With schools closed parents and students form grades 4-12, have access to additional online learning tools especially for math and computer skills from lessons offerered free from the University of Waterloo in Ontario (MATH COMPUTER Juliya Shangarey-Shutterstock)

University creates online tool for students now at home to keep up math skills

With schools closed across the country due to the pandemic, parents are concerned about children falling behind on lessons.

While schools and teachers are trying in most cases to provide online lessons, additional resources are always helpful.

To that end, the University of Waterloo in Ontario  has created a collaboration among faculty members, and current and retired secondary school teachers to create content for math and computer skills learning.

The  online resource is developed by the University’s Centre for Education and Mathematics and Computing (CEMC), and  is called CEMC at Home

The lessons are designed with four grade segments in mind, Gr 4,5,6,  Gr.7.8, Gr 9/10 and Gr.11/12 involving games, problems to solve, videos

How good are you? Example of a CEMC at Home   math challenge for children – Tuesday, April 7, 2020 “Carrying a Tune”

While exploring in the woods, you have found and captured five Pure Tones: magical objects that each produce a single, pure musical note. You have put these Tones in glass jars labelled 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, organized from lowest note to highest note.
In order to take these Tones home, you have to transport them across a river, from the south side to the north side. However, your boat only has storage space for two Tones at a time, plus a seat for you, the driver.
The problem is that these Tones only stay quiet while you are watching them. If they are left alone on one side of the river, they will start making noise. If Tones that are one note apart are left together (like 1 and 2, or 4 and 5), their combined noise will shatter their glass jars, and they will escape.
Design a set of trips back and forth across the river so that you and the five Tones end up on the north side together, without any of them escaping. The table below may help organize your thinking.

U Waterloo, CEMC

The CEMC has also already been offering subscriptions to “problem of the week” which are all in English but can be combined with French, Spanish, and Bahasa Indonesian.

In addition  CEMC courseware which covers the provincial curriculum of Ontario (along with that of some other provinces) for grades seven to twelve. These include interactive activities and practice with feedback.

The university estimates its courses and problem of the week are already reaching over a million people as many of the subscribers are teachers themselves.

While this has been an excellent resource and praised by educators and parents, there remains a drawback to all efforts at online learning while schools are closed. There are several cases where there is no internet access or where parents can’t afford access or computers. Provincial governments and local school boards say they are working towards solutions.

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