Toolkit Item 2 for Universal Designs for Learning

Name of the resource

Maths Dictionary for Kids

Summary of the Maths Dictionary and how it can be accessed

Maths Dictionary for kids is a free web resource that contains animated and interactive math dictionary for students which explains over 600 common mathematical terms in simple language. Maths Dictionary is created by Jenny Eather and this online resource can be accessed from the following URL: http://www.amathsdictionaryforkids.com/dictionary.html

Maths Dictionary provides a list of mathematical terms arranged alphabetically where the user can select any term by clicking on it. For each term that is displayed, a definition is provided with relevant examples. All examples use pictures and colors to depict each mathematical term. Below each example, the user is provided with practice questions in order to check the understanding of that particular mathematical term. Most of the practice questions are in the form of games and quizzes. Maths Dictionary also provides students with over 200 printable math charts and posters which can be used at home or in school (Eather, 2014). There is also a help section on the website and it provides assistance to users on issues like spelling, size of the fonts, and clocks/time. Users are also encouraged to provide feedback about the website via email address given on the website. Finally, any information displayed on the website about any mathematical term is printable.

Maths Dictionary is beneficial to students who have math disabilities or difficulties in understanding math language, symbols, and terms. Hence, this online resource builds mathematical comprehension skills of these students. Moreover, students with vision problems can benefit from this resource because it uses various colors to show the difference among various objects. All mathematical terms and its practice questions can be accessed multiple times for more practice and since this resource is available online, it can be accessed by students from anywhere and from any mobile device.

My reasons for selecting Maths Dictionary

I have chosen Maths Dictionary because it is a great resource for a classroom which uses UDL framework as it provides multiple means of representation, multiple means of action and expression, and multiple means of engagement.

Maths Dictionary’s examples and analogies enhance students’ comprehension by activating and supplying background knowledge (Meyer et al., 2014). Moreover, through various examples and practice questions, mathematical vocabulary and symbols are clarified. All text on this online resource can be enlarged to a full screen and the usage of various colors to differentiate various objects offers alternatives for displaying visual information; thus it provides options for perception (Meyer et al., 2014).

Maths Dictionary’s practice questions allow students to track their progress and students can continue working on practice questions until they have understood a particular mathematical term. Thus, Maths Dictionary enhances students’ capacity for monitoring their progress (Meyer et al., 2014). Additionally, practice questions use various ways (in the form of games, quizzes, interactive scenarios) to engage students and some practice questions also involve different levels of difficulties. Hence, practice questions provide multiple options for expression and communication. Maths Dictionary’s ability to be accessed from any mobile device with internet connection allows students with options for physical action (Meyer et al., 2014).

Since all mathematical terms on Maths Dictionary are accompanied by interactive examples and practice questions, it motivates learners to work independently and develop their self-assessment. Hence, it provides options that can help learners to regulate their own learning (Meyer et al., 2014). Maths Dictionary also provides clear and simple instructions to students and displays its information in an interactive manner and animated fashion in order to help learners understand a particular mathematical term in simple language. It is like an online instructor talking and a picture depicting the involved action! Hence, it provides options to learners for sustaining effort and motivation (Meyer et al., 2014). Moreover, students who have difficulties in understanding textual language, they get an option to watch the interactive images in order to understand a particular term. Thus, it provides students with options for recruiting their interest (Meyer et al., 2014).

Critique of the Maths Dictionary including its strengths and weaknesses

Maths Dictionary is very easy to use because it only requires basic internet browsing skills. The most important aspect of Maths Dictionary which distinguishes it from other online dictionaries is its ability to display the meaning of a particular mathematical term in an animated and interactive way with ample examples, practice questions, and mathematical charts. It contains a huge list of mathematical terms and symbols with the capability of free printing.

It was difficult to think about weaknesses of this great resource. However, I wish Maths Dictionary was able to provide text-to-speech support for students with reading disabilities.

Therefore, based on the affordances and constraint of Maths Dictionary, I would highly recommend this resource to students who have math disabilities and students who wish to enhance their understanding about any mathematical term or symbol.

Decision and support needed to use Maths Dictionary in Education

Since Maths Dictionary is an online resource, students will only need access to a computer or any mobile device with an internet connection and an updated and new version of Flash Player.

Most schools’ internet contains firewall which blocks certain external websites; thus, Maths Dictionary may be blocked by school’s firewall. However, I strongly recommend this resource to all students because it contains free access to many mathematical terms and symbols on various topics. Thus, approval from leadership team will be required to use Maths Dictionary in the classrooms.

Reference

Eather, J. (2014). A Maths Dictionary for Kids 2014. Retrieved from http://www.amathsdictionaryforkids.com/dictionary.html

Meyer, A., Rose, D.H., & Gordon, D. (2014). Universal Design for Learning: Theory & Practice. Wakefield: CAST Publishing.

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