Free Secondary Math Resources
1. Translating Algebraic Expressions Activity for Google
In this self-grading digital activity, students are given a variety of expressions containing addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division and must match the algebraic expression to the correct verbal expression. Designed in Google Forms, it's already set up to be graded automatically, all you need to do is share a link! It's also editable so you can make changes before assigning it to students.
*New to this type of activity? Learn how to edit and assign activities in Google Forms.
2. Adding Positive and Negative Integers Digital Activity for Google
Do your students struggle with the signs of positive and negative numbers when adding? This self-checking activity is a perfect way for students to get instant feedback on their answers. Designed in Google Sheets, it's set up to automatically let students know if their answers are correct as they type them in.
*New to this type of activity? Learn how to use self-grading activities in Google Sheets.
3. Area of Rectangles Activity for Google or Easel
There are TWO ways you can use this digital activity. You can assign it through Google Forms or with TpT's Easel. Both options are set up to be graded automatically.
*New to using Easel? Learn how to use Easel Assessments, a new digital tool from Teachers Pay Teachers.
4. Simplifying Radicals Boom Cards
Boom Cards are one of my favorite things! In this activity, students practice simplifying radicals using the imaginary number i. They're shown one question at a time and LOVE getting instant feedback as they practice simplifying square roots of negative numbers.
New to Boom Cards? See 7 Things to Love About Boom Cards and How to Get Started with Boom Cards.
I hope these free math activities are helpful for you! Let me know what you think in the comments below. Many of them can be used as bell-ringers, exit tickets, with math centers, or as a worksheet alternative. Didn't find what you were looking for? Click HERE to find more middle school and high school activities.
I've created a free checklist template you're welcome to use. This sample checklist is perfect for teachers to use in the classroom to keep track of assignments, projects, quizzes, etc. It's editable, so you can make any changes you'd like. Keep reading for directions on how to edit and create your own from scratch. Make sure to scroll to the bottom to grab the free checklist template.
How to Make and Edit a Digital Checklist
It's super easy to add checkboxes in Google Sheets! Watch the short video below to see how to make your own, or keep scrolling for written directions.
How to Add Checkboxes:
Highlight the cells where you'd like checkboxes to appear. Go to Data, then Data Validation. Under Criteria, change List from a Range to Checkbox.
How to Change the Color of Checkboxes:
Highlight the checkboxes you'd like to change. Click on Text Color (the A with the underline). You can choose from the provided colors or click the plus button for more specific options.
How to Add Point Values to Checkboxes:
Highlight the checkboxes you'd like to change. Go to Data, then Data Validation. Check the "Use custom cell value" box. Enter the number you'd like each box to be worth where it says checked. Enter 0 where it says unchecked.
How to Create Alternating Row Colors:
Select the rows you'd like to change. Go to Format, then Alternating Colors. You can choose from a default color choice or individually choose each color.
You may know that I love to use Boom Cards, Google Forms, and Google Sheets to make activities that grade themselves. We can now add another platform to the list! Easel is a brand-new tool from Teachers Pay Teachers that allows you to easily create self-grading activities.
I LOVE it when digital activities can give students instant feedback as they work and are graded automatically for math teachers at the same time. Teacher Pay Teacher's new digital Easel tool makes it super easy to create self-grading, editable activities! If you're brand-new, make sure to check out this short preview video of TpT's Easel Assessments tool to see how it works.
You can easily add or delete questions and change the answer choices. You can also choose if you want students to see the correct answers, or if you want the questions or answer options to be shuffled. Keep reading to see step-by-step directions on how to create and edit your own activities.
Don't have time to make your own and just want some that are ready to go? You can check out my pre-made math activities for Easel. These activities can be used in Google if you're more familiar with using Slides and Forms, or you can use them in TpT's new Easel tool.
How to Edit an Easel Assessment on TpT
I created a free math activity for Easel assessments if you want to try it out. Click on the View 2 Files button first, then click on the "Preview and Assign" button to open it in TpT's Easel tool.
Once you're in your Easel dashboard, just click on the Factoring Quadratics activity and you'll see a screen like the one below.
I love that the Easel assessments are editable! If you're someone who's always making tweaks to make an activity just right for your students, you'll like the options you have to edit an activity in Easel.
