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How to: Share & sell video lectures on Shamyn

There is an increasing amount of video content being uploaded for teaching mathematics. In fact, it can be hard to sift through the many lectures on websites like Youtube. When you share or sell video lectures on Shamyn, you can make sure your videos reach the right people who are the most interested in such content.

Why use video lectures?

As all experienced teachers know, students have many different ways of learning. The more ways we can teach, the better. Videos are also a great way to teach using distance and e-learning. Students are able to pause videos, re-watch them, and pick up on more detail than in person lectures.

How to sell video lectures

The following steps are summarized from this article.

  1. On the “New Product” or “Edit Product” page from your Vendor Dashboard, select “Virtual.”
  2. Upload your video to Youtube. If you want to make it only available to those who pay, then make sure it is “Unlisted” in the Privacy settings.
  3. On the “New Product” or “Edit Product” page, go to the “Advanced” tab, then the “Purchase Notes.” You can write in these notes the link to your unlisted video. This way, when someone purchases your video, they will receive the link to view it.
  4. If you want to make the video downloadable, you can check “Downloadable” next to “Virtual” in the “New Product” page and link to your video in Dropbox in the downloadable files section.

How to share video lectures for free

To share free videos, simply set the price to $0.00. This is an option for those of you who are wanting to promote your youtube channels or just want to share your videos with more math teachers and homeschoolers like yourself!

Ready to make passive income and level up your teaching?

Join our community to connect with math teachers and homeschoolers today! You can also check out our forums and shop for free resources. Sign up for an account to be part of our exclusive group of beta users. Questions or comments? Send me an email.

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How To: Upload a Product on Shamyn

In this post, I go through uploading a product in the marketplace step by step. The whole process is quick and easy, and takes less than 5 minutes! Take your teaching materials you’ve already created and start earning passive income today.

Step one: Register at Shamyn

Before creating a vendor account, first create an account with the website. This will ensure that your vendor account is linked to your profile. Also make sure to read some of the guidelines on what is acceptable before posting to our community!

Step two: Create a vendor account

Now it’s time to get started as a vendor in our marketplace. Read the terms and conditions before signing up. In the menu, hover over the “Sell” button and you will see a drop down menu. Select “Vendor Dashboard.” Here you will see the option to sign up as a Vendor on Shamyn. Check the boxes and complete the sign up.

Select “Vendor Dashboard” in the “Sell” drop down menu.
On the Vendor Dashboard you will see this screen. Here you sign up for a Vendor Account.

Step three: Upload a new product

Now the Vendor Dashboard will look as follows, in the below picture. Click on “Add New Product.” This will take you to the product edit and upload page.

Click on “Add New Product” to upload a product.

Here is an example of a product with information filled out.

Add New Product Page.

A few key things:

  • Make sure to select “Virtual” and “Downloadable” for the type of product.
  • You can set whatever price you want! If you type “0.00” then it will be a free download.
  • Be sure to upload a product image, and add descriptions. But it’s not necessary!
  • You can also include links to your store, your profile and other products in your description. This will help people find you!
  • You can always edit this later from you Vendor Dashboard.

Step four: View your product and share on social media!

Now that you have uploaded your first product, you can go ahead and check it out. Sharing on social media will also help more teachers find it to purchase, download and find out about our community.

The final product!


Uploading your first product to Shamyn is super easy and fast. Do you have any questions? Let me know in the comments below or feel free to contact us!

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How Will Teacher Salaries be Impacted by COVID-19?

While it’s not news that teacher’s are frequently underpaid for their education and expertise, with the recent events surrounding the unprecedented health crisis, those salaries may be cut even more. News articles are coming out stating that teacher’s salaries could be in even more trouble due to the coronavirus. Job opportunities could also be at risk. Many schools are closing for an interminable amount of time, and some parents are planning on homeschooling instead. What’s going on at your school? How will teacher’s salaries be impacted by coronavirus? Please comment below and join the discussion.

What are the current risks to teacher’s salaries?

As more student’s are learning online and schools are forcing a change to distance learning instead of the traditional classroom, teachers now have to work harder than ever at their jobs to keep up with changing times and help motivate students. Many teachers I follow on Facebook in various teacher groups have reported hiring freezes, pay freezes, pay cuts and more. It is truly sad that while teachers are having to create online materials and navigate technology, they are also having to worry about job stability. This loss of stability could even lead to an education crisis.

