Visnos - Visual Numbers a Math website
Visnos amazing teaching tool that uses animated fish and shapes to teach the multiplication tables
I came across the Fish Times Tables Math activity and thought I would share it as I am finding it really helps engage my pupils.They have been learning the times tables and this has really helped.
I use it on the class interactive white board but it could be used on a normal computer displays 10 horizontal and vertical buttons. To show 4x6 click on the number 4 along the top buttons and 6 on the side buttons. Magically 24 fish will move into the area to make the correct total.
It is possible to show a number on each of the fish, so the children get to see that the tables are just related to counting. In fact they realize that rather than make life harder that learning the tables makes it much easier to count many objects.
The class love to watch the fish move in/out of the area depending on the buttons that have been pressed. The white bubbles floating up add to the effect ! But I really like is this tool is so versatile it is possible to either show or hide virtually every part of the interface. For instance rather than showing a number on each shape it is possible to show the last one which makes the total, or even the sequence of multiples.
It also can be used automatically, I sometimes use this mode and the children say the tables out load while I complete the register.
Whats more there are other mathematical demonstrations on the site also but I haven't explored them fully.
Visnos Number explorer activity
Another great interactive teaching resource
The interactive number explorer activity works very well with the times tables as it is quite similar. Again it uses animated fish, although you can also choose circles or square cards if you prefer.
You can choose a total number of shapes on the screen or click R for a random number. Now comes the clever bit, the shapes can follow lots of different actions. For example if you click the Tri button then all the shapes will form into a triangular number, you can then ask how many more shapes are needed to complete the triangle.
But what this activity is really good for is division, the fish move into columns and the ones left over can be shown as a remainder, fraction or decimal amount.
Using the Visnos Number Explorer
This video works through examples of how to best use this math activity.
The very useful classroom timer - Timing classroom activities
I use this one to get the class to get organised, set the timer on 30 seconds and tell all the pupils to have their books and equipment ready before the countdown ends.
Lesson Starters help get the children's brains working
A great numbers game
The random spinners activity makes a great lesson starter. You can make it very easy with low numbered spinners, or difficult with spinners of twelve sides. When you the press the spin button all the spinner will jump into action. When they come to stop a target number is revealed, the aim is to reach the target number using all the spinner values once and only once, with addition subtraction and multiplication.
Sometimes the target can be a real challenge, but it all makes good practice. But what's more you can use the activity in some other ways. Another mode creates a calculation using the spinner values for example (4+2)x(12-5), in this case you have to use the math order rules. In some countries these are called BODMAS for brackets, order of, Division, Multiplication, Addition and Subtraction. However some countries use P instead of B for parentheses. In fact sometimes the O is replace by I for indices.
The important thing is that you can produce and endless number of calculations to practice with. So these are great for home schooling too!