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Afterschool Curriculum Choice: Mathematics Resources
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Curriculum Details for
Interactivate

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Program
Description
Practitioner Expert
Review
Content Expert
Review
Interactivate
Publication Date: 1997–1998
Grade Level: 3–8
Content Focus: Math
Costs: Free
The costs shown were accurate at the time of the review. Please check the publisher's web site for current prices.
Developer Contact Information
Shodor Education Foundation, Inc.
300 West Morgan Street
Durham, NC, 27704
(919) 530-1911
www.shodor.org/interactivate/

User Comments (add a comment)
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Design Summary

Interactivate is a modular, computer-based curriculum that is easily used in an afterschool setting.  It uses Java-based interactive courseware as a means of inquiry-based learning in math concepts and skills.  This focus allows students to explore math in such a way that helps them develop their own mental images and understanding of mathematical concepts.  The curriculum allows teachers to account for different learning styles and levels when designing the lessons and setting up the activities.  The dynamic nature of using the computer allows students to create examples of concepts themselves and get a deeper sense of the mathematical content and how to apply it.

The ideas of exploration, inquiry, and hands-on learning which form the basis for Interactivate spark students’ curiosity and ability to question. The website and activities are compatible with most computer systems.  Other materials available include: exploration questions, lesson plans, discussion questions, a math dictionary, and alignments to standards and some math textbooks.

Costs and Staff Training

There is no cost for this curriculum, as all components are available on the Internet for free.  Professional development services are available for a fee but are not required.

Staff Qualifications

This curriculum can be used by most anyone, including parents, teachers, and paraprofessionals.  No formal teaching experience is required, although some knowledge of mathematics is useful.  Both content and practitioner expert reviews recommend that instructors have a strong understanding of the mathematics behind all the activities and are prepared to field questions that might come up from students.

Standards Alignment

  • National: National Council for Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM)
  • State: North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia

Research Base

Interactivate is based on research supporting the use of dynamic tools in teaching mathematics.  Other foundations include the principles and standards of the NCTM.

Evaluation Details

This curriculum has not been formally evaluated.

Overall Strengths/Overall Challenges

Strengths
  • Breadth of activities that are offered.
  • Teacher can choose parameters and difficulty levels
  • Graphic and geometric modeling.
  • Great tool for helping students practice skills.
  • Engaging, lets students just play, explore, and learn math.
  • Free, no cost beyond computers and internet access.
  • Computer format is attractive to students.
Challenges
  • Requires teacher to play with the site, become familiar with it, and think about what will and will not work with students.
  • Would be helpful to have more activities for first and second grade students, as well as more activities modeling percentages.
  • Would be helpful if the activities were labeled by grade level. Site is not well organized in general.
  • Some Exploration Questions are not very deep, and there is no step-by-step guide for students to follow.
  • Would be helpful to have worksheets that are easy for students to use to guide the them through a specific activity.


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