Previously I did a review of the Common Core aligned math content site Math Chimp. In this post, creator Tom Gaultney, a Walton High School alum, gives more insight on the website.

Compared to the many educational websites out there, Math Chimp may appear pretty typical. But it’s a site that could not have existed even five years ago.

It wasn’t until 2009 that states adopted what’s known as the “Common Core” -- a shared set of standards to guide learning across the US.

Before the Common Core, each state had its own set of unique standards for each grade level. A second grade student in Kansas might be learning at a different pace than a second grade student in Georgia. With 45 states now using the Common Core, these disparities are narrowing.

The arrival of the Common Core has been particularly meaningful for online educational resources, which were hampered by the wide variations in state standards and goals. Teachers previously had trouble making effective use of online material because they couldn’t easily tell if the material fit their particular class.

I immediately saw an opportunity in the arrival of the Common Core. With Math Chimp, which I created in 2010; I help teachers and parents take the guesswork out of finding new online learning activities by aligning them with the Common Core standards.

But as with any new tool, there’s a learning curve.  I’m often asked, “How can I get the most out of Math Chimp?”

Here are five things you can do to get the best use of Math Chimp.

1 – Get comfy with the Common Core.  Once you select your grade level on the website, Math Chimp will customize what you see so it only lists the relevant activities.  You’ll get the most out of the site by digging even deeper by selecting the learning objective you’re interested in.

2 – Understand the range of activities available. Math Chimp has material that covers the full spectrum.

  • Instructional videos – These range from 1 to 12 minutes.  
  • Games – Many of these are multi-player. Students can play games that have math practice as a primary focus.
  • Worksheets – There’s a strong following of educators that use worksheets to reinforce basic math concepts. Math Chimp has lots available.

3 – Use the site to reinforce classroom learning at home. Ideally, students will use Math Chimp to reinforce classroom learning. Students can review a concept with a video, apply concepts in a game or assess mastery with worksheets.

4 – Help keep Math Chimp organized. There’s a little red flag next to every activity on the site. If you think an activity has been categorized incorrectly, please click the flag so I can keep the site at its best.

5 – Help Math Chimp grow! I’ve identified and organized over 500 activities from all over the web, but those are only the tip of the iceberg.  In the works is an activity listing tool for teachers, meant to enable teachers and parents to contribute activities they’ve found on the web. I expect to launch it in early 2013.