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Resources for Teachers and Parents

Mathematics

Inspiring Your Child to Learn and Love Math

The Parent Engagement tool-kit that Lynda Colgan and Research Assistant, Kim Betts, developed in collaboration with GAPC in Ottawa for the Council of Directors in Education (CODE) and The Ministry of Education is now available on the CODE website.

The tool-kit is comprised of four print, video and workshop modules directed at specific grade bands (Kindergarten, Primary, Junior and Intermediate) and one overview module, which is included below. The purpose of the tool-kit is to provide practical strategies and resources for parents to use at home to support their children’s positive math mindset and achievement.

The Prime Radicals

The Prime Radicals logo.

A live-action math education television series on TVOKids, developed by Lynda Colgan, Director of the Community Outreach Centre, in collaboration with Executive Producer Hoda Elatawi, General Assembly Production Centre (Ottawa), the shows make numbers cool for kids with scenarios showing how math is used for everything from clubhouse renovations to cooking. See The Prime Radicals.

Homework Help

TVO logo.

A TVO website for students in grades 7 -10. It offers interactive tutorials, a glossary of terms and equations, listen and learn presentations, and an online scientific calculator. It also features free, real-time online tutoring, connecting students with certified Ontario teachers. The Ask a Tutor chat rooms are open Sunday to Thursday evenings. See Homework Help.

Geometry in Real Life

Teacher Resource Package

This resource is intended to be a starting point to help your class apply what they have learned in the Geometry and Spatial Sense strand to real-life situations. There are 10 pictures included, and each one has suggestions for the teacher regarding how to use each picture in a Grade One, Two, or Three classroom. The pictures will hopefully offer your students a way to engage themselves further in learning by applying their mathematical knowledge about shapes, polygons, and three-dimensional figures to a new situation – recognizing geometry when they see it in the real world. See the teacher resource package for the primary grades.

Making Math Magic at Home

Cover of Kingston Counts: Making Math Magic at Home.

Making Math Magic at Home is a 124-page resource book that is filled with tips, tools, activities and games to make learning math a part of everyday life. Included in the book are instruction pages that teach how to make origami creations, do magic tricks with math, create coded pictures and message, learn math from the calendar and measure your body using the rule of thumb. There are games, puzzles and math-focused craft activities that are purposeful and fun to engage learners from Kindergarten to Grade 8. See Making Math Magic at Home!

Math Placemats

Kindergarten math placemat.

Math Placemats are one-page activity pages that are rich in puzzles, riddles, questions and simple visuals to engage children at the kitchen table, during long car rides or during indoor recess. They are great take-alongs to restaurants and events to occupy children in meaningful ways by practicing math content from all the strands: Number Sense, Geometry, Patterning, Data Management, Probability and Measurement while having fun. See:

Mathematical Melodies

Developed by the Community Outreach Centre, Mathematical Melodies (the songs, lyrics and lesson plans) help students understand the complex world of math in a fun, light-hearted and ‘fine tuned’ manner. Providing games, hands on activities, children’s literature connections and multi media resources to encourage children to construct relationships and ideas with mathematical content is our bonus to you.

Number Sense and Numeration Melodies

Primary / Junior

Junior / Intermediate

  • 1, 2, 3, 4 (by Bruce Campeau) — MP3
  • At School — MP3 / Lyrics
  • Chinese Numerology (by Bruce Campeau) — MP3
  • Place Value — MP3 / Lyrics
  • The Numbers Family Tree — MP3 / YouTube / Lyrics
  • Times 11 (by Gary Rasberry) — MP3
  • Zero: A Poem About Nothing (read by Gary Rasberry) — MP3
Geometry and Spatial Sense Melodies

Primary / Junior

Junior / Intermediate

Measurement Melodies

Primary / Junior

Junior / Intermediate

Patterning and Algebra Melodies

Primary / Junior

Junior / Intermediate

Data Management and Probability Melodies

Junior / Intermediate

Cross-Curricular Melodies

Primary / Junior

Junior / Intermediate

Calculus Performance Pieces
  • Early Morning Calculus — MP3
  • Late Night Calculus (Part 1) — MP3
  • Late Night Calculus (Part 2) — MP3

Can You Believe THIS is Math?

Can You Believe THIS is Math? is a collection of 20 units that can be used to enrich, supplement and complement the elementary mathematics curriculum. Each unit is comprised of 5 hands-on activities that represent “the best of the best” of the curriculum resources that were developed by teacher candidates as part of the Connect-ME shared repository and Mathematics@Home family math calendar that Dr. Lynda Colgan coordinated and managed between 2000 and 2008. Special thanks to Adam Swanson (B.Ed. 2010) for his enormous effort in sifting through hundreds of web pages and organizing the best resources into units.

Activities

1 - History of Geometry

2 - Tangrams

3 - Origami

4 - Tessellations

5 - 2D Geometry

6 - 3D Geometry

7 - Math Magic

8 - Math and Nature

9 - Animal Math

10 - Sports Math

11 - International Math

12 - Deep Space Math

13 - Musical Math

14 - Money Math

15 - First Nations Math

16 - Math and the Human Body

17 - Traveling Math

18 - Fibonacci’s Math

19 - Probability

20 - Early Years Math

Science & Technology

Rube-Goldberg Machines

The Six Simple Machines Lessons Plans

Kids looking at a Rube-Goldberg machine

Imagine this: almost 3000 years ago, you were one of the builders of the King’s Chamber inside the Great Pyramid of Giza and your job was to find a way to move a stone that weighed 25 metric tonnes. What would you do?

