What is assistive technology?

Assistive technology is any kind of technology and/or tool that can be used to enhance the functional independence of a person with a disability. Often, for people with disabilities, accomplishing daily tasks such as communicating with others, going to school or work, or participating in activities can be a challenge. Assistive Technology (AT) devices are tools to help overcome those challenges and enable people living with disabilities to enhance and have access to a quality of life, that may otherwise not be known, and lead more independent lives.

The mission of this blog is to serve as a voice of a constant researcher in the field of educational and assistive technologies so that the best products, strategies and services may be located easily, in hopes that they will then be delivered, taught and used to better the lives of people with disabilities.

Tuesday

Let's Learn Math - Supporting and Practicing Concepts


Computer Programs to Support Learning


  • AAA Math features a comprehensive set of interactive arithmetic lessons. Unlimited practice is available on each topic which allows thorough mastery of the concepts. A wide range of lessons (Kindergarten through Eighth-grade level) enables learning or review to occur at each individual's current level.
  • Algebra Homework Help - Algebra, math homework solvers, lessons and free tutors online.
  • Basic Math and Money - having trouble with basic math, calculating percentages, or using fractions? Do you have questions about savings, interest, or credit?
  • Fraction support is available on Conceptua Math. Conceptua is one of several math programs for students with disabilities. Accessed through a computer, via the internet, Conceptua is a supplemental curriculum that provides differentiated instruction, employs universal design, and allows students to work at their own pace. The focus of the program is to teach fractions to students with disabilities. The program provides built-in access to learning fractions and is accessible through a range of options including Intellikeys, scanning, and a number of AAC devices. There are free fractions tools with short video explanations. It also includes sample IEP goals. There will be a premium (meaning with a charge) version that includes lots of practice activities, spoken text, data reporting, activity authoring, and sharing.
  • Cool Math has an interactive fun site for kids to explore. Should keep them busy while exploring math through games and lessons. Very visual.
  • CountOn offers numerous interactive math activities from England. Use the links on the left to fully explore what’s here, including numerous links and helpful resources. The activities themselves are straightforward and engaging, making it a useful classroom tool.
  • Cynthia Lanius' Lessons: This is a great site to help your students in understanding fractions with colored pattern blocks.
  • Daily Dose provides various math sites in helping to keep math alive. Choose a link and explore!
  • Education 4 Kids provides numerous drill games. General Math is where you will find Math Flashcards and Math Tables as well as some of the other more general drill games. The other math sections have been established to cover math in specific areas, like time and money.
  • Equals Math is a curriculum designed for students with disabilities. It comes in a kit with just about everything that you need to teach math lessons that have been strategically aligned to state standards. The lessons have been differentiated into three levels for students with mild, moderate and more significant disabilities, presenting objectives using concrete, semi-concrete, and abstract instructional strategies to address different learning styles across all grades. The materials and presentation are appropriate for all learners and ages.
  • Fairfax County Public Schools AT Services team has shared a list of interactive math websites!
  • GCF Learn Free site provides quite a few lessons in math with some excellent money and life skills resources. Be sure to check out the: Job Development, Money, and Everyday life sets!
  • Gizmos offer over 450 on-line simulations for grades 3-12 for math and science. Virtual manipulatives! "Most of all, Explore Learning Gizmos are all about the “Ah-Hah!” moment, that miraculous instant when something inside your brain clicks and suddenly whatever was puzzling you now makes perfect sense." You may use this as a 30-day trial or you can view each activity for 5 minutes per 24 hr. period or you can pay for the full use.
  • Harcourt School Publishers offer on-line activities and teacher supports. This is one that is highly recommended by many teachers in the field from RSP settings to SH settings.
  • H.I.P. Pocket Change is a fun educational tool for students and teachers that generate interest in coins, the United States Mint, and U.S. History.
  • Hot Math provides support for individual problems from many of the math books. You actually chose your textbook, chose the specific problem and they will help you through it. It is a homework and concept support.
  • Hurley Calculus provides lessons on calculus. There are currently 73 videos in the Hurley Calculus channel.
  • Use the free math games and math activities to review, and keep math wits sharp, or use one of their math foundations programs to develop basic brain skills that are required to succeed with math at KidsNumbers.com.
  • Illuminations is an NCTM website with many tools similar to the library of virtual manipulatives. Be sure to look at their web links section.
  • Interactive is a set of free, online courseware for exploration in science and mathematics. It is comprised of activities, lessons, and discussions. This site is loaded with goodies. Take your time exploring.
  • IXL is designed for pre-K to 8th grade and has skills broken down by grade level.  Very friendly in its layout and design not to mention the clarity of the skilled support.
  • Johnnie's Math Page where you can find over 1000 activities. Very rich site.
  • The Khan Academy site offers a library of videos covering everything from basic arithmetic to physics, finance, and history and practice exercises. Worth checking out (but not meant to stand alone).
  • Math and Project Based Learning… 22 Amazing Resources provides a  four part series intended to provide Math teachers with some outstanding PBL resources.  
  • Math Doodles are designed to provide a place where children can discover the joy, wonder, and fun of mathematics providing several fun math activities.
  • Math Doctor Bob's YouTube channel offers nearly 700 video lessons on statistics, algebra I and II, calculus, geometry, and much more. The lessons feature Doctor Bob gives the lesson in front of a whiteboard so you see him and don't just hear his lessons.
