Sunday, July 10, 2011

Resources I Use: Nutshell Math

I'm going to start featuring sites I use in my classroom.  I have taught 4th grade for 2 years now. Prior to that, I taught 3rd grade. I have used this site (in one form or another) since those 3rd grade years.  I don't know about you, but at some point in the year, I tend to loose my voice. Or sometimes, I get the vibe that my students just don't want to hear from me that day.  That's when I pull Nutshell Math out of my bag of tricks!

When I originally began using Nutshell Math, it was as a part of a subscription to Cosmeo. A colleague had subscribed and everyone in the grade level used it.  After leaving that school though, I had to find another option.  I somehow stumbled on just the Nutshell Math product - and their FREE accounts for teachers!  Here's some screenshots so you can see what's what.

Welcome screen. Click "Teachers" to get to the next part.

Teacher screen - you can see examples or click "Get A Free Teacher Account" on the right.
This is what appears as a sample explanation.  The ones the students will see are much cleaner, visually speaking.

When you click to get a free teacher account, you have to supply a bit of information - but no credit cards!

Now the fun part - this is a screen shot of the lists of textbooks.  The pictures are showing just a few of the Elementary Math (grades 3-5) textbooks.  There are almost 30 to choose from!  My specific book isn't listed - but I don't let that stop me.  You can change your textbook at any time.  I simply look at the "Math Topics" and preview the lesson.  If it matches what my textbook/curriculum teaches, I use it.  If not, I'll change textbooks until I find one that is better.  For what it's worth, the "Nutshell Math Virtual Textbooks" listed at the bottom of the page have been my best bet so far.  We have "Math Connects" and it has a very hands-on, inquiry based approach.  Most of our strategies have been included in the Nutshell Math textbook.

As you can see though, there are other math topics covered - Algebra 1 and 2, Geometry, Trig, Calculus, and Middle School Math/Pre-Algebra.  This is an AWESOME resource.  There is a "pay" option of course - how would they may money otherwise?  You can set up student classes (perhaps with student access) and assign videos and quizzes for them to take. All accounts get this automatically for 30 days - I never used it.  I simply didn't need it. I wanted the videos - because sometimes, just hearing and seeing someone different is all it took for some of my kids to "get it."

So, if you think Nutshell Math would be good for you, go sign up!  I absolutely love it - if I'm ever out long term, you can bet I'll be leaving this site for my sub to use! It is that good!

What online resources do you rely on?

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