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Oct 08 2014 - 08:00 PM
buzzMath
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buzzMath is an online learning platform designed to help middle school students practice math concepts in an interactive, digital environment. The tool uses simple graphics to explain math equations in a way that is easy to understand. The tool also provides teacher and parent view modes so that students' progress can be monitored and assessed instantly.

Pros:

This online learning tool offers a wide variety of concepts and equations used in middle school math. A student can search for appropriate practice questions by entering their grade level, specific topic, or common core standard. Students can create a free account and save their progress as they move through topics and master different concepts. Students are also able to "write" directly on the problem with pen and pencil tools and have access to a built-in app calculator and dictionary at all times. In the teacher mode, educators can monitor classroom progress, individual student analytics, and assignments. Parents can also sign up to view their child’s mathematical journey to help monitor and encourage their child’s progress through the program.

The most unique feature of buzzMath is that it gives learners a visual, interactive representation of math equations to help demonstrate potentially abstract concepts. For example, when trying to determine the volume of a pyramid, students are shown one cube, three pyramids, and a pitcher of water. Students are instructed to pour water into either the cube or the empty pyramids and then redistribute the water to the empty object(s). This process demonstrates the 3D nature of "volume" as well as showing that the volume of three pyramids is equal to the volume of one cube. Students then understand that a pyramid is 1/3 the volume of a cube (which is b * h) and can arrive at the correct equation for determining the volume of a pyramid. Through this process, students are given a tangible way of applying a three-dimensional problem to a two-dimensional solution.

Cons:

Subscriptions to buzzMath can be pricey depending on the package purchased. Rates range from $20/month to $60/year for the family package and $5 per student for the Premium Classroom package. Older middle school students may find the graphics target a younger crowd.

Our Takeaway:

buzzMath is a smart way to practice and understand middle school math on a digital platform. Graphical and visual representations of equations help students to conceptualize abstract notions that might ordinarily leave learners stumped. buzzMath solves this problem by enabling students to see what they are solving and offers them instant assistance when they don’t understand a concept. This is also a great resource for math teachers to monitor student understanding and reinforce classroom lessons.

The Bottom Line:

See math more clearly with buzzMath.

Image: Logo via buzzMath

|By: Dana Haugh|1750 Reads