  • Math for Morons Like Us This site has been designed to "assist you in your pursuit of increased mathematical understanding," or whatever sounds good to you. The subjects covered range from Pre-Algebra to Calculus.
  • Math Play you can find a wide variety of fun games that you can play online. Most games are suitable for elementary and middle grades. They are organized by grade level, content, and game type.
  • Math Playground is designed for elementary and middle school students. Students can practice their math skills, play a logic game and have some fun. This “playground” is really a portal to a whole world of high-quality math activities and resources. Most of these resources are geared for elementary students, but there is also a significant section of the site, called SAT Math Pro, dedicated to grades 7+. It is evident that the activities at the Math Playground have been put together by experienced math teachers.
  • Maths Dictionary is a powerful online resource for young math students. As the names say, it is a math dictionary. The name doesn’t adequately indicate how well organized and how well it is illustrated. The straightforward user interface also makes this dictionary easy to use. Simply click on the letter, then find the term you’re looking for and click on that. Here’s what you get when you click on C and then select “chance”. As you can see, there are even interactive illustrations for some of the terms. There are also practice exercises for some.
  • Mathtrain provides math video lessons for middle school students where kids are teaching kids.
  • There are some really good videos at MathTV.
  • A math teacher who has some neat conceptual videos is at Math Village --  he does a really good job of including concepts and drawings in the videos.  He tackles some of those critical concepts like ratios and what variables mean.
  • Mother has activities and support materials. This website is rich with Standards-Based Math Activities shared through topical themes. For example, pumpkins, Halloween, and fall figured prominently in the October 2009 activities. A wide range of concepts is represented on this site and all are based on NCTM standards.
  • Microsoft Mathematics 4.0 has a step-by-step equation solver, graphing calculator, formulas and equation library, triangle solver, and a unit conversion tool. From basic math to Precalculus, Microsoft Mathematics 4.0 can help you visualize and see mathematical concepts. It includes step-by-step instructions and explains fundamental concepts. The wide range of tools to help students with complex mathematics includes a full-featured graphing calculator that’s designed to work just like a hand-held calculator and ink handwriting support to recognize hand-written problems.
  • The Mint is devoted to building "money smart" kids. Activities, quizzes, and lessons help teach concepts of saving, spending, giving and owing money.
  • Mrs. McGowan's First Grade is a site where several teachers share enrichment activities and math resources.
  • Multiplication.com contains the techniques, tips, and secrets used by teachers.
  • National Library of Math Manipulatives is an excellent resource that is well designed and has a clean layout. Don't get thrown off by your first look. This site is very powerful.
  • On the Online Calculator site, you can find helpful online calculators for fractions and scientific functions. Explore this site!
  • Patrick JMT doesn't cover as many topics as Khan or Math Doctor Bob, but the videos are equally solid.
  • PBS Kids has some great interactive activities. Go to their search and type in math and see all that they have to offer.
  • RainForest Math Provides interactive math activities categorized by grade levels K through 6.
  • Research Project Calculator helps high school students break down large projects into more manageable chunks, complete with suggested interim due dates and resources for each part. It's based on Univ. of Minnesota's Assignment Calculator
  • SELECT Math was designed to provide teachers and students access to virtual manipulatives that directly support our district's math and technology curricula. Begin by selecting a grade level from the menu. The main page for each grade contains a Scope and Sequence calendar describing which book or chapter is being used in math classes during each month of the school year.
  • Teaching Tools is a worksheet generator to enable you to quickly generate printable worksheets and their answer keys for almost any math function you can think of.
  • TenMarks is a web-based learning environment that simplifies assignments, automates grading, and drives student learning through engaging videos and interactive lessons based on the instructional philosophy - practice, instruction, assessment, and intervention. It is meant to help students build conceptual understanding as well as develop computational and procedural fluency, resulting in strong math foundations. It is free.
  • Thinking Blocks is an interactive math tool developed by classroom teachers to help students learn how to solve multi-step word problems. Using brightly colored blocks, students model the relationships among the components of each word problem. With the help of a virtual teacher, students walk through a simple problem-solving process and arrive at a solution. When building the models, students must identify information that is given as well as information that is unknown.
  • Time for Time is a resource for teachers and students to learn everything you could want to know about the concept of time.
  • To address students’ gaps in math skills and understanding, Voyager Learning offers VmathLive, a web-based online math solution. VmathLive helps students learn and master math skills and concepts with 24/7 connectivity from any computer with Internet access. Students receive immediate, targeted feedback to ensure they are on track for success as they prepare for high–stakes assessments.
  • Visual Fractions allows you to explore adding, subtracting, multiplying, dividing, comparing, investigating in a very visual way.
  • 2 + 2 Mathematics for Children (downloadable program) is a completely free downloadable program that is well designed to help build numeracy. The program offers a variety of activities for students to practice basic number facts and computation skills–addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Activities are accompanied by soothing music and a human voice to provide encouragement. You have the option of downloading an Italian or Polish version of this program if you happen to need that.
  • WebMath online tool that helps students solve math problems, showing step-by-step solutions. General math through calculus.

