Thursday, April 24, 2008

Duane Habecker: Fun with Middle School Math

Cara Bafile reported in Education World on Duane Habecker's online math games and features for his students. Habecker started his web site to help his 6th, 7th, and 8th grade math classes at Pleasanton (CA) Middle School but now leaves them available for other students and teachers to use in their math studies.

Habecker started his first web site as a "resource" for homework and math help. He wanted students to have resources to turn to before they sought out his help, something many teachers try to foster in their students. As he saw the web site's usefulness for his own students, he expanded and created a Math Resource page for Pleasanton Middle School that collects powerful and fun activities and games for students. Habecker himself "love[s] games, especially ones that reinforce or enrich students' understanding of the math topic at hand. I also know that when I am doing something I enjoy, like playing games, my students will naturally enjoy the experience as well."

The resource page and Habecker's website have activities on exponents, percents, fractions, decimals and much more. Habecker's personal favorite is PIG, a dice game of luck and strategy. Habecker no longer maintains the web site but leaves it available for anyone to use. The Math Resource page is updated when new games or activities are brought to Habecker's attention. You can even enter your email to be updated anytime the resources page is changed.

Of his web sites and online math resources, Habecker said, "I especially enjoy using the many, many, many Java applets on the Web to teach math topics...Many applets do more to help kids understand and practice math topics than a teacher with a static whiteboard could ever do. I encourage teachers to purchase a projector, making it possible -- with only one classroom computer -- for the entire class to share in the experience of the Java applet."

Habecker's resources can be found on his web page, which he also uses for his classes, and at the Math Resource page. Habecker is in the process of moving all his math resources and information to a new Moodle page. The Moodle is a work-in-progress and may not be accessible right away. Everything, though, is still available at the other 2 webpages.

SOURCE: "Online Games Make Math Fun: Starring Duane Habecker" 8/20/05
photo courtesy of Dicemanic, used under this Creative Commons license

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