I was asked recently about my own top ten Mathematics websites, this request and remembering Edna Sackson’s comments on her ’10 Ways…’ series reminded me of the various ‘Top (insert number here) Mathematics Websites’ posts I have read; all of them have left me with the thought that so many excellent sites are missing from such lists. Really such posts (including this one) should be titled ‘My Top 10….’ as they understandably include the author’s favourites. For my own list I have decided to include some categories as well as individual sites which gives me the excuse to mention far more than 10! Note that every site mentioned here is free to use.
So in no particular order:
- CIMT- The Centre for Innovation in Mathematics Teaching, from the University of Plymouth, an astonishing resource – free curriculum materials for all school-age students. Here you will find examples, exercises, teachers’ notes, activities…..
For example if we look at the Year 7 page as well as all the book chapters with their numerous worked examples and exercises there are also teachers’ resources including notes, slides, revision tests, activities and mental tests on each topic. The activities are varied and include investigative work.
There are also Interactive Tutorials available, useful for revision or perhaps if a student has been absent and several Topical Applications of Mathematics which include lesson plans and student resources. I have successfully used the resources on Braille. On the subject of interactive materials – note the Step Up to A-Level Maths resources.
- Nrich - a favourite site I return to again and again. The site has extensive resources including problems, games, interactives and articles for teachers.The teachers’ menu has links particularly useful for teachers. Curriculum mapping documents suggest resources relating to the National Currculum – both content and process. Something I use a lot is the search by topic facility to find all the resources for a particular topic. For the Interactive Whiteboard there are many outstanding interactives.
- WolframAlpha - a computational knowledge engine which is rather good at Mathematics (as well as many other subjects!).This is so useful for checking solutions or exploring many examples. I have written separate pages on WolframAlpha here including slideshows to demonstrate syntax. There is a post written for students with some questions to try on my Mathematics for Students blog.
- Graph Plotters – there are many free and easy to use online graph plotters. I like using resources like this in class that students will then be able to use themselves at home. The superb graphing calculator from Desmos allows you to easily plot one or more graphs, including lines of the form x=k. It is also possible to illustrate inequalities. See this page for more information.
Sites like GraphSketch or the Function Grapher from Mathisfun are simple enough for younger students to use and allow the user to plot functions and get a permanent url to the graph.
- Software – a list like this would be incomplete without mentioning Geogebra for interactive Geometry. This is a sophisticated program and much support is available online in the form of videos and tutorials. I have included some useful links in this post. From MIT Scratch is an object-oriented programming language which is an excellent resource for teaching students programming skills as well as doing Mathematics.
Colorado University’s Mathematical Visualization Toolkit which can either be downloaded or used online has many excellent tools. As well as graph plotters it offers applications such as its Tangent Slider App which allow tangents to a curve to be clearly demonstrated and an excellent application showing how polar curves are produced.
Microsoft Mathematics 4 provides a graphing calculator that plots in 2D and 3D, step-by-step equation solving, and useful tools to help students with math and science studies.
- Notes and Exercises -If we asked the students for their top ten Maths websites I know most of mine would include BBC bitesize (see BBC Bitesize KS1 (ages 5-7), BBC Bitesize KS2 (ages 7-11), BBC Bitesize KS3 (ages 11-14), BBC GCSE Bitesize (ages 14 – 16) also BBC Skillswise although aimed at adults, this site has information on basic Mathematics (and English) skills useful for any age) and mrbartonmaths.com for his very helpful notes. Note that both of these sites also have many resources for teachers. Trinity School have helpful Mathematics resources with many examples to try (answers included).
Math is Fun has already been mentioned for its graphing tool, it has extensive resources. Choose Algebra for example and you will find everything from a basic introduction through to completing the square, the definition of a function and sequences. Many universities make excellent notes available online for all students. See this Evernote shared notebook (no login is necessary and you do not need an Evernote account to use the Notebook). The mathcentre in particular has a great variety of resources including videos.
- Applets / Demonstrations / Manipulatives - There are many great sites in this category, I know common searches which send people to this site are for the excellent Wisweb applets.
Ron Barrow’s WaldoMaths with his extensive collection of resources is outstanding.
John Page’s Math Open Reference includes some excellent demonstrations on constructions. Search by technology type on the MathsTools site - this article by Bethany Hudnutt is on the navigation of the site. Two more excellent sites are the National Library of Virtual Manipulatives and Spencer Riley’s Teacher LED site of interactive whiteboard resources.
- Problems - There are several excellent sites providing resources for problems – many are highlighted on the Rich Tasks page. Another outstanding source of problems can be found on A+ Click Math. See also the various Mathematics challenges. I have a page on the blog listing various sites with excellent problems.
- Games - Manga High has high quality games to help students learn Mathematics. Schools with accounts (and Manga High is now completely free in several countries including UK, Ireland, USA, Canada, all of Scandinavia and the Indian subcontinent) also have access to their numerous and very clear Prodigi lessons and quizzes which teachers can set for their classes. A site with many games to practise numeracy skills at 10 different levels is Sumdog (further information including the topics covered and instructions for students in this post). Nrich gets another mention for its excellent games – my own favourite Nrich games and many other games and puzzles are on a companion blog Mathematics Games.
- Online communities and resource sharing - finally I would not be without the various online communities and resource sharing sites. TES for forums and resources, NCETM, The Guardian Teacher Network, Mark McCourt’s Emaths, also Twitter which if one follows the right people can be a great source of ideas and information.