Want to add more questions to an activity? Click on the +Add button on the bottom left. Want to change the answer options? Click on any of them and type in what you want. You can also add more answer options if you'd like.
If you don't like a question or want to create a similar one, you can click on any of the questions on the left. It will highlight in blue and you'll see a copy button to duplicate the question and a trash can if you want to delete it.
You can also change the answer options from a single correct answer to multiple correct answers if you'd like. To do this, click on the right where it says "Single Select" under Answer Options. You also have the choice to make a poll or a True/False question.
How to Assign an Easel Assessment to Students
Once you've made all the edits you want, you can preview the activity by clicking on "View as Student" at the top right. This will show you what the activity will look like for your students.
Once it's ready to go, you can generate a link to share with students by clicking on the blue "Assign" button at the top right.
You'll see a button that says "Invite Students" on the next screen. Make sure you look at the settings for instant feedback (if you want students to see the correct answer after each question) and the shuffle options (you can shuffle the answer questions and/or the answer options) BEFORE you assign to students.
**These settings cannot be changed after you assign the assessment to students.
Once you have the settings how you'd like them, click on the blue "Invite Students" button. This will generate a link you can copy and share with students to assign the activity.
If you're assigning the activity to more than one class and you want to keep the reports separate, you can click on the "Create New Code" button to generate different links for your classes.
When students click on the link, they'll see a screen like the one below. They can sign in using Google or sign in using and email through TpT's Easel platform. You may want to remind students to enter their first and last name after they sign in.
Students will see a little countdown and then the activity will begin. If you left the instant feedback option on, they'll see the correct answers for any questions they miss.
How to See Student Reports on TpT's Easel Assessments
As students complete the assessment, TpT's Easel tool will automatically grade the activity and create a report for you!
To see student scores, you'll click on the "Overview" option on the dashboard (the same screen you were on to assign the activity). You can also click on "Questions" if you want to see how students are doing on a specific question.
How to Get to Your Easel Assessments in TpT
If you log out of TpT and need help getting back to your Easel activities and assessments, look at the top right of the Teachers Pay Teachers homepage. You'll see an option for Easel, and then a green box will show up for you to open Easel.
How to Create an Assessment in Easel (from scratch)
If you want to create your own assessments, go to your Easel dashboard (see steps above). You'll see a blue "Create" button at the top. Choose which type of Easel resource you'd like to make and a new one will open for you.
If you like self-grading math activities, you won't want to miss this new digital tool created by Teachers Pay Teachers. Check out the short video below to learn more:
Here's what I really like about Easel assessments:
Want to try it for yourself? Check out my sample Easel Assessment here. You can see what it looks like as a student or a teacher.
What do you think? Is this type of self-checking activity something you'd use in your math classroom? Do you want to learn how to make your own or could you use some that are ready to go?
Let me know in the comments below or click on the Contact button at the top to send me an email!
I was creating an Algebra 2 activity the other day in Google Sheets and realized there's no built-in editor to add subscript or superscripts. What's a math teacher to do?
I could have gotten around this problem by inserting the problems as images (like I did in this digital exponents activity). But I did a little searching online and figured out that you can use Unicode Symbols or the CHAR function to create superscripts and subscripts (sounds complicated, but not as bad as you think).
I made a handy template you can have and all you need to do now is copy and paste! Make sure to grab it below.
Here's a quick snapshot of the activity I came up with (see the full logarithm activity). Instead of having to add each logarithm as an image, I used Unicode symbols to create the subscripts so I could type in each problem.
To make it even easier for other teachers, I created a free template you can grab and just copy and paste when you need a subscript or superscript. If you want to be extra fancy and use something that's not listed, you can go to compart.com and search for what you need.
Want to learn more about creating self-checking, digital math activities? Check out the blog posts below:
How to Create a Self-Grading Activity in Google Forms
How to Make and Edit Math Activities in Google Sheets
How to Make Interactive, Self-Grading Boom Cards
Short on time? Check out my ready-made activities! You can search for a specific math topic or save money by grabbing a bundle of digital math activities.
One of my goals with Kate's Math Lessons is to create activities that will SAVE TIME for teachers. I love to make self-grading math activities because I know students love getting instant feedback and because teachers don't have to spend time grading them.