History tells us that long ago, someone faced just that problem, but on a smaller scale. He or she picked up a long stick and stuck it under the edge of the heavy object and then pushed down on the other end of the stick. And that was how the very first simple machine was invented! Simple machines are just that. The simplest form of using one thing to accomplish something faster or better: a tool. Simple machines were the first ones created and we still use them today. There are 6 basic simple machines: a pole used for lifting (the lever), the wheel and axle, the inclined plane, the wedge, the pulley, and the screw. Although some of these simple machines are related to each other, each has a specific purpose in the world of doing work.

These lesson plans and complementary resources are designed to help children in elementary school science classes learn about each of the 6 simple machines separately and in detail, and then think about ways to combine them to make a Rube Goldberg Machine. Grade-specific curriculum expectations are included.

Inclined Planes

Levers

Pulleys

Screws

Wedges

Wheel & Axles

The Widget Workshop

Primary Widgets

A Strong Wall

With this widget, students will build walls out of different materials and test their strength under various conditions.

Bending Plants

This widget requires students to bend a plant stem using only light.

Button Spinner

This widget shows how energy can change from one form into another.

Inertia Zoom Ball

With this widget, students will explore a law of motion by building and playing with an Inertia Zoom Ball.

Jitter Critter

This widget looks at the force of friction as the critter 'jitters' down a broom handle.

Lazy Susan

This widget demonstrates a way to reduce friction by using bearings when building a household storage item.

Static Friction / Moving Friction

This widget requires students to determine whether it is more difficult to start motion or keep something moving.

Strong Shapes / Which is Strongest?

This widget explores different technological designs and shapes.

Super Listener Earphones

This widget demonstrates that sound results from vibrating objects.

Terrific Torque

This widget introduces a top that uses torque to increase its spin.

Up and Down Dino

This widget uses the force of gravity to raise and lower the neck of the dinosaur.

Windmill

This widget demonstrates how wind can produce energy.

Junior Widgets

Easy Electromagnet

This widget has students make a magnet using electricity.

Hoopglider / Boomerang

These two widgets deal with flight, lift, torque, and drag.

Kaleidoscope

This widget demonstrates how mirrors affect light.

Making Fossils / Lasting Records

With these widgets, students make their own fossil and compare it to the object that created it.

Solar Cooking

This widget allows students to explore how the sun's energy can be harnessed to do chemical work.

Super Listener Earphones

With this widget, students can use hearing devices to listen to objects vibrating around and within them.

The Night Sky / Where is the North Star?

With these widgets, students learn about the sun, moon, stars, and clouds, as well as how to locate the North Star.

The Pulley / What Gears Do

These two widgets are aimed at exploring what simple pulley and gear systems do.

Twisting and Turning

This widget deals with the position and motion of objects, changed by pushing or pulling.

Weird Whirlers

This widget has students explore the centripetal force that arises from spinning in a circular motion.

Windmill

This widget demonstrates how wind can produce energy.

Intermediate Widgets

Cartesian Diver

This widget is designed to help illustrate density.

Hoopglider / Boomerangs

These two widgets deal with flight, lift, torque, and drag.

Hovercrafts

With this widget, students discover how hovercrafts drive air beneath themselves to create an air cushion.

Roll Can

This widget lets students look at how a system can store energy.

Solar Cooking

This widget allows students to explore how the sun's energy can be harnessed to do chemical work.

Weird Whirlers

This widget has students explore the centripetal force that arises from spinning in a circular motion.

Weird Wonder

With this widget, students will look into what happens when you stare at one colour for a long time.

Science Demonstration Lessons

Primary/Junior Lessons

Understanding Life Systems

Budding Biologists

How are living things adapted for survival? Through hands-on activities, students will learn about the form and function of insects and birds. Students will eat like a bird and build or become an imaginary insect.

Diversity of Living Things

Students will explore the diversity of different Kingdoms and focus on the diversity of red blood cells of 5 different animal groups.

Understanding Structures and Mechanisms

The Classic Egg Drop Competition

What forces act on the egg as it falls? Why is packaging important? Through team work, students will work together to build a structure to protect an egg from a ~4ft drop.

Pulleys and Gears

How do pulleys and gears work? Students will examine this question through hands on methods.

Understanding Matter and Energy

Physical and Chemical Changes

What is a physical change? What is a chemical change? Students will learn the difference between these and create a chemical change of their own, making slime.

Electricity

What is electricity? Where does it come from? Students will build their own battery
to introduce them to the concept of a circuit.

Intermediate/Senior Lessons

Biology

Forest and Lake Ecosystems in Ontario

Students learn about the importance of preserving the ecosystems here in our province.

Forensic Investigation

Students will undertake various forensic tests, including DNA extraction from a fruit, in order to solve a mystery.

Chemistry

Substances and Mixtures

What is the difference between substances and mixtures? Students examine analytical techniques on how to separate mixtures into pure substances.

Mental Health

Healthier Minds Through Songs and Rhymes

Hands holding a human silhouette up to a poster titled 'Mental Health'.

During the recent Alternative Practicum, B.Ed. teacher candidates Lucas Kolar, Meaghan Shannon, Carly McFadden and Justin Bell worked with Juno-nominated musician and composer Gary Rasberry to produce a suite of resources called A Healthier Mind Through Songs and Rhymes. The materials include original songs, audio books, book recommendations, and research information for teachers. These valuable teaching resources can be found at http://ahealthiermindthroughsongsandrhymes.wordpress.com.