual fraction model.
Recognize and generate simple equivalent fractions, e.g., 1/2 = 2/4, 4/6 = 2/3). Explain why the fractions are equivalent, e.g., by using a visual fraction model.
Operations And Algebraic Thinking
Use addition and subtraction within 20 to solve word problems involving situations of adding to, taking from, putting together, taking apart, and comparing, with unknowns in all positions, e.g., by using objects, drawings, and equations with a symbol for the unknown number to represent the problem.2
Use addition and subtraction within 100 to solve one- and two-step word problems involving situations of adding to, taking from, putting together, taking apart, and comparing, with unknowns in all positions, e.g., by using drawings and equations with a symbol for the unknown number to represent the problem.1
Interpret products of whole numbers, e.g., interpret 5 × 7 as the total number of objects in 5 groups of 7 objects each. For example, describe a context in which a total number of objects can be expressed as 5 × 7.
Interpret whole-number quotients of whole numbers, e.g., interpret 56 ÷ 8 as the number of objects in each share when 56 objects are partitioned equally into 8 shares, or as a number of shares when 56 objects are partitioned into equal shares of 8 objects each. For example, describe a context in which a number of shares or a number of groups can be expressed as 56 ÷ 8.
Use multiplication and division within 100 to solve word problems in situations involving equal groups, arrays, and measurement quantities, e.g., by using drawings and equations with a symbol for the unknown number to represent the problem.1