I love using Google Forms to create digital math activities because they're easy for teachers to edit if needed and so easy to assign. I also love that Google does all the grading for you! Make sure to check out the links below if you're new to using Google Forms.
How to Create a Self-Grading Math Activity
How to Edit and Assign Google Forms in Your Math Classroom
Test Out a Free Google Forms Activity
New Autosave Feature in Google Forms
Another bonus: You don't need to do anything to start using this new feature. The new Autosave feature should now be on by default for some Google Workspace domains and will be on by default for all domains by September 15th. In order to save their progress, just make sure students are logged into their Google account before they begin working.
How to Turn Off Autosave in Google Forms
There may be some situations where you don't want students to be able to use the Autosave feature. For example, if you need students to complete the activity by the end of a class period so they can't look up answers after class.
Looking for a ready-to-go set of Google Forms you can use in your math classroom this year? Check out the digital activities below!
Can you homeschool upper-level math if you're not a math expert? If your math skills are a little rusty and you're feeling unsure about homeschooling when your kids get to high school, this post is for you!
As an experienced teacher with a degree in mathematics, I obviously love math, but I completely understand that it's not everyone's favorite subject! Math can be intimidating, but it doesn't need to be.
Sarah from Homegrown Scholars describes math as "The Nellie Olson to my Laura Ingles." If she can homeschool math, so can you! Here are my top 5 tips to help you homeschool high school math:
1) Find an Online High School Math Curriculum
Even if you're great at teaching math, it's ok to outsource it! Amy from Rock Your Homeschool is a self-described math nerd (she took Calculus 3 in college for fun!) and has learned some important lessons over her past 9 years of homeschooling: "One of those lessons is that it is that it's totally okay to outsource certain subjects. You don't have to do it all, especially when you're trying to homeschool multiple ages!"
I love what Sarah from Techie Homeschool Mom had to say about this: "Teaching math in your homeschool (especially for high school levels) doesn't have to be scary! Outsourcing to online learning is a great option, and has many advantages over traditional book learning. Online courses are usually taught by experienced teachers, teaching what they know and love. Most lessons are self-paced, meaning your kids can learn on their own schedule and work to mastery. And, instead of taking on all the responsibilities as "teacher", you are more free to come alongside your kids as their guide. Online learning isn't going anywhere, and as your homeschooler takes online classes, they are learning HOW to learn online which is a skill they will need throughout their life."
There are so many advantages to an online math curriculum, but there are so many to choose from. You'll want to do your research and decide which one best meets your needs. Here are a few helpful reviews of resources to help you get started:
2) Find Ways to Supplement Your Math Curriculum
I've lost track of the number of different textbooks and online resources I've used over my teaching career, but I can say that I've had to supplement each one. It's rare to find a one-size-fits-all curriculum that's going to be exactly what you need.
Amanda from Wander Homeschooling recommends using your curriculum as a guide and to tweak when needed. I also liked her advice to take breaks and cut lessons in half when your child is feeling overwhelmed. Flexibility and the ability to supplement the material are just a few great things about homeschooling!
Fortunately, there are a lot of high-quality resources available to help fill in the gaps and enrich the curriculum that you decide to use. Here are a few favorites:
Kate's Math Lessons: A website with a wide variety of online math lessons with examples, practice quizzes, and activities. If your child prefers video, you'll want to check out my math video courses. I'm unable to keep up with requests for private tutoring these days, so this is my next best thing if your student needs extra help! For those of you wrapping up Algebra 1 or getting ready to start Algebra 2, don't miss this Algebra 1 Review Course.
Xtra Math: This website is great for remediation if your child needs to work on their foundation of basic math skills to make high school math easier. Mary Wilson recommends extending the time limit as the teacher and types the answers for her kids so they can focus on just yelling out the facts. You'll want to check out Mary's Math Fact Practice List for more great ideas to help your student review their math facts without flashcards.
IXL: I've used this website for years with students and love the instant feedback they get as they practice. It has practice problems from Pre-K to Calculus.
3) Keep a Math Notebook
Even if you decide to use an online curriculum, it's still important for your child to take written notes. The physical act of writing helps our brains remember information and written notes are so helpful for students to refer back to as they work.
4) Don't Forget the Basics
Della from The Beauty of Play says, "We tend to think that older children don't need to use them, but I find manipulatives, especially when we hit factoring polynomials to be highly useful."
