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Teacher/Tutor - Numeracy

Number and Number Sense


PrNumber sense is a content skill that encompasses many areas. This skill needs to be explored using whole numbers, fractions, decimals, percents, ratio, money, and estimation. Being able to handle numbers comfortably and competently is important to adults as parents, workers, and community members. Estimation, mental math, computation, and calculators are all tools that develop number and number sense.

Be sure to look at the different set of resources listed at the Student/Learner webpage for this topic:

This interactive site provides basic math skills in many areas: addition, algebra, comparing, counting, decimals, division, equations, estimation, exponents, fractions, geometry, graphs, measurement, mental math, money, multiplication, naming numbers, patterns, percents, place value, practical math, properties, ratios, statistics, and subtraction. What makes this site terrific is that it not only provides interactive practice on each topic, an explanation of the math topic, and challenge games, but it also allows the teacher to direct student by content and grade level (from Kindergarten through Grade Eight and World Levels).

Screen shot from siteBasketMath Interactive
BasketMath Interactive is a site with activities to reinforce basic math skills in a wide variety of areas. Some topics covered are exponents, perimeters, distance, rounding, bar graphs, and reasoning. (There is a hyperactive animated basketball player at this website. He is sometimes hard to ignore!) NOTE: This site can be viewed in Spanish or English.

Screen shot from siteCynthia Lanius’ Index of Math Problems
Cynthia Lanius is the Executive Director for the Center for Excellence and Equity in Education at Rice University and the co-director of GirlTech ( ), as well as an experienced math teacher. Lanius has developed wonderful interactive, cross-curricular activities using online resources. We have referred to a few of these problems in the learner section and have given an example in the Mathematics of Cartography. Each lesson has teacher notes. These are well worth exploring for use with learners in your programs. Some can be done independently, but group activities are encouraged. Some activities have references to "kids" on the pages, but these activities are still valuable. In the Learners section of this special collection, we refer to several of these activities:

Ratio and Proportion (good for low-level readers), Fun and Sun Rent-A-Car (tables, graphs, linear functions), Let’s Graph (graphing and data analysis), The Million $ Mission (exponential growth, Fun with Calendar (linear functions), and Fractals. Some particularly good sites are:

All About Ratios: This website, another great activity from Cynthia Lanius, is a good one for non-readers. There is a series of activities in determining equivalent ratios, culminating "The Famous Texas Chili Problem" and a quiz. The teacher’s notes are found here. The introductory language at this site is labeled for "kids", but that is easy to bypass with directions from an instructor.

No Matter What Shape Your Fractions Are In: This interactive game helps students visualize fractional areas using pattern block shapes. Students are not given fraction rules, but explore geometric models of fractions in order to discover relationships among them. As with all of Lanius’ lessons, the teacher notes are extremely helpful.

Pattern Blocks Program: This online pattern block program, for which you need the JAVA plug-in, was developed by Cynthia Lanius for use with the above fractions online activity. There is a clear description of how to use this program, suggested activities, and instructions for acquiring JAVA, if you don’t have it already.

Screen shot from siteFun
There is an index of math games at this website. Some are not age neutral in terms of language and graphics, but others are fine. (See the Learner Number Sense site for two examples) Check out this index of math games at this website. is an interactive site that allows teachers to integrate games and assessment quizzes into their daily lessons.


Screen shot from siteMath Forum
The Math Forum offers a wide range of math resources at many levels. In addition to resources by subject, teachers may link to math education topics and other key issues in math. The Math Forum features Ask Dr. Math, Discussion Groups, Forum Showcase, Internet Newsletter, Problems of the Week, Teacher to Teacher, and Web Units and Lessons. Two sites we like are:

Math Forum’s Tour of Fractions: This website gives the instructor a tour through the resources dealing with fractions found at the Math Forum. Math Forum offers many sites and resources for teachers.

Math Forum’s Magic Squares: This is one of Suzanne Alejandre’s math lessons at the Math Forum. Included in this site is a history of the magic square, a discussion of "where’s the math", magic starts and other math links.

Screen shot from sitePi: the Never Ending Number
This website, part of the larger website, "Math in Daily Life", provides a quick explanation of the origin and meaning of Pi. The website uses small print and complicated language, but it is a good resource.

Screen shot from siteProject Interactivate
Interactive JAVA-based lessons, discussion, and activities enable the teacher to extend hands-on activities in the classroom and provide new content and practice in four areas; Number and Operation Concepts, Geometry and Measurement Concepts, Function and Algebra Concepts, and Probability and Data Analysis Concepts. Each activity comes with supplementary pages that can be accessed from the activity page. "What" gives background, "How" gives instructions, and "Why" gives curriculum context. The Number and Operation Concepts includes working with fractions and decimals, clock arithmetic and finding number patterns. Lessons for the teacher are also available. More information about Project Interactivate and additional teacher resources can be found at: One of the most interesting sites is:

Fraction Four: This game from Project Interactivate provides practice in simplifying, converting, multiplying decimals, percentages and fractions.

Screen shot from siteA Question of Scale
Take a journey from the inside of a proton to the farthest reaches of the universe. These images are loosely based on the book, The Powers of Ten, by Philip and Phyllis Morrison and the Office of Charles and Ray Eames. See how powerful the power of ten can be.

To submit ideas and resources for this section, please contact Susan Cowles.