Showing posts from March, 2012

Zoowhiz - online learning system

Here's a fairly new learning website for children that is free: ZooWhiz. It lets children practice math, reading, and phonics/vocabulary, and earn points while doing so. Then they can spend their points to buy animals for their zoo, or to unlock arcade games.

It's quite a bit for being free, I think. My girls played it today and enjoyed it a lot, especially the younger one. I was impressed by the quality and how it is offered for free. (They have a "premium" option coming soon where you pay for extra features.)

It says that access time outside school hours is limited but I think it may mean Australian school hours.

The educational activities vary from one to the next; it's sort of like giving them "mixed review." They are organized by age groups and also by levels within the age groups.

A few fun links for even & odd numbers


Fruit Shoot
Shoot a fruit with an even or odd number, whichever one your aim tells you. Three levels: 1-10, 1-20, and 1-100.

Odd or Even?
Drag and drop the number cards to their correct place in the diagram (even or odd). three difficulty levels (numbers 1-10, 1-30, or 1-100).

Story of Odd and Even
A simple story about two ladybugs named Odd and Even. It teaches even and odd within 1-10.

Do you have a math question?

Recently I was checking the links & adding some new ones on my page about math help and tutoring.

Here are some that are the "cream of the crop" when it comes to math help message boards. Typically, they require a student to show some work before someone helps -- or the helpers will only point out how to get started. You could definitely use these message boards as a parent if you can't figure out a problem in your child's math book, or if you have generic math or math education questions.

Message boards/forums

Ask Dr. Math
Browse old math questions or ask your own. Expert answers. The archives have thousands of answered questions covering all math topics from elementary to college level.

S.O.S. Mathematics CyberBoard
Active discussion board where you can ask math questions about algebra, calculus, geometry, trigonometry, probability, college math, computer science, physics, and more.

Mrs. Glosser's Math Goodies Forums

Pi Day is Upon Us...

Vi Hart: Pi Is (still) Wrong.

Vi argues against Pi, and for Tau. Even if you disagree with her, I think you will enjoy the pies! And if you're not familiar with the controversy between Pi and Tau, I suggest you read

Especially take a look at these images

(images by Michael Hartl from

Personally, I am not taking sides! At least not for now!

Pet peeves with Common Core Standards, part 2

QUOTE from Common Core standards for 7th grade:

The Number System 7.NS
c. Show that the distance between two rational numbers on the number line is the absolute value of their difference, and apply this principle in real-world contexts.
Okay, I am not with this totally.

For example, let's say you are supposed to find the distance between −4/7 and −5/9. Two negative fractions. They want the student to construct the difference −4/7 − (−5/9) and then find its absolute value. Remember we are in 7th grade.

I find a more natural approach (and isn't it easier to SHOW this to students?) is to find the distance between 4/7 and 5/9, which is of course equal to the distance between −4/7 and −5/9.

I feel students might have difficulties if they are supposed to take the difference of two negative numbers, and find the absolute value of that. They might make mistakes even in writing out the expression −4/7 − (−5/9) correctly.

ALSO, the standard actually words it as "SH…

Virtual math tournaments

Perennial Math is offering "virtual math tournaments" with a format very similar to a game show--with video, pictures, and sound bites that will keep you guessing at what comes next.

The tournaments take 1 hour 15 minutes with competitors from around the world.

Topics include algebra, probability, ratios logic, geometry, measurement, time, and much more. Team competitions require team members to work together and to sometimes answer questions solo.

To participate, you need one computer per team with a webcam.

Costs- $40 for Team Events ($10 per member)
To register log on to

It looks like they take place March 3 - which is tomorrow. Sorry for not posting this earlier! I didn't realize it was coming up this soon.

Or maybe there are more after the March 3 event?