Should teachers get paid more or less?

Shockingly, some are arguing that teachers salaries should be frozen as a result of this crisis. While this means that teacher’s will not be able to get paid according to the vast amount of work they put in to their jobs, some parents, administrators and students agree. I myself have seen many students wanting refunds for college tuition because they are forced to take online classes, which are cheaper than in person classes. While I can understand this point of view, it is hard to balance making everyone happy.

Teacher’s gaining recognition during the Coronavirus outbreak

Luckily, many are arguing that teacher’s deserve more respect because of how we are handling this crisis. In fact, it seems as though in spite of dwindling school budgets and tuition, teacher’s are now having to work harder than ever and one can argue that they deserve to get paid accordingly. While it is nice that many teachers around the world are getting recognition for their hard work, it seems that there must be some balance between verbal praise and financial reward. Many educators have student loans to pay off and families to support during this difficult time.

What can teachers do?

There are a few options for teachers during this time. One area that can be of help, is looking at all the free online resources to move your classroom online. Here, I’ve specified some of the best free resources around the web for learning math. Specifically, there are some for precalculus and calculus. These free online tools and materials can help you create an easy to manage online course and interact with your students efficiently.

Another area that can be of help, is looking at side hustles. While many teachers drive for ride sharing companies or delivery services, there are also online side hustles. These online teacher side hustles are great because they can help boost your portfolio, can be done at home in your pajamas, and utilize your knowledge and skills to have a bigger impact on the world. Selling your teaching material online can also be a great way to make money off all the hard work you did putting together material for your students’ distance learning.

What are your thoughts?

Please comment below and let me know what you think! Are there pay cuts or hiring freezes happening at your school? Do you believe teachers should be paid more or less because of what is going on?

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Five Tools to Prevent Online Class Cheating

Academic dishonesty has been a hot discussion topic as more learning is taking place online. As stated in this article, online classes may be more conducive to cheating than live, in-person classes. So, what are some tools to prevent online class cheating? And what kind of technology is best able to help prevent and catch those who plagiarize or even hire out their work?

How do students cheat online?

Unfortunately there are many ways this can happen that teachers must be aware of. Students can use handheld devices during online exams to look up answers or share them with peers. There are also services that write term papers for students or even take entire online classes for students. This is incredibly unfair to the students that put the work in fairly and deserve their grades and credentials.

What can we do to prevent this?

Luckily there are many tools online that can help prevent cheating in online classes. There are also other methods that can help, such as switching up your assessments each term. Another way to do this is focus more on written, conceptual problems and projects. This makes it harder for students to cheat than if there is the same multiple choice exam each year. Staying current with e-learning trends will also help stay ahead of the new ways in which students try cheating.

Best tools to prevent online class cheating

1. Google Assignments

This product from Google combines various features to help with feedback and assessments for students and teachers. One helpful feature includes a tool that checks assignments for originality. It makes students aware of how original their work is and gives a few attempts for them to correct mistakes before turning in their assessments. This can help save teachers time and help give students the chance to make sure they are submitting original work.

2. Respondus Lockdown Browser

Lockdown browsers are helpful because they ensure that students are not clicking on new tabs and trying to get information from the web while taking online exams. The Respondus lockdown browser is free to use for students and integrates with Learning Management Systems such as Canvas. It can be used in conjunction with the Respondus Lockdown Monitor to enable proctoring of the exam.

3. Dupli Checker

While there are many free plagiarism checkers on the internet, Dupli Checker is a popular free tool with an easy user-interface that students and teachers can use to check work. There are three ways to upload work: either copy and paste, uploading a file, or comparing to a website url. This makes it easy to double check any specific students work.

4. ProctorU

What stands out about ProctorU is that it uses a multistep identification verification method to ensure that no imposters are taking an exam for a student. This product uses a three step method to not only catch students who cheat, but also try to deter them and prevent cheating in the first place. With less cheating, that is much less headaches for teachers.

5. Mendeley

There are some cases when students cheat, not out of malice, but because they do not understand how to cite their sources correctly. Mendeley is a reference management tool to make it easy to add references and cite work correctly. This tool can help prevent cheating and also help students learn how to correctly give credit where it is due.


