
Even though my mother was a middle school math teacher, I found my math skills lagging behind my peers. It’s because of that lack that I treasure online mathematics tutorials and resources. In this blog entry, I’ll share one new resource you may not be familiar with.
Teaching Algebra
My first introduction to algebra was in high school. To survive the experience, I had access to software to help me learn algebraic concepts. But the tutorial software was ineffective because it relied on a multiple choice, drillandpractice approach. This approach, although common at the time, just didn’t work, which proved an almost insurmountable obstacle for me later. And that’s true for many other students.
Learning algebra is important. Consider these reasons why:
 Students take longer to complete collegelevel math courses.
 Algebra is foundational for higherlevel math.
 Algebra is the gatekeeper class for Computer Science.
For me, all three of these reasons were true. Online tutorial tools offer hope for teachers and parents. They ensure children don’t suffer a similar fate as me.
Introducing the Tool
Wish you had engaging math activities for grade four to twelfth students? Then Graspable Math may be a solution to explore. Learn a little more about Graspable Math here:
Graspable Math, available for free for teachers, is an “algebraic notation system.” This means that you can interact on the screen with math symbols. The interactive nature changes how children interact with math, making it less abstract.
Here’s a video overview of Graspable Math for making transformations for simplifying expressions:
Learn Graspable Math
You can gain a deeper understanding of Graspable Math concepts through their website where you’ll find tutorial videos organized into categories. The categories include:
 Simplifying expressions
 Commutative and distributive properties
 Solving equations
Teachers have access to a variety of materials online. You can access online professional development resources, too. Virtual sessions are available with certified tool trainers.
Approach Algebra in a Whole New Way
Graspable Math offers learners a different way to interact with algebra. You can find other math related resources in this TCEA blog.
Happy graspable mathing!
2 comments
I am not sure that demo sells the this software, au contraire, it would discourage someone like me who has worked with students that struggle understanding the basic concepts of algebra for decades. The 1min video for example (and without looking at the rest of the software) somewhat suggests that a student can grab the number “22” and place it on another number to combine. If the student doesn’t understand why that is the correct way from the onset, they will just place it on top of the “x” and see no change, then the “y” and see no change and probably even worse if there is an equal sign or an inequality sign. To summarize my comment, The students from a young age need to understand the difference between a number, an “x”, a “y”, or any other terms in algebraic equation before they start combining and simplifying. This can be done with apples, oranges, rocks, and shoes better than what I saw.
Thanks for sharing your insights, Kay. While I must defer to your expertise, I hope others chime in and share their insights about teaching algebra as well. Perhaps, the clashing of cymbals will yield a note of truth.
With appreciation,
Miguel
🙂