“Illuminations” uses Java applets to shed light on difficult math concepts

Created by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), “Illuminations” aims to revitalize mathematics instruction for students by providing a wealth of online resources spanning the entire math curriculum. Based on the NCTM’s own standards, the site offers five key tools for better math instruction. i-Math Investigations provides an array of interactive, multimedia classroom activities and instructional supplements. There also is a comprehensive library of math-related web resources—including more than 1,000 carefully reviewed online mathematics sites—as well as a section devoted to classroom-ready lesson plans submitted by expert teachers and a Java applets section where educators will find interactive tools designed to illustrate new concepts and formulas. Finally, the “Inquiry on Practice” section is ideal for teachers searching for ways to improve their teaching repertoire. According to the site, the inquiry file contains video vignettes, research reports, and articles designed “to encourage thinking and discussion about how to improve the teaching and learning of mathematics for all students.” All content on the site is conveniently organized by grade level.

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