While some say that cheating is easier for students in an online class, this does not have to be the case. For those of us who are new to distance learning and teaching online classes, there are many tools available to prevent online class cheating. My favorite tools are the ones that not only catch students who are trying to be academically dishonest, but also try to educate students and help prevent this from happening in the first place.

What do you think?

Have you tried any of these tools? What do you do to prevent academic dishonesty at your school? Leave a comment below! Join our community to meet more educators and continue the discussions.

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Are Your Online Students Cheating?

As many traditional classrooms move online, there is a concern over academic dishonesty. Many of us who have primarily taught in-person classes are left wondering how to navigate these challenges. I myself have wondered how common online students cheating is and how to overcome this. Read below a summary of how students cheat online and what to do about it. 

Why do we care about cheating when it comes to distance learning? 

As educators, one of our priorities is to uphold a standard of fairness to students. It is frustrating when some individuals break the rules and unfairly pass a course and receive credentials they do not deserve. This causes graduates to possibly obtain jobs they are unqualified for, and this can in turn reflect poorly on schools and teachers. If you move your in-person class to online, it is important to be aware of the extra challenges that come with this change in regards to academic dishonesty. Read on for tips on how to reduce the potential to cheat.

Is cheating more common in online classes than traditional courses?

According to this article in Forbes, teachers say that academic dishonesty is more common in online classes. However, an interesting study shows the reverse result; students cheat more in live classes. This discrepancy is interesting. Why do you think this is? Comment below with your thoughts!

It is difficult to know for sure whether academic dishonesty is more common in online or in-person classes. However, many of us are prepared for catching cheating in traditional classrooms but have not yet had to deal with cheating in online classrooms. So, how do students cheat online and how can we prevent it?

How do students cheat online?

Unfortunately there are several methods that students can use. According to this article, students can hire someone to impersonate them and take the online class for them. Students have also admitted to texting or looking up information using a handheld device during an exam, copying someone else’s work without credit or copying answers and work from someone else. There are even services online that will write term papers for students.

How can we prevent cheating in classes online? 

Luckily there are many resources online that can help prevent cheating. Pearson shares some ideas as well as EdTech. The main advice will be summarized below. I highly suggest checking out the EdTech article too, which contains a helpful infographic.

  • Clearly state expectations: By making sure students are aware of what constitutes cheating and the associated repercussions, this can make students think twice about cheating. The more clear the standards are the better.
  • Require identity verification: Luckily there are many free tools available online (blog post coming soon!) that help require students to verify their identity. When students must use student ID’s or passcodes this can help reduce the chance of someone else doing their assignments for them.
  • Vary assessments each term: Certain websites encourage students to share past exams, homework assignments and answers with each other. Changing them up will reduce the effects of cheating in this way.
  • Focus on written assessments and projects: When tests are multiple choice, it makes it easier or students to message each other and share what answers they got. With different assessments such as discussions, group activities and projects, students will have to produce work instead of just selecting an answer. This can help reduce cheating.


Whether or not there are more online students cheating than in live classes, it is an important concern. Fortunately there are many ways to decrease the risk of this happening in your classroom. With methods such as setting clear expectations, verifying identity, varying assessments and creating written projects, the overall risk of academic dishonesty will surely be reduced.

Check out this article to find out the best online tools to prevent cheating.

Join the discussion!

What are your tips? Have you dealt with any issues with online students cheating? Share your stories and opinion in the comments below!

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Categorical Data vs Quantitative Data

When studying data, one of the most important things to understand is the different types of data. Generally speaking, data can be divided into two broad categories: categorical data and quantitative data. How we analyze data depends on whether it is categorical (qualitative) or quantitative (also known as numerical). In this blog post I’ll go over the differences between each type and some real world examples.

Why do we care about types of data?

Statistical computing is becoming more common with the increasing accessibility of data. There are many fantastic tools available that help us crunch numbers and find insights with our data. However, these tools can be useless if we do not understand the data we are working with.

For example, certain measures must be taken if we are to perform linear regression using categorical data. However, the process of creating a linear regression model is quite simple if our data is numerical. On the other hand, frequency charts and tables can be created easily with categorical data but numerical data needs to be divided into classes before frequency can be counted.

It is important that before any statistical analysis is performed on your data, you first analyze the data itself. Understanding what kind of data you are working with will inform how you proceed with further analysis and creating models.