Manipulatives are not just for elementary. They're especially helpful in Geometry to help students visualize surface area and volume. Here are a few of my favorite manipulatives for middle and high school math:
Fraction Tiles - Students are going to be working with fractions all throughout high school math. These are great even to just have out as a visual reminder.
Folding Geometric Shapes - The key to these is the removable folding exterior! Incredibly helpful when teaching surface area of prisms and cylinders.
AngLegs and Protractor Kit - These movable pieces are great when learning about angles in Geometry.
Hands-On Equations - I LOVE Hands-On Equations. This is an incredible way to help students physically represent linear equations with game pieces.
5) Play Dumb Even if You Know the Answer
If you know the answer to your child's math question, pretend you don't! Make them tell you what they already know about the topic and push them to figure out how their problem is different from one they know how to do. A huge part of your job as your child's teacher is to help them become an independent learner. Teaching is not about the ability to spout off the correct answer when asked. Give your children tools and strategies they can use when they don't know an answer.
If you're feeling frustrated with homeschooling high school math, Bekki from A Better Way to Homeschool has a great free printable reminder list to help you stay focused on the heart of homeschooling. Don't lose sight of the reasons you chose homeschooling when you get to the hard subjects and reach out for help when you need it.
I hope these ideas will be helpful for you! What other ideas or tips do you have for homeschooling high school math? I'd love to know! Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
Thank you to those of you who were able to join the webinar on resources for teaching math remotely! The presentation part of the webinar is now posted below for those of you who missed it.
Links and free products mentioned in the webinar are posted below, as well as a few additional resources I think you might also be interested in.
Remote Math Instruction Ideas
1) Kate's Math Lessons: Free math lessons with videos and practice quizzes. There is a wide variety of free Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1, Algebra 2, and Geometry lessons available for you to use with your students. Many have accompanying digital activities to use that are graded automatically.
2) EdPuzzle: Make a video interactive by adding in your own questions or notes. This is a great way to add in pauses to a video where students have to stop and answer questions before continuing. Their Getting Started page has lots of helpful information if you want to learn more about using existing EdPuzzles or making your own. They have an entire library you can search to see exactly how to create and assign video lessons, see student reports, export grades, and more. Their free version allows you to store up to 20 videos in your account. If you refer another teacher, they increase the number of videos you can store. There's also a Pro version available for schools to purchase that includes unlimited uploads.
Digital Math Activities for Distance Learning
1) Google Forms: You can turn a Google Form into a quiz that's graded automatically! You can use this Free Activity for Google Drive that I've created as a template and edit to fit your needs. Or read How to Create Self-Grading Quizzes with Google Drive for step-by-step directions on making your own.
2) Google Sheets: You can also turn a spreadsheet into a self-checking activity! Check out this free digital math activity to see how it works. Students get instant feedback as they type in their answers. You can also learn how to make your own math activities in Google Sheets.
3) Go Formative: You can use this website to turn a paper worksheet into a digital activity. You can upload a worksheet from your computer or take a picture and upload as an image, then add interactive questions! There's also a great "Show Your Work" option, which inserts a whiteboard for students to draw on or they can upload a picture of their work. Make sure to check out their Quick Start guide if you're new to Go Formative. If you learn best by watching video tutorials, they have helpful videos here. They also have a pretty extensive help center to learn how to Create/Manage Classes, how to Create a Formative, how to Assign a Formative, and more.
4) Boom Cards: Digital, Self-Grading Task Cards. These are my favorite digital math activity because they're so interactive and students love getting instant feedback on their answers. Students are shown one question at a time (one card in the "deck" of Boom Cards) and they get immediate feedback. The program allows them to try again if they get it wrong. Once they've gotten a question correct, the program moves them forward to the next card.
You can search the Boom Learning Store for decks that have already been created or can make your own decks of Boom Cards.
The links below are a good place to get started if you're new to Boom Cards:
What are Boom Cards?
How to Get Started with Boom Cards
Helpful Video Tutorials
How to Make and Sell Your Own Boom Cards
5) Additional Resources Here are a few more resources that I think are also helpful for teaching math remotely.
Kahoot: a game-based learning platform that can be used in the classroom or remotely. Here's a helpful article to learn how to use Kahoot in a Google Classroom.
