Final Thoughts

Tangible math tools are critical for activating the entire brain in the quest to tackle the complex math concepts of high school. As your teen graduates to upper-level math courses, don’t underestimate the valuable role of tangible tools in the development of analytical skills. Being able to creatively solve a problem, defend ideas, and apply concepts to new and different situations are skills that will help your students rise above the statistics and put them on the path to math success.

Tangible Math Toolkit

A Mathematical Mosaic: Patterns & Problem Solving (a book by Stanford math professor, Ravi Vakil), National Library of Virtual Manipulatives

Visual Calculus

Geogebra—Free open-source software; winner of the National Technology Leadership Award 2010  

Algebra in the Real World Movies

Massachusetts Institute of Technology—Open course materials including lecture notes, pdf files, practice sets, exam questions, experiments tied to mathematical thinking

Thinkwell Math—Upper-level math courses using visual teaching techniques and illustrations 

Mathematica for Students—Math graphing and visualization program 

Heather Shanks, aka Professor Mom, is an author and researcher specializing in best practices in academic curriculum, character education, and learning styles.  The Professor Mom website is an education planning ministry for moms, providing low or no-cost resources and coaching to help families create an authentic home education.  Heather enjoys living and homeschooling in the Midwest with her husband, Professor Dad, and their two sons.  

Publication date: October 3, 2012