What is qualitative/categorical data? 

To put it simply, qualitative data describes qualities. For example, the color of a car is a quality. You would describe it as a word, such as blue, green or silver. You can also think of these different colors as categories. This helps remember what this type of data is about. If you see data that is a word, such as the city someone lives in, or the type of school they went to (private or public), that means the data is categorical.

Nominal or ordinal?

Let’s say you have taken a closer look at one of your variables and it’s categorical. Now, it can be further divided into two more categories. These categories are nominal or ordinal. Ordinal data means that there is a natural ordering. Nominal data does not have any such natural ordering.

This can be a little confusing, but I will clarify with some examples. A shirt size (small, medium or large) has a natural progression and is considered ordinal data. However let’s consider the state someone lives in (Arizona, Minnesota, etc). This data is nominal. But wait! Can’t you put states in alphabetical order? What about from smallest population to greatest? Or order them by the year they were founded? Great question. The fact that there are several ways you could order the states, and no single, obvious way, means they are nominal. The key to remember here is that ordinal data has one clear, obvious order, while nominal data does not.

What is quantitative data? 

This type of data is one that people may be most familiar with. Quantitative data describes numerical values. Going back to the car example, this type of data would describe the mileage of a car. It is a value that is described using numbers instead of words. Other common examples include business data such as salaries and sales, or demographic information like age and height.

Continuous or discrete?

Similarly to categorical data, continuous data can be further divided into two main categories. These two categories are continuous and discrete. The main idea is that continuous variables can take on any value within an interval. For example, someone’s height can take on any value between the minimum human height and the maximum human height. Data that describes money is also generally considered continuous, although you wouldn’t say that money would take on any value including fractions of pennies.

Discrete data, on the other hand, does not take on any value in an interval. This data has clear values. An example of this is how many siblings a person has. The value will be some integer, but it cannot be any value in an interval. Note that discrete variables do not have to only be integers. The sections of a textbook are distinct values like 1.1, 1.2, and so on, however these are discrete because the values cannot take on any numbers between 1.1 and 1.2. One way to keep these straight is to consider whether you’d like to list the possible values. If it is discrete, then writing down the possible values probably won’t take long. However if it’s a continuous variable, that would be an impossible task!


Categorical and quantitative data may appear confusing at first. However, there are some key concepts that help us understand what kind of data and variables we are dealing with. This is an important step to take before utilizing any statistical software or performing any time consuming analysis. Hopefully this blog post was helpful. For more information, here is a free download. Please let me know if you have any questions or requests for more information.

Join the discussion!

Comment below or check out our forums to talk to other teachers and learn more. Register now to build relationships with fellow educators and make an impact on the teaching community! Do you teach statistics and go over qualitative and quantitative data? What methods and definitions work best for you and your students?

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Five Best Online Math Teaching Tools

Why do we need online tools to teach math? 

Even though a lot of learning has been taking place online in recent years, it is more important than ever to have a blended classroom. Especially with our current health crisis, many of us are forced to teach remotely. This can make it difficult to keep students engaged and on task. With free online math teaching tools, we can help solve these problems quickly and create a better experience for our students.

How can teachers, parents and students use these online tools? 

These tools are all designed to help students learn and make teacher’s jobs easier. Since many students are now at home with parents who are working from home, the parents can hopefully check these free products out as well, in order to keep their children on task. Many tools are meant to help supplement lectures and assignments, however others can be integrated into existing classroom structures. 

What free resources are out there? 

There are many other free resources available for math and statistics teachers. For extra learning, math YouTubers can help explain concepts to students and give a different point of view. There are also nice free graphing tools available online. Certain resources are particularly beneficial for precalculus and calculus students. Below are some of the top free online math teaching tools to integrate into your classroom, which can be especially helpful for moving a traditionally taught classroom online. 

Five amazing online tools for math teachers: 

1. Nearpod

This website allows teachers to create interactive and engaging lessons for students. Using Nearpod, there are many free tools available to make online lectures come to life. It is also possible to assign self-paced lessons to students, which can help with the recent shift to online learning for many teachers. There is also a live instruction feature that can synchronize with video conferencing platforms to allow you to reach your students while they must stay at home for social distancing. 

