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Differentiated Instruction through High-Quality Online Math Games

By Jim Wheelin Subscribe to RSS | January 4th 2012 | Views:

If you're looking for unique and worthwhile ways to enhance the math lessons that you teach, you're in luck. Thanks to the Internet, it's easier for teachers to bring more value to the curriculum than ever. One increasingly popular option is the use of online math games. It pretty much goes without saying that such games need to be fully vetted before they are introduced to young learners. One important thing to look for is differentiated instruction. This characteristic will take each student's individual strengths and weaknesses into account to produce a more productive learning environment. Whether there are 15 children in your classroom or 30 of them, it's not always easy to give one-on-one instruction on a regular basis. These types of games can help fill in the gaps.

Individualized Learning for Enhanced Education

Teaching math to young students would be a lot easier and more straightforward if students all moved along at the same pace. Of course, that's absolutely not the case. In a single classroom, you can have students whose capabilities span across a broad spectrum. It's easy for high achievers and struggling students to slip through the cracks, but well-designed online math games can reduce that risk a lot. The trick here is to choose games that offer truly individualized learning and differentiated instruction. They are out there, but you have to do your research to find the most worthwhile ones.

Integrated Assessments and Instruction

Today's best online math games for young students assess students' abilities while they learn. As a child is playing a math game, the game will analyze the answers that come easily to a child. At the same time, it will analyze the areas in which a child seems to struggle. Over time, highly individualized instruction will be provided. The nice thing is that this instruction doesn't have to be developed over a long period of time. Today's best games apply the assessments that are performed in "real time," so students get the level of instruction that they need, when they need it.

Developing the Appropriate Math Skills

Whether you teach kindergarten, first grade, second grade or third grade, you already know about the basic developmental needs of the children in your classroom. Standards are in place, and students are expected to meet certain milestones with their mathematical skills. The differentiated instruction that is offered through today's best online math games can zero in on the math skills and concepts that a child needs the most help with and strength them accordingly. In turn, it's much easier to keep all children up to speed with the skills that they need to move ahead to the next level.

Nothing can take the place of a highly skilled educator. However, it's smart to use whatever tools you can to ensure the best and most effective use of classroom time. It's not always easy to provide truly differentiated instruction, especially when you have a rigid curriculum to keep in mind. The right online math games will give you a little more leeway in this regard. They will also allow you to track the progress of every student in your classroom on an individual basis. You can take what you learn from that and use it to create more effective and useful lesson plans for your students.

Jim Wheelin - About Author:
Jim Wheelin writes about many different educational topics for parents, kids and teachers. He likes to focus on math learning styles and the use of differentiated instruction in the classroom. Jim also encourages other to test educational games such as the ones offered at

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