How I Use It
If you are looking for a website with new, flashy, current graphics and font, this is not it. The graphics, fonts, and animations are dated. As long as you can see past that, this site is terrific! Many of the activities encourage open-ended thinking and exploration as opposed to drill and kill. This site would be great in centers or for individual exploration. Students can easily engage in the unique activities (Do you know what day of the year we are in? Can you get a balance scale to balance with the provided products?). One word of caution: many of the gaming activities run on a MicroWorlds plug-in which you would likely need to download in order to use those sections. However, even without that plug-in, there are numerous other activities and games students can enjoy.
Once your students get past the fact that this site is not ‘flashy and new’, the learning opportunities are great! Exploring math in the everyday world, encouraging students to try open-ended activities, and even providing a selection of math themed craft project ideas are just some of the ways students can build their enjoyment of and confidence with mathematics. This site was created by a teacher that knew what she was doing. If teachers are not permitted to download on their computers, the ‘Mathcats love MicroWorlds’ section of the site is deemed useless, as a little-known plug-in needs to be downloaded in order to play those games. However, so much more material is available without the plug-in that the rich explorations are not overshadowed.