2. Study Forge

Study Forge has comprehensive courses that integrate with learning management systems such as Canvas and Blackboard. Their online courses, including math, contain captivating content, insights and complete curriculum to enhance online teaching. A library of courses are included, all based on effective digital instruction. While licenses must be purchased to use, courses can be previewed for free. 

3. Free Math App

This website, Free Math, contains a tool that allows you to assign homework virtually. You can also grade the problems online, and the app will show you which problems were the hardest for students to complete. The grading portion also allows for you to give students partial credit for problems, which is a rare and valuable feature for an online homework system. This app integrates with Google Classroom, Canvas, Blackboard and more to allow easy grade book updates. 

4. My Open Math

This incredible resource combines a free online math textbook and practice problems with guided solutions. This website can be geared toward self-learners and also be used by teachers for their classroom. This interactive tool can help students learn at their own pace and get more help on the topics they may be stuck at. A lot of value is packed into this free, interactive resource. 

5. Delta Math 

Delta Math is an incredible tool that allows teachers to assign online homework to students for any subjects from middle school to AP Calculus. Both students and teachers can view many examples of their vast amount of problems. This can help students understand the steps involved with solving each problem. Many teachers use this popular option. 

Have you used any of these online tools for math teachers?

Let us know what you think and join the discussion in the forums or comment below! What other tools have you used? Which were the most beneficial? Were there any you tried and didn’t like? 

Want to make extra money and build relationships with fellow math educators? 

Create an account now to join our community and build on your professional portfolio!

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How to Make Money Selling Teaching Material on Shamyn

More and more, teachers are selling teaching materials online. This growing trend is due to many factors: slashed education budgets, stagnant wages and the increase of online learning. Some teachers may worry about the future of education due to lack of funding and options to make money as a teacher. However, with online communities like Shamyn, teachers have the opportunity to utilize their expertise to make more money and have their voice heard by other educators and students around the world. 

Why choose Shamyn? 

While there are several websites that encourage sharing of resources, Shamyn is the only one that focuses on a community aspect. This way, you can easily chat with the sellers and buyers of products, and get a feel for what kind of materials are most in demand. You can also join or create groups of like minded educators to collaborate and share with one another. 

Shamyn is also the only lesson sharing website that focuses on upper level mathematics. So, when you choose to become a seller, your audience is made up of fellow educators in your field who are on the hunt for more resources. Because this service is new and growing, you have the exciting opportunity to be one of the first sellers, and make a big impact. There is much less competition than the other lesson sharing websites which can seem cluttered with tons of irrelevant material that users must wade through.

What can you sell in the marketplace? 

Think about all the material you made when you first started teaching, or the innovative lesson ideas you’ve had throughout your career. Many fellow teachers would love to have materials like that in order to help streamline their lesson prep process. It is important though, due to copyright law, that the material you sell is your original work. 

Here are some examples:

  • worksheets
  • lecture notes
  • exams
  • assessments
  • study guides
  • and more!

It is important not to underestimate your creativity and the innovative ways you can help teachers everywhere. If you are not sure if something meets our guidelines, simply contact us and we will work with you to figure it out.

What are the things that you can’t sell? 

As stated previously, copyrighted or plagiarized material cannot be sold in the market place. If you do find any material that you believe infringes on copyright law, it is important to contact us right away. 

Since we are focused on helping educators, please only post educational material and no off-topic or inappropriate content as stated in our terms of use

If you already sell your material on another site, feel free to sell on ours as well. As long as no rules are being broken elsewhere, we highly encourage more sharing and uploading of original educational content. This means more impact and more passive income for you.

What’s your cut? 

Unlike some websites that demand teachers share for free, we give you the choice. You can set your price at $0 to create a free download, or you can make money selling at whatever price you choose. You retain 70% of your profits, while we take the remaining cut to cover business expenses. 

If you come across a better deal on another website, let us know and we will match their commission for you. Our goal is to make the process of empowering teachers as easy and fair as possible. 


Whether you have sold or shared material on other websites, or this is a new venture for you, we highly encourage you to try it out. As a teacher, you vast knowledge and expertise is invaluable in many ways. Many teachers have the opportunity to have a bigger impact, which can help look good for professional portfolios as well as help out with living expenses. It feels good to contribute to the world, especially when you are rewarded for your contributions. 

