K7Math is, as its name suggests, a mathematics resource for primary school teachers. Its name also suggests that it was designed with American pupils in mind but this web site has been adapted for the Irish primary market. In essence, K7Math is a huge portal of resources that link with every strand and strand unit in the Irish Mathematics Curriculum.
After signing up, one is presented with a screen showing the user’s profile and the 3 key menus: Planning, Teaching and Assessing. All you need to support your maths teaching is contained in these 3 menu options.
We were given a trial of K7Math to try out the various activities. At first glance, with only the 3 menu options, the web site does look a little underwhelming but within a couple of clicks inside any menu, we were transported to a seemingly infinite number of excellent multimediaresources, which effectively saved us spending hours on Google trying to find them. Let’s take for example that we are teaching 2nd class and we want to teach subtraction with renaming.
The first thing to do is to go to the Teaching Menu and Search Option 1. The next step is to pick the class level and then hover over the lesson numbers to find the lesson we need.
Once you click on the lesson, you get a number of items: a worksheet in both portrait (for printing) and colour landscape (for your touch screen) modes, a complete lesson plan, relevant PowerPoint presentations (for explicit teaching of concepts) and a number of links torelated interactive games. For example, I clicked on one of the interactives for subtraction with regrouping and it landed me on the excellentStudyJam website shown below.
K7Math looks like a very useful tool for any primary school teacher and the plans for this Irish version of the site are expanding with new resources being added all the time. And keep in mind that K7Math also provides a formative test for every maths topic you teach and a summative test for annual auditing of student performance standards.
There are a few recommendations that I would give to the web site. The first is more aesthetic than anything else. The web site appearance could best be described as functional although the author claims this is a deliberate design feature, which he says minimises time at the site searching for resources. I would suggest that a lick of paint would do it no harm to improve the user’s experience.
Another recommendation that I’m sure is being tweaked all the time relates to curriculum mapping. While the website maps to the Irish curriculum reasonably accurately, there are a few areas where this needs a little work. However, this can be easily rectified by the class teacher as it is a developmental website where teachers can source learning material from any year level to meet any student needs.
All in all, K7Math provides a teacher with everything they need to teach maths all the way from Junior Infants to 6th class. The author must have spent many months or years writing and collating all the resources and it’s certainly worth checking it out as a subscription for 12 months is only 7 euros. K7Math can be found at http://www.k7math.com.