This article is about a teacher that moved to the United States from England. She reaches the realization that teachers everywhere face the same problem with gaining the attention of 21st century students. One teaching tool that she brought with her from England that she uses daily in her math class is a set of Interactive Teaching Programs (ITPs). This tool is free and provided by the British government on their education standards site.
She uses this as an interactive program that the students can manipulate, and as a projected lesson that she can use to demonstrate measurements, number facts, and calculating area. It is a great tool to show the steps of problem solving.
Q1: How useful is this tool for teaching math at an elementary level?
A1: I would say very useful. One of the great problems with teaching math at that level is accurately demonstrating fractions and there use. This program give teachers the ability to have interactive bar that can be divided into 100 pieces or less and can be manipulated to show fraction values and equality's. Also the teacher can let the students interact with these bars too to show their understanding of the concept. This type of system is a huge advantage over manually drawing fractions on a board. If you make a mistake or need to review a problem it is saved for you online, instead of you having to erase and draw the fractions allover again.
Q2: How does this type of program solve the problem of gaining student attention?
A2: According to the article there is a variety of activity's and games. One example of an activity is Number Spinners, it is a lesson for teaching probability and is very interactive. I think the biggest advantage to using this program to gain students attention is the interactivity. Math is no longer this abstract product, but an actual visual experience that the students can relate with.