Quizziz: Use free existing quizzes or create your own.
Flip Grid: Record and share videos to connect with your students.
Desmos: Much more than just an online calculator! They have lots of activities you can use remotely with students. Check out how to use a Desmos Card Sorts.
Pear Deck: A Google Slides Add-on. Allows you to add interactive questions and formative assessments to your Google Slides.
If you have digital activities or resources you think should be added to the list, please let me know in the comments below!
If you've downloaded one of my digital math activities made with Google Forms, here are the steps you can take to make changes and send to students.
Step 1: Click the activity link in the pdf.
When you click on the link, it will ask you to make a copy in your Google Drive. Please note that this is not the link that you will share with students.
Step 2: Edit questions if desired.
You can make any changes to the activity before assigning to students. You can add or delete questions, change the answer type (multiple-choice, short answer, etc.), change the order of the questions, etc.
Step 3: Edit automatic grading settings if desired.
I set up my activities in Google to be graded automatically! The current settings are to release grades immediately and students will be able to see the point values and correct answers.
These settings can easily be changed by clicking on Settings, then on Quizzes. You can change it to allow students to see the results after you’ve manually reviewed them and can also select if you want them to see the correct answers or not.
Step 4: Assign to Students
Click the SEND button at the top of the form to assign the activity.
You can enter student email addresses, get a link to share with students, or use an embed code. Note: the link you will share with students is not the same as the link in the pdf.
Step 5: See Student Results
Students complete the digital activity and hit submit. You can see their answers by clicking on “RESPONSES” at the top of your Google form.
After students have submitted their scores, you can easily see which questions were missed and can create a spreadsheet or download their scores.
I hope these activities will be helpful to you!
If you're looking for more digital activities for Google, don't forget you can save $$ by buying math activity bundles. As an extra bonus, when I add activities to a bundle that you've purchased, you get them for free!
Google Forms™ vs. Google Sheets™
With distance learning, I know many of you have made the switch to using more digital activities this year and I'm guessing you may already know how to make math activities in Google Forms. These are great because Google can grade them for you and it's so easy to see student results (you can try one of my math activities for Google Forms for free to test it out).
I love using digital activities with Google because they're so easy to assign with just a link and students love the automatic feedback they get. I also love how easy it is to see which questions students are getting wrong as you make remediation plans.
Did you know that you can set up activities to be graded automatically in Google Sheets as well? This spreadsheet style of activity can be set up to give students instant feedback on their answers. Students type in their answers and it's set to automatically let students know when their answer is correct. I love how you can quickly glance around the room and see the colors changing on students' screens as they work.
The great thing about this type of activity is that they're editable! You can type in your own questions or insert a picture and I'll show you how to edit the answer so the color changes automatically.
How to Make Your Own Self-Grading Math Activities
Step 1: Copy my template
The easiest way to start making your own is to make a copy of one of mine as a template. Don't worry if it's not the topic you want, I'll show you how to change the questions in the next steps.
Click on the picture below to download a free template.
Step 2: Edit the Questions
You can double click on any question and type in your own. You can also insert an image to use as a question, just click on Insert at the top and select Image. You'll likely have to adjust the size of the cells if you choose this option.
Note: You should get a "Heads Up! You’re trying to edit part of this sheet that shouldn’t be changed accidentally. Edit anyway?" message when you go to edit. I set up this notification so that students don't accidentally delete the questions as they work on the activity.
Step 3: Edit the Answers
Start by right-clicking in cell C5 (the first green correct cell). Choose Conditional Formatting. Double click on the right where it says Custom formula is =$B$5=7
This is set up to accept 7 as the correct answer. Delete the number 7 and type in the answer for your new question that you created in cell A5. Then hit Done.
Next, click in cell D5. This is the cell that will show up as orange and say Incorrect if the answer is incorrect. Right click and choose Conditional Formatting again. Double click on the right where it says the Custom formula is =$B$5<>7. This is set up to turn the cell orange if the answer is not 7. Delete the 7 and type in the new correct answer. Hit Done when ready.
You can also edit the colors of the cells and change the Correct and Incorrect wording if you'd like.
Step 4: Assign to Students
When you're ready, send to students! See the directions in the free download for more details on this step.
How Will You Use These Self-Grading Math Activities?