Top Ten Lists for Using Technology to Help Elementary/Middle School Students Learn Mathematics

I. Top Ten Reasons for Using Technology to Help Students Learn Mathematics PowerPoint.

II. Top Twenty Interactive Applets to Help Students Learn Mathematical Concepts in the Elementary/Middle School Mathematics Curriculum

    1. Find Grampy and Find Grampy Strict (from
    2. Cyberchase Airlines Builder Game - Drag (and sometime rotate) segments to make a spaceship. A spaceship must be an enclosed shape. Fixed perimeter. Find the shapes.
    3. Making Equal Groups 1 to 5 (Making Equal Groups 1 to 9) - Click New Problem, Type the Total, then Press Enter (E-labs).
    4. Make a Match - Equivalent fractions, including shaded regions. Has six levels! (Cyberchase Games)
    5. Sum Stacker - use numbers, dice, or money.
    6. Space Hopscotch Counting On - skip counting and counting back by ones.
    7. Counting On from LearningPlanet
    8. Paint Brush Math - basic addition
    9. Measure in inches - Measure in metric
    10. ClockTime - Match Clocks Answer questions asking you to show a given time on digital and analog clocks. Time - What Time Will It Be? Answer questions asking you to indicate what time it will be before or after a given time period. (Virtual Manipulative)
    11. Triangle sorting - triangle terminology and venn diagrams.
    12. Broken Calculator Problem solving. The dimmed buttons on the calculator are broken (they don't work!). Your goal is to use the buttons that do work to compute the numbers from 1 through 15.
    13. Spinners - Can make various spinners with equal or unequal regions. Spin once or multiple times. Results table provided. Activity available at spinner game. (Virtual Manipulative)
    14. Money Three activities: (a) How much money, (b) Pay Exact Amount, (c) Make a Dollar. (Virtual Manipulative)
    15. Platonic Solids - Investigate the solids (cube, tetrahedron, ...). Rotate the shape. Shift-click the edges, vertices, and the faces to color (and count them). V - E + F =  ? (Virtual Manipulative)
    16. Fraction Model II (and I and III). Models fractions and mixed numbers with set, area, and length models (NCTM Illuminations).
    17. Create a Graph Tool - for students (others) to make statistical graphs (NCES).
    18. Forest Fire applet - simulation of a forest fire. Visualize probabilities (Project Interactivate). (More sophisticated model.)
    19. Protractor applet - Very nice. Various interactive activities with and without a virtual protractor.
    20. Percent of a number Fill in any two of the three numbers in _% of __ is __. (Virtual Manipulative)

III. Top Nine Web sites with Interactive Applets to Help Students Learn Mathematical Concepts in the Elementary/Middle School Mathematics Curriculum

    2. Cyberchase (PBS) Games - Click here for my descriptions and my evaluation of the games.
    3. E-Labs
    4. Huge Virtual Manipulatives Site
    5. - online applets for low-primary and upper-primary. Yes, from the UK.
    6. National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).
    7. NCTM Illuminations
    8. Project Interactivate (from
    9. Math Is Fun

IV. Top Five Ways to Use a Computer to Enhance Learning in a Mathematics Classroom

    1. One computer and large display for class demonstrations.
    2. 3-4 computers in the classroom for students to do Quickie Online Activities.
    3. Teacher uses his/her own computer for teacher tasks.
    4. Portable laptop lab - wheel the cabinet to the classroom and use the laptops there.
    5. Computer lab - one student (or two students) per computer.

V. Top Eighteen Web Sites with Ideas and Tools to Help Math Teachers Do Their Work More Effectively

    1. Hot Potatoes - Program to make online quizzes. Home page. My handout.
    2. Google Sites - Free place to make web pages for your class. Easy to update.
    3. PowerPoint (using equation editor) and PowerPoint games.
    4. Equation Editor in MSWord. Great way to make math notation look correct from adding fractions to the quadratic formula and beyond.
    5. Geogebra - "Dynamic Mathematics for Everyone" - does geometry and algebra. Best math program on the Internet (and it's free). This is a fully-developed, multi-feature program. Easy to learn. Here is a handout I prepared to help get started.
    6. Mathematics Assessment for the ISAT
    7. TIPS - Tipping the Scales In Problem Solving.
    8. Online Math Games, Demonstration/Exploration Tools, and Puzzles (by Jim Olsen)
    9. Jim Olsen’s Teaching Resources page (use find-in-page).
    10. RubiStar for making rubrics (to print or use online).
    11. - Teach with technology. Many tools.
    12. winplot (free) for making graphs.
    13. Mathcounts - great source of problems.
    14. Math Forum
    15. Eric Weisstein's World of Mathematics - Math World from Wolfram Research. Lot's of interesting topics - many advanced topics.
    16. TI-Connect cable and software.
    17. Screenr - create screencasts easily and post to Twitter or YouTube.
    18. Google Sketchup - Create, modify and share 3D models. 21st Century Software from Google.

Back to Jim Olsen's homepage       Back to Jim Olsens Teaching Resources page

©James R. Olsen, Western Illinois University
updated March 24, 2010