Technology and 5th Grade Math

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Technology has been a growing aspect of education, and is now an integral part of curriculum. Many teachers are unsure how to incorporate technology into their lectures and classroom. This site has suggestion of how to integrate technology into the classroom, specifically in the area of 5th grade math.

One way to use technology is to teach your math lesson using Power Point. By projecting the lesson on screen through this slide show program, the students see clear, visible instructions on how to complete the math problems. This also allows you to practice the skills they just learned by presenting a problem on one slide, giving the students time to work it out, and the next slide will display the correct answer. In using Power Point, hyperlinks could be added to the lesson so that you could use additional resources that are either saved or on the internet. By using the Power Point program and a projector, this also allows the standard overhead to be used to visually demonstrate the math problem again for the children. A great practice would be to display a problem on Power Point as suggested above, then use the overhead calculator (while the students use their own calculator) to check their answer before displaying the final one.

Another great program to use in 5th grade math is Excel. After students have learned the functions of basic formulas, they can learn to use them in Excel so that they can compute large amounts of data. The students must learn how the formula works first in order for them to input the correct formula in a spreadsheet to get the answer that is desired. The students would be given a data table that they could input in Excel, then get instructions such as, find the sum of all the numbers in column A, or average the scores in column B. This is great practice and it allows them to actually apply their knowledge of formulas in a program that they will certainly use later in life. As we all know, children are often wondering when they are going to use skills from class again in their life, and they can be assured this is one skill they will use repeatedly.

A third suggestion for using technology in math class is to utilize instructional software that is designed for drill and practice. Math is a subject that needs to be practiced repeatedly for faster recall. This is also a subject on all standardized testing so the students need to be able to recognize and complete problems quickly. Most districts have software that they have purchased for use in the classroom, and it will most likely coincide with the type of questions that might appear on their state exam. Allow each student adequate time each week to do drill and practice over the new skills they have just learned.

Technology can really enhance a lesson and help students understand material more clearly. Math is a great subject to use this technology because it really helps the students visually see how the problems work. Using Power Point, Excel, and drill and practice software in a 5th grade math lesson are just 3 of many suggestions that can help integrate technology into the classroom.