Common Sense Review
Updated November 2013

Mathlanding

Educator community's got lots of potential, more engagement will help
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Common Sense Rating 3
Teacher Rating (1 Teacher Review) 4
  • Lesson descriptions give you an overall idea of the content. Contributors, organizations, topic, grade level, type, additional info, community ratings and comments, and associated standards are listed for each resource.
  • Article contributed by the Victoria Department of Education on "Measuring length" helps teachers consider learning concepts.
  • Flexible search options are prominent but relegated to the top right on the main page.
  • Webinar presented by an experienced math teacher addresses how VLPs, virtual learning platforms, can extend learning.
  • Pre-K to grade 2 lesson "How Big is Your Heart?" integrating math and science comes with a printable worksheet.
  • Turtle Pond Java applet for grades 2 through 5 served on NCTM Illuminations site asks kids to direct the turtle to the pond by counting grid units and making angle identified turns.
Pros
Authoritative, well-organized sources appeal to teachers using all different learning styles.
Cons
Experience is a bit dry and hasn't yet drawn the numbers it needs to charge the conversation fully.
Bottom Line
Add engaged educators plus more content, and it'll be complete.
Leslie Crenna
Common Sense Reviewer
Common Sense Rating 3
Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return? 3

This well-organized site for teachers is very plain visually, but lets linked content shine. Kids will want to use more direct routes for games.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer? 4

Great depth and breadth of teacher resources walk hand-in-hand with up-to-the-minute teacher associations and standards documents.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students? 4

Extensions for teachers appeal to many adult learning styles, and standards mapping is top notch.

About our ratings and privacy evaluation.
How Can Teachers Use It?

Strong reliance on ISTE and NCTM resources as well as practice standards makes Mathlanding a good place to start the process of aligning both your practice and classroom activities to the new Common Core standards. As part of a site-wide alignment effort, math teaching staff could be encouraged to share thoughts and reflections on practice concepts or the results of particular activities in the classroom via the discussion forums. Grade level groups could be formed to assess and pilot the activities and report on their efficacy and potential for future use.

Since many of these resources are "informed both by research on children's cognitive development and by the logical structure of mathematics" and standards mapping reflects thoughtful evaluation of each activity, you should feel confident and well supported in the process.

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What's It Like?

Mathlanding connects K-6 teachers with quality math and technology professional development resources, classroom lessons, webinars, and social media, not to mention fellow teachers. It's a project in partnership between Maryland Public Television, Drexel University, and the International Society for Technology in Education. Search at the top of the home page by math topic, grade level, or common core standard, or conduct an advanced search with multiple filters. Sixteen professional development "collections" offer text, video, and lessons, while seventeen classroom collections are more instruction-oriented with lessons, activities, and games, most served up by other sites.

Registered users can organize resources into personal folders, join and create discussion groups, while paid members of the NCTM can access related journal articles. Social Media and Community pages list popular math and technology Twitter handles and blogs including @Mathlanding itself. Discussion pages grouped by topic showcase a small but dedicated group of contributors with about 1300 total members registered. Resources and lessons are common core and NCTM aligned.

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Is It Good For Learning?

Although much of its content is from other sources and depth is a bit lacking, Mathlanding remains a reputable meeting place for elementary grades math and technology teachers to discover practice standards, explore concepts and strategies, and browse ideas for classroom implementation. One professional development collection focuses on grades K to 2 measurement with discussion posts, about 10 video and text concept resources ranging from progression docs drafted by the Common Core Standards Writing Team, to web-based video courses, to 5-lesson units linked from the NCTM site.

With an emphasis on social media, discussion forums, and user organization tools, it's a bit disappointing that more teachers have not yet joined the party. The tricky nature of aligning standards is handled deftly though sometimes details are stripped out for ease such as with the search function, but, overall, the standards mapping is top notch. Finally, there are only two articles each addressing ELL and special needs students, so teachers working with these populations will need to dig deeper.

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See how teachers are using Mathlanding