The following simulations are geared toward the 4th grade classroom.

Functions Machines 3

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Personal Opinion: I would like to use this simulation at the beginning of the school year in my class. This simulation enables students to input numbers and figure out the function, or operation, that was performed. In our math program Everyday Math students encounter “what’s my rule?” problems almost daily with the spiraling of the concepts. This simulation can be very basic, or challenging depending on the choices a student or teacher makes which will definitely help teachers differentiate their instruction. I love the assessment portion at the end!
Ease of Use: This game is easy to use. Students will need to read directions. There is a tutorial video that can be viewed if the students do not know how to start or what certain tools do. The game itself is very easy to use and the clipboard will help students keep track of the input/output numbers.
Educational Value: Since my students encounter “what’s my rule?” concept questions almost daily, this simulation will be great to review or give extra challenges to students who need it.
Age/Developmentally Appropriate: Function Machines 3 states it is for grades 3-5 and it is age appropriate. Students will enjoy making their own function machines, too, and then asking friends to figure out their own machines!
Applicability to Theme: This simulation applies to my fourth grade math class in that it ties into “what’s my rule?” type questions as well as allowing students to make connections between this simulation and word problems they will encounter.


Pattern Flip

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Personal Opinion: At first this simulation seems too easy for 4th graders. But as the levels increase, so does the difficulty. I think this is a good tool for students to see patterns in math and make predictions logically.
Ease of Use: This game is easy to use. Students can challenge themselves by creating their own patterns, too.
Educational Value: Through patterning, students can find the least common multiple of two numbers, and use this information to predict when shapes in two patterns will coincide. The assessment in the end proves to be challenging!
Age/Developmentally Appropriate: Pattern Flip states it is for grades 3-5 and it is age appropriate. My only concern is that students will dismiss this simulation at first because it does seem too easy in the beginning.
Applicability to Theme: This simulation applies to my fourth grade math class in that it ties into the patterning we encounter in the first trimester as well as least common multiples, which we encounter in the second trimester.


Spin the Big Wheel!

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Personal Opinion: This probability simulation is a fun way for students to distinguish between events that are certain, likely, unlikely, and impossible. Also, it can help students to see that probability is the likelihood of an event, not a certainty. I like how quickly this simulation teaches how probability and certainty are related.
Ease of Use: This game is extremely easy to use. Students can challenge themselves by creating their own wheel of probability, too.
Educational Value: Learning the vocabulary: certain, impossible, outcome, probability, sample space, trial is essential to our probability unit. The simulation can really benefit my ELL learners because of the focus on the vocabulary. Seeing that probability and certainty are related is valuable.
Age/Developmentally Appropriate: Spin the Big Wheel! states it is for grades 3-5 and it is age appropriate. They will love the choice of 100 players and watching how 100 players speed through their spins of the wheel. The chart of actual spins vs. probability of spins is very real world and will help students see the relationship.
Applicability to Theme: This simulation applies to my fourth grade math class in that it ties into the probability concept we encounter in the second trimester.


Fraction Garden

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Personal Opinion: Comparing fractions can be very difficult for some students and this simulation makes it a bit easier to understand. I love the “Chalky” character who will draw the number of lines a student tells him to in order to see the denominator, or equal parts. Teachers can differentiate with this simulation, too, asking students to place mystery weeds in the garden and then asking “Bud” to pick them at the correct point in the garden.
Ease of Use: This game is extremely easy to use. Students can challenge themselves by placing their own weeds in the garden, too.
Educational Value: Comparing fractions and developing an understanding of equivalent fractions is essential and this simulation provides a good, basic beginning to this concept.
Age/Developmentally Appropriate: Fraction Garden states it is for grades 3-5 and it is age appropriate; however in the 5th grade I would think this simulation would be used for remediation.
Applicability to Theme: This simulation applies to my fourth grade math class in that it ties into the comparing fractions and equivalent fractions concepts we encounter in the second trimester.


Math Resources
My Symbaloo startpage has many math resources for both students and teachers. Below you can find some descriptions of how some of these resources can be used in the 4th grade classroom.


Sheppards Software - This site is a go-to site for all things math! All concepts and levels are here which can help students and teachers find exactly what they are looking for. I can use many of these games and tutorials for introductory activities, ongoing practice, partner work, and assessment.


WebMath - Students may find this site very helpful if they are “stuck” on a homework problem. Students may type in their problem, receive an answer, and also a step-by-step guide along with the answer to show exactly how to do the problem.

Pattern Blocks- This can be used as an introduction to fractions. There are several “challenges” the student may go through, starting from easy to difficult. Students can see “parts as wholes” to help see fractional parts in different ways, not just as a “pie” or “bar.” In the “Finding Value” challenge there is an added task to assign values to shapes and find certain values.

Factor Trees - This resource can be used to introduce factors and prime factorization. There is an added challenge to time yourself! There is also an assessment in the end to check for understanding. For remediation, this simulation can help!

Hungry for Math ThinkQuest on fractions - This ThinkQuest walks students from beginning to end on all things fractions. Cooking is the theme for this math ThinkQuest which makes it fun and real world. There are quizzes, too. Additionally, students can see a fine example of a ThinkQuest to make their own ThinkQuest in another activity.

Greatest Common Factors - In order for students to learn to reduce or simplify fractions, they need to learn how to find the Greatest Common Factor (GCF). This game has 3 levels and is a great introductory tool to help students with this concept.

Least Common Multiples – To add and subtract fractions with unlike denominators students need to find the LCM or Least Common Multiple. This game has 3 levels and will challenge students to learn this concept.

Fruit Shoot Multiplication Practice - Students need to be quick and accurate with their math facts by the time they get to 4th grade. This game can be used for remediation to help students learn their math facts.

Extreme Math! - This ThinkQuest done by 11 year olds has a bit of everything. I especially like the quiz found under “percentages” as there are some challenging word problems! This example of a ThinkQuest can motivate students to create their own ThinkQuest in a future activity.

Number Balls - This introductory game can help students see quickly how negative numbers and positive numbers are related. Students need to order the given numbers from smallest to largest. This game helps move students away from the number line!