So, deep down, I identify as a librarian. It probably goes back to the close friendship I had with Mrs. Searcy, the librarian in my elementary school. She taught me to use a film-strip projector, and how to search for things in the card catalog. Or Mrs. Joan Crawford, the media specialist my mom worked with for years.
Librarians know things. They know what is good, what’s popular, and they know exactly where to find it.
In college, I worked my first ‘real job’ in the choral library at UGA. I organized all of the sheet music, creating a spreadsheet to keep track of inventory and location on the shelves. It was one of the more satisfying jobs an introverted music-loving librarian type could ask for. Hours, I spent alone in the back room, just getting to know all the pieces of work and seeing how loved some of those copies had been throughout their years.
As a 21st century teacher, the resources we have at our disposal are nearly infinite. Just google “polynomial” if you need proof. A whopping 260 million possible places to find information. It became my mission to create a “Library of Mathematical Good Stuff”.
Like my website itself, the library has undergone countless revisions. My first spreadsheets weren’t very well planned. I thought I needed to literally categorize and tag everything. It took weeks of work, followed by long periods of life being too busy to invest the time. And then more weeks of work and pulling myself up the steep learning curve, hours of training videos from Caspio so I don’t have to pay to get it done.
And yesterday, all the pieces fell into place. I introduce to you: https://flippinmath.com/library/.
Links in the Library: The Starting Lineup
My library isn’t comprehensive. There are SO many links and websites I want to include, but it just takes time. For the moment, I’ve started by adding my favorites. In time, the database will continue to grow!
Matt’s Math Labs
When I taught in the public schools, I was always grateful for a good resource recommendation. Ms. May gave me a worksheet packet for circle theorems. It was fantastic. It became my go-to packet when I knew we’d be talking arcs and angles soon. This was in the days of printed handouts, and it seems odd now to think, I didn’t even realize the creator of these fantastic worksheets had created an entire WORLD of math resources.
Years after that first encounter with Matt’s Math Labs, I moved to another district, and was shocked to learn that 1) Matt Winking was a teacher there in the new district I’d just joined, and 2) he has invested countless time and energy into creating resources for high school math. Each content topic has a worksheet, answer key, interactive and pdf sample quiz, and most have videos. (Check out mattsmathlabs.com to explore more about his work and his flipped lessons!)
Let’s Practice Geometry
Somewhere around 2015, I found a website called letspracticegeometry.com. — No need to try to go to there. I discovered a few years ago that the website domain is now open to be purchased and all my beloved resources are now hard to come by. You can download the whole book through scribd, but I have hosted and housed these treasures so I could make them available to the teachers that could use them. ((I haven’t found the original author to ask permission — the worksheets I downloaded years ago were available for free, but I also purchased the entire book compilation of the worksheets for $8 as well.))
Feromax is another geometry website that was created with love, but is no longer creating and updating their work. Luckily, unlike letspracticegeometry, feromax still houses some great resources! There are note pages for many Geometry topics, and I like the casual hand-drawn style. There are also construction resources that can help when building those compass and straightedge skills.
My “gateway” introduction to feromax is their practices for geometric proofs. I find that kids often have trouble with proofs because they’re just not sure what sorts of statements they can make, or what they can say to justify them. Feromax proofs have all the pieces of the proof already there. Kids can use the “answer choices” and put them in the correct order. It’s a great first step, once they’re familiar with the format but still unsure of what they would say. It also really helps develop the importance of order, how some facts must be proven before we can make particular statements. Logic!
Math By Example
So, most of the resources I’ve added to the database are available without signing in anywhere. For this last one, they were free to access, but I did need to sign in to access them. If you find yourself using these, visit https://www.serpinstitute.org/math-by-example, and set up an account.
In the world of prealgebra math education, there are lots of resources for direct instruction. But how do you get kids to really think critically about the math and the procedures? Error analysis gives kids a chance to look at student work to determine where they may have gone wrong.
While this strategy is used often in a traditional classroom, the virtual space (especially in the 1 to 1 format in which I am employed) doesn’t really give much opportunity for peer review. I used these years ago, and have recently rediscovered their usefulness in the hybrid or digital classroom.
No discussion of free online math resources would be complete without including Khan Academy. I’m a big fan and have donated on a regular basis to the great work they’ve compiled, especially their collaboration with College Board with SAT Preparation.
So, I’m currently working on entering my own resources, as well as the brilliant resources available for free from flippedmath.com. I also want to include links from transum.org and ck12.org, as well as the exciting and interactive work of the team at teacher.desmos.com. Where possible, I also hope to add in games, such as those found through MMMath Mania and ThinkSquare.com.au.
If it’s good stuff, I want to send people to it. What am I missing? Let me know in the comments your favorite free online resources!