Much like athletes must warm up their muscles before heading into a
game, students often warm up with engaging classroom activities or
problems of the day before diving into the daily math lesson. Wan Chow
of Bishop Strachtan School in Toronto finds the perfect warm-up in
Illuminations.

“I use Krypto as a 5-minute warm-up, partner activity when my students are working on an order of operations assignment,” said Chow.

When students work together Chow observes how students discover
multiple approaches to reaching the target number, as in Krypto. Chow
finds that while she enjoys watching her students work together to
discover the answer, she also likes to bring the class back together
for a discussion.

“What I enjoy the most is the sharing of students’ strategies on how
they reached their answers. Students are able to learn the different
methods of approaching the activity from their classmates,” said Chow.

Chow is fairly new to the Illuminations website, as she recently
learned about the site from an NCTM e-workshop, but she looks forward
to continuing to use lessons and activities in her classroom.

“I have found that activities can be modified. For example, in Decimal Maze I can modify the puzzle to include fractions, integers or square roots.”

Chow hopes that lessons will continue to provide her opportunities
to encourage cooperative partner activities in her classroom.