Concept Support Apps
Apps change daily! I cannot keep up, but here you go- 
  • The MathLearning Center (available for mobile devices and online with an internet connection on a computer/Chromebook) provides math manipulatives and tools with space for computation.  Includes tools such as number lines, number frames, and geoboards.  There is no data collection available with these however. 
  • Basic Math is a skills drill app that will help your students practice their basic math facts. The included exercises have varying levels of difficulty and cover addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. A timer can be added if students want to play against the clock, and you can even set a delay between questions depending on whether they were answered correctly or incorrectly. 
  • BBC Numeracy Sites for ages 4-11 offers support for teachers and for parents within their fun and visually pleasing activities. (Your students may get a kick out of the British accent.) 
  • Bills and Coins can be leveled.  It works on money skills including counting money, making change, and showing value. 
  • Brainingcamp iPad apps make math, interactive and engaging. There are a lot of different focus areas to check out and they suggest checking back frequently for new apps.
  • Educational Math Apps, by iDevBooks, allow students to practice and reinforce the specific computation strategies taught in class, with as much or as little scaffolding as necessary. It doesn't do the work for the student.  They still have to do computation, but it takes away the paper and pencil factor.  There are about 17 different math apps, for around $4 each.  
  • A list of Free Math Apps by Grade Level - 30 FREE math apps organized by grade levels (some apps may overlap). Use these apps as a fun way to practice math skills, whether you are at home or in the classroom. 
  • Hands on Equations is an educational app that provides video lessons, examples and practice exercises for learning to solve basic equations. It is presented in conjunction with a scale (or see-saw) view in which pawns represent unknown values, or “x” and through visual representation, kids attempt to “balance” or equalize the scale. This process provides a straightforward means of demystifying algebra and sets them up to grasp the beginning concepts. 
  • iFormulas contains over 330 formulas, definitions, laws and properties and would be a great quick reference guide for secondary level Math classes. Algebra, Geometry, Calculus and Trigonometry are all covered by iFormulas. 
  • Jungle Time is a telling time app using an analog clock. 
  • Kids Math is great for students who still need visuals to help them add and subtract. 
  • Make Change has students figure out the amount of money using the 4 basic operations of math. 
  • Math Magic works on the four operations and can be personalized for each child. 
  • Math4Mobile enables users to perform mathematical functions as advanced calculus and as basic as elementary geometry. 
  • MathMelodies is a free accessible app created for all children, but specifically designed for students with visual impairments.  The game has fun stories, math activities and lots of motivating sounds. It is currently geared for 1st - 3rd-grade students.  
  • MathSquared puzzles are grid-based that use basic math operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, as well as logic and problem-solving skills. MathScaled has a balance-scale format to support understanding of equations, as well as logic and problem-solving skills. The goal is to place the shapes on the balance scale so that the scale is balanced. Teachers will find tips for integrating the puzzles into their lessons, short tutorial videos, and specifics about using the digital puzzles to support student persistence on the freely available iSolveIt website. 
  • Math Terms is an illustrated glossary of mathematical terms in English and Spanish. The app includes almost 1,000 entries for middle- and high-school mathematical concepts.  
  • Math Tutor helps you to practice basic math skills. Whether you want to brush up on addition, multiplication, subtraction or division, you will find that all skills are covered. 
  • Math-U-See is a K-12, skill-based, Core Replacement intervention curriculum. With a built-in progress monitoring, that includes a systematic approach. It aligns with Common Core goals, philosophy, and math practice standards. Lesson-by-lesson video instruction for teachers in the classroom and more. 
  • McGraw-Hill Education Offers Free iPad Math Apps - The Math apps are designed to give students in kindergarten through sixth grade a quick and easy way to practice and reinforce different math concepts.  Kids can practice multiplication, brush-up on fractions, review number line skills and more with this collection of apps. 
  • Next Dollar up app is a great way to teach practical money skills. 
  • Number Line will help students learn about fractions, decimals, percentages and their equivalents. It features several levels where the object is to drag objects onto a number line in the correct numerical order. Points are awarded for the correct placement of the numbers, as well as for completing the level in a quick time. Points are subtracted for placing numbers in the wrong place. 
  • Oh no Fractions! - allows students to compare fraction values - asks the students to make a choice and then prove their thinking - provides visuals to help support understanding of fractions.  
  • Students with dyslexia have trouble remembering (memorizing) the sequence of steps in multi-step math problems. The free Photo Math app is a great workaround for multi-step math problems, as well as fractions, algebra, and more.
  • Pi Cubed allows you to actually use your screen as a notepad on which you can do math equations. The interface supports animation and touch input, so it’s easy to enter and delete numbers and symbols. 
  • Sudoku apps are worth exploring. This link provides you with a variety to explore.

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