Category : About Operation Maths
Operation Maths provides an extensive range of digital resources with endless possibilities. In this post, I will discuss the various types of digital resources that are available and how they can be used in the classroom.
The Operation Maths digital resources include:
- e-Manipulatives which can be used as Ready to go activities and Create activities
- Maths Around us videos
- Write-hide-show videos
- Scratch activities
- Follow-on weblinks
The fully flexible, easy-to-use, online e-Manipulatives are designed for teacher-led learning and to encourage whole-class participation. This impressive range of e-Manipulatives is optimised for use on an Interactive Whiteboard or a whiteboard with a projector so that teachers get the best results every time. They also facilitate a CPA approach to maths instruction.
The full range covers key maths areas:
- Sorting & Shop e-Manipulative
- Place Value e-Manipulative
- 100 Square e-Manipulative
- Bar Modelling e-Manipulative
- Counting Stick e-Manipulative
- Fractions e-Manipulative
- Clock e-Manipulative
Lets look at each of these in more detail:
The Sorting & Shop e-Manipulative allows the teacher to easily drag and drop shapes, animals, fruit, classroom objects, shop items, upper and lowercase letters, and numbers onto a workspace. It can be used blank or with various backgrounds, including frames, sets, 2×2, 5×5 grids etc . Of all the backgrounds, the shop background is particularly useful as it allows the teacher to create a shop scene with price tags, coins and sale tags, which can be used to explore a wide range of mathematical scenarios such as using small amounts of money in infants right up to scenarios involving percentage increase and decrease in the senior classes.
The Place Value e-Manipulative provides a wide range of place value tables which the teacher can use to demonstrate re-grouping. Each place value table contains either base-ten blocks, counters to represent the place value discs that accompany the 3rd-5th books, straws or money, and decimal values are included in a selection of the tables. Two tables may be shown on screen at the same time to facilitate comparisons between numbers. There is also the facility to display up to 5-digit whole numbers, which, in my experience, had not been possible previously as all other interactive manipulatives only extend to 4-digit numbers at most.
The 100 Square e-Manipulative is another extremely versatile tool. It can be used in numbers only, counters only or counters and numbers. You can very easily hide and reveal individual cells, whole sections of the grid or the entire grid. I have gotten a huge amount of use of out it recently, with first and second classes, using it in numbers only mode, hiding all the numbers and just revealing one number. I then ask the children what number comes after/before this, what numbers is missing above/below etc. This is particularly good to assess the children’s ability to identify numbers around the decuples/decades (ie 30, 40, 50 etc) which are widely recognised as hurdles for many children.
This tool can also be used to model the 100 dots grid (on the inside back cover of Operation Maths 3 and 4) as a means to explore the commutative and distributive properties and the connections between various groups of facts.
The Bar Modelling e-Manipulative allows the teacher to create the bar models used in the text books quickly and easily. Bars can be dragged, dropped and resized and the teacher can change their colour. The teacher can also type and draw freehand on the workspace, making this a very useful resource for demonstrating the strategy of bar modelling
The Counting Stick e-Manipulative replicates the physical counting stick that a teacher might use in the classroom. The teacher can set the starting value and the steps value, and reveal or hide numbers along the counting stick. Decimal and negative numbers may also be shown on the Counting Stick e-Manipulative and two counting sticks can be shown at the same time, in order to compare various numbers.
The teacher can use the Fractions e-Manipulative to present fraction bars (linear models), fraction circles and pizzas (both area models). The teacher can change the fraction that is shown on screen, randomise fractions and hide or show the fraction
value, decimal value and percentage value. Two fractions may be shown on screen at the same time.
Analogue and digital clocks are provided with the Clock e-Manipulative. The teacher can choose to show one analogue clock, one digital clock, two analogue clocks, two digital clocks or an analogue and a digital clock at the same time.
All of the e-Manipulatives can be used as Ready to go or Create activities
Ready to go activities are already set up within each e-Manipulative with pre-programmed questions that appear on screen, meaning that the teacher doesn’t have to waste time looking in a book for the accompanying questions. The questions can also be answered on the children on their MWBs, thereby encouraging whole-class participation.
Create activities are so called because the teacher can open the e-Manipulatives and choose how to use it to best suit them, their class and the concept at hand. There are suggestions for Create activities printed in the TRB which show how the tools can be re-used in infinite ways to achieve a countless number of specific learning outcomes. And the Ready to go activities themselves will also provide the teachers with examples of how each e-Manipulative may be used.
Operation Maths videos
There are two types of videos; Maths Around Us videos and Write – Hide – Show videos. These videos have the advantage that they were custom-built to align with content in the children books and the commentator’s voice is noticeably Irish, which make them stand out from those video series that have been imported from other countries.
Another advantage of these is that they have been designed so the teacher only needs to press play and the questions and wait times are all built in, allowing the children to look, listen and responses on their MWBs. This means that they not only encourage active participation but they allow the teacher the opportunity to informally assess the pupils via their responses.
Maths Around Us videos
The series of Maths Around Us videos is full of real-world examples of maths in the environment and provides numerous opportunities for discussion and engagement. Take a look at this sample video below:
Write – Hide – Show videos
These are videos of the e-Manipulatives in use that focuses on the teaching method of ‘Write – Hide – Show’. These videos provide quick, easy-to-use scenarios and set-ups that engage children and pose meaningful maths questions. They also showcase the flexibility of the e-Manipulatives and provide inspiration for teachers’ own expansions. Take a look at this sample video below:
Scratch programming activities (3rd to 6th class)
Not only have these activities been written especially for Operation Maths but Operations Maths is only the only maths scheme available currently in Ireland with integrated programming (coding) activities. Each activity is integrated with the Pupils’ Books, comes with step-by-step instructions for teachers and pupils and highlights the connection between maths and coding in an easy-to-follow, visual manner.
Teachers or children can access the Scratch software for free online (click here).
Encourage your pupils to practice maths ideas at home with the useful Follow-on weblinks based on recommended games. Each Follow-on weblink is author-approved and is linked to a specific topic, for a specific class level, in the Pupils’ Book. The weblinks can be printed for children to take home and have fun practicing maths with their parents or guardians. Teachers can also use the weblinks in class as a lesson starter, for consolidation and assessment or, indeed, at any time.
- All the digital resources are all completely integrated with the print and eBooks; when viewing the eBook, the teacher need only click on the specific digital icon on the page to open the resource up in a new window/tab (ensure that pop-ups for the Edco Learning site are enabled)
- Nearly all of the digital resources can be used in conjunction with the free mini white-boards, ensuring the maximum participation of the children.
- As there are numerous ways to use each of the e-Manipulatives, they offer unlimited opportunities for assessment for learning and whole-class participation
- They have been specially designed to help children to focus on the maths
- They are user-friendly and approachable with bright, clear colours and layout
Teachers can access all the Operation Maths digital resources through Edco’s dynamic online digital hub, www.edcolearning.ie.