Integrating Technology Into the Mathematics Classroom  to Bridge the Minority Gap


Workshop Overview

The goal of this workshop is to help teachers understand how interactive technology can be a great asset in teaching math. Used effectively, technology tools can help engage students while addressing different learning styles through involving the multiple intelligences and brain based learning.

Workshop participants will gain exposure to practical, nuts and bolts approaches to addressing the challenges of the meaningful use of technology in the mathematics classroom with an eye on:

  • how interactive technology can offer richer materials for learning,
  • affect the way time is used in schools,
  • encouraging critical thinking skills,
  • increasing student motivation, and
  • improving academic understanding and achievement.

Essential Question

"How are technologies best used in math to help students achieve, think critically, and prepare for the world outside of school?"

ISTE NETS Standards Addressed

II. C. Identify and locate technology resources and evaluate them for  accuracy and suitability

III. A. Facilitate technology-enhanced experiences that address content standards and student technology standards.

III. C. Apply technology to develop students' higher-order-thinking skills and creativity.

III. D. Manage student learning activities in a technology-enhanced environment.

IV. B. Use technology resources to collect and analyze data, interpret results, and communicate findings to improve instructional practice and maximize student learning.

V. B. Continually evaluate and reflect on professional practice to make informed decisions regarding the use of technology in support of student learning.

Why and How To Use Technology in Math

Technology motivates students to learn, complete tasks that might bore them with pencil and paper, provides creative ways to solve problems, and offers a risk free learning environment for students to explore the world of mathematics. It encourages students to become active learners with a quest for knowledge and to assume responsibility for their own learning. 

Mathematical concepts are understood in several different ways... using pictures, non-linguistic representation, interactive math tools, graphs, colored squares, multimedia presentations, and number lines. It enables students to use a variety of media and formats to apply, evaluate, synthesize and communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences.

Interactive Math tools, digital photography, and spreadsheets should be used in the classroom because they are tools that provides concrete ways to explore abstract concepts, enhance success for visual learners, promote higher-order thinking skills and deepens understanding..

Students are more assertive in a risk-free learning environment of the computer. Errors are easily corrected or edited, creating a finished product that students are proud of and are willing to share.

Using Understanding Numeration Plus and Understanding Math Plus

These interactive learning tools were created to help students learn and understand, not memorize and forget the important math concepts they need to grow and succeed throughout their school math careers. These programs were developed based on the philosophy that the comprehension of math should be based on a sound foundation of real experiences, and that a high level of interactivity engages and stimulates learning. These programs combine technology and instructional strategies to engage students in understanding math concepts.

The tools are adaptable to many learning situations: individual, student centered, and teacher centered.  Learning takes place from the concrete to the abstract using clear and simple math language.  It is a flexible learning resource that can be used as remediation, tutoring, intervention, general classroom use, home study or lesson reinforcement. Answers are never given instead questions are asked leading students to the correct answer while encouraging the idea that a mistake is an opportunity for learning. The programs are self paced for struggling, advanced, and second language learners. It supports classroom planning with lessons and printable worksheets and enables the teacher to track students' performance and progress. Understanding Numeration Plus reads to the students so that students who have difficulty reading or have a language barrier are still able to learn the math concepts. Understanding Math Plus is comprised of 10 topics, each covering core curriculums, aligned to the standards, using graphic explanations, step by step examples, practice questions, topic tests, and cumulative checks.

Understanding Math Plus and Understanding Numeration Plus


Multimedia Presentations to Demonstrate Understanding 

Multimedia tools provide opportunities for students to demonstrate  what they know and can do in math in a totally different medium. Students all have unique combinations of intelligences according to Gardner and given the opportunity for diverse learning opportunities they are able to perform at a higher level and achieve greater success.

Power Point Examples, Hyperstudio, or Media Blender

Determining Parts of a Whole

Digital Photography

Information from Chris     Web Site

Digital Cameras

Digital cameras are excellent tools for enhancing the math classroom.  They can also assist with applications under the current math reform movement, moving away from isolated problems in a drill-and-practice format to authentic experiences and problem solving.  

Digital images can be used to help demonstrate accomplishment of standards such as National Council  for Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) standards for Algebra, Geometry and Measurement.  For example, you could apply standards by having images that allow students to measure and compare sides, shape and angles by using images as models.  

The NCTM standards include the statement that "Similarity also can be related to such real-world contexts as photographs, models, projections of pictures" which can be an excellent application of a digital image. "Students at all levels should have opportunities to model a wide variety of phenomena mathematically in ways that are appropriate to their level. "Additionally while interacting with the digital images, students are also meeting the national technology standard (ISTE) specifying that students use technology tools to publish and interact with peers, experts and other audiences. Using digital images can provide documentation for the teacher, and allow for the creation of more authentic assessment tools and examples. 


Gallon Man

Microsoft Word Examples

100 Charts

Charting Place Value

Area and Perimeter

Congruent and Similar

Designing Fraction Flags

Make Arrays to Show Repeated Addition and Multiplication

Inspiration Examples

Number Family 12

Making and Breaking Numbers / Today's Target Number

Analyzing Numbers Using a Venn Diagram


Operation Fractions

Value of Coins

EXCEL or Graph Club Examples

Graphing or A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

The data has been collected. What do you do with it? Students like to draw, think about drawing a picture of your data. It's easy and it's colorful! There is a saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. This definitely applies to graphs. A graph is a picture of the data collected. Look at the data it is not a pretty sight. The task is to turn the data into a colorful picture that will make it easy to see the information.

Students we teach today will need to be able to demonstrate their learning and knowledge in order to survive in  the workplace of tomorrow. Being able to construct tables and analyze data  and spreadsheets they will develop their critical thinking skills which will transfer into other areas of learning. Conducting surveys, gathering and analyzing data are a frequent part of solving problems and satisfying curiosity. Looking up information to answer a question or to formulate new questions, we are gathering and analyzing data. 

Different Kinds of Graphs

Graphing Examples

Pictograph: Ice Cream Over Time

Table: Show Me the Money

Bar Graph: Graphing Fruit

Fractions Greater Than and Less Than

Student Graph Checklist

Comparing and Graphing the Weather

Have students compare the amount of rainfall in Seattle to your city.
Which city had more total rainfall in 2001? How do they think the
climate in Seattle might differ from the climate where you live?
What are the advantages of a lot of rain? What are the challenges?

Obtain data for this activity  from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration/National Weather Service Web site (

Using EXCEL to Teach Fractions

Equivalent Fractions on a Table or Spreadsheet

Children's Literature to Use for Graphing

Patterns in Mathematics

“Patterns are the very essence of mathematics, the language in which it is expressed. The art and science of exploring patterns are entwined with mathematics, a relationship that is related to the role of rhyme in poetry.“ Mathematics Journal

100 Hungry Ants

Venn Diagrams