We aim to make our process as simple as possible, so that you can “set it and forget it,”  although we hope you stick around and check out our community as well. Because this site is so new, you have the unique opportunity to be one of the first and strongest voices to your peers. 

What are your thoughts? Feel free to shoot us an email or comment below! Join our community today to have fun and make money. 

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Seven Best Online Side Hustles for Teachers

How can we make extra money with online side hustles? As teachers, many of us have advanced degrees and a strong passion for helping students. Unfortunately we do not always make as much money as we deserve for all our work. Especially during this time with the unprecedented COVID-19 circumstances, many schools are moving online and may not be hiring as much as expected. This leaves us, as teachers, looking for more ways to remain financially stable and support our families. 

Online learning and making money

Online side hustles can be the best way to make extra money as a teacher. While it is especially important to work online these days, working from home and online will always be a great skill to have for the future. More learning is taking place online now than ever. Don’t let this trend leave you in the dust. With this list I’ll break down easy ways to stay ahead of the trends and make money while doing so.

Why do we need more online side hustles for teachers? 

There are a few reasons why side hustles can be great for teachers. Some of these job ideas can help you not only make extra cash, but also reach more students outside of your classroom. Still more jobs can help increase your professional image and boost your teaching portfolio and resume. 

Best Online Side Hustles for Teachers: 

1. Become an online tutor

With many online tutoring websites available, such as Wyzant and, this is an option that can help you make money on the subjects you are already an expert at. This also means you can reach more students who need help, and get paid fairly to do so, on your own free time. However, the draw back is that many of us do not have much free time available. Still, this option can pay well per hour and it’s always fulfilling to help students succeed.

2. Sell your materials online 

We’ve all been there: needing to come up with new teaching materials throughout the semester. It can be exhausting. However, once we have these materials, including lectures, curriculum and worksheets on hand, we can sell or share them online to other teachers. Many teachers are happy to pay a small fee for professional, easy to use content in order to save time creating it during a busy schedule. 

Simply upload your content to a lesson sharing website like Teachers Pay Teachers, Shamyn or Share My Lesson, and earn passive income on the work you’ve already done! 

3. Create a Youtube Channel

Video lessons are a great tool for many teachers and students. While there are already some great teachers using Youtube and other video sharing sites to make more money and more impact, there is always a need for more. If you are a teacher who has an interesting spin on teaching a subject, or you teach a niche subject, there is extra demand for video content from you! This side hustle can also be a fun way for teachers to practice public speaking and gain a bigger audience. 

4. Write an E-Book

This option might be a bit more time consuming, but a great way to make an impact and extra money. Many teachers have years of experience and teaching skill that is invaluable to others. Your book can be geared toward parents, students, administrators or other teachers.  Write in the comments below: what kind of book would you like to write? And what kind of books do you wish already existed for teachers, parents or students? 

5. Teach Online Courses

Because of websites like skillshare, edX, Udemy and more, this option allows you to set up an online course to teach. While it may take a bit of time investment up front, this can help you earn money quickly. Many of the online courses are set up so that courses can be taken electronically by students who sign up, and each new student is more passive income for you! It can also be a nice professional bonus to have more online teaching experience. 

6. Write Articles 

If you are a teacher that enjoys writing articles and blog posts, there are online publications that pay you to write for them. This can increase your audience and listeners, help you make extra money, and also spread your knowledge and experiences around the world. Some great options include We Are Teachers and their sister site School Leaders Now. Contributing to online publications can also help you connect with other educators. 

7. Give User Feedback

This option is a great win-win for teachers and entrepreneurs. Websites like TinkerEd connect teachers with EdTech startups. Teachers get paid to give their user input. This makes a huge difference to start up companies that are trying to help teachers and students and also will make you money. Your valued input will help shape the next amazing products being used in the classroom as well as help your bank account.

Comment and join the discussion below!

What’s your opinion? Do you have any side hustles or ways of making extra money? Post about your side hustles in the comments or forums.

Want to make extra money in no time?

Become a teacher vendor now by clicking here! Register now to meet teachers from around the world and sell your lessons. Make passive income on material you already created!

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Five Free Math Class Project Ideas for Teachers

In this post, I’ve compiled some interesting math class project ideas, group work and activities to incorporate into your classroom. Some of these teamwork, research and individual class projects I have tried with students already. Many were a big success. I hope that you will feel inspired by these ideas. Please share your thoughts by commenting below! I would love to hear more ideas from you. 

Why do we care about math class project ideas? 

There are many reasons why class projects can be useful for both teachers and students. Especially in mathematics, students often ask questions like “Why do I need to know this?”. I have found that sometimes, it is easier to help students discover the magic of math and its applications themselves. This can give students more perspective about why they are learning these mathematical concepts and how to apply them in their own lives, no matter what their interests and career aspirations are. These project ideas will hopefully inspire students to develop their critical thinking skills and help them understand what makes mathematics so important.

How can class projects be useful in a math class? 

Class projects can be useful in many different ways. They help to break up the monotony of all the homework assignments and tests. They also help students discover how math can be applicable in their own lives. Some projects ideas listed below can even help inspire students to follow a career path that involves math. These math class project ideas can also help students develop more valuable teamwork and presentation skills.

How can we integrate class projects in an online classroom? 

When compiling this list of math class project ideas, I aim to be considerate of the current needs of our teachers and community during this unprecedented COVID-19 crisis. Many classrooms are now online, and teachers are having to rethink much of their curriculum material. I hope that these ideas can be helpful and I invite you to share your ideas and feedback as well. All of these projects should be doable while maintaining social distancing. Through the use of products like Zoom and Skype, students should be able to communicate with their teachers and each other. More details on how this can be done are listed under each math class project idea. 

How can we encourage students to work together in math class? 

Many technical positions require teamwork and interpersonal skills. However, these skills tend to be underdeveloped in students who focus on technical classes. Because of this, it’s really important to give students opportunities to work together and present their findings to each other. Even though most of our classrooms have moved online, students should be able to contact each other through technologies such as email, Zoom and Skype. In fact, these students may find technological solutions for staying connected that we as teachers have not yet discovered!

These math class project ideas are flexible. Students can either perform the research and reflections together or individually. Alternately, you can put students with different ideas into small groups and ask them to present to each other and share what they’ve learned. Being able to explain math to colleagues is another valuable career skill. 

Here is the list of five project ideas for math classes:

1. Have students read a news article that includes graphs, data or key vocabulary words.

You can either select the articles for your students, or you can ask them to browse the web online and find their own. Next, I like to ask questions that guide the learning process.  The first few questions that students must fill out are on the basics of the math in the article. What vocabulary words do they notice? If there is a graph, what variables are being graphed? What trends do they see? Then I ask about what conclusions are stated in the article and ask what students think about these conclusions. Is it possible there is a biased or misleading conclusion? What problem solving methods were used? If the student were to conduct further research into this area, what would the student be interested in learning?

I love having students do this exercise because it helps relate what we learn in the classroom to real world situations. It also helps students learn to think for themselves and be critical of the many “click bait” type articles that use math to support their claims. This activity can be done by posting the articles and questions online, then asking students to answer the questions (either individually or as a group) and share their thoughts online using a system like Canvas, Blackboard or Zoom.

2. Ask students to interview someone who’s job uses math or statistics.

This project is a great idea for helping students explore career paths and understand the value of learning math. There are many great career opportunities for students who like math, such as actuarial science, teaching math, engineering and finance. It is also helpful for students to understand how math is used in other careers. For example, a student could interview a retail worker about the math behind discounts, or a waiter to learn more about calculating and adding up tips. For students who have already decided on a future career, this can be a great opportunity to start networking with professionals in that field and understand what math concepts can be useful for them to learn now in order to prepare. Students can reach out to professionals and interview them using Skype, email, or Zoom in order to learn successfully while also maintaining social distance. 

3. Ask students to pick something (technology, artwork or nature) and write a report about the mathematics behind how it works.

There are many wonderful ways in which math is incorporated with the world around us. This subject is highly involved with music theory, for example. Art also has a lot of mathematical principles such as the golden ratio, and fractals which also appear in nature. Students may enjoy having a chance to explore their creativity and see how math touches many subjects that may not seem very “mathematical” at first glance. This activity can be done online and at home, with students picking an area of interest and researching online, then electronically turning in their responses. This can be made into a group project where students pick different mathematical concepts relating to the same overall category, or where students each pick something different and share with each other and reflect.

4. Ask students to view an applied math or statistics colloquium from university and write a reflection.

This is one of my favorite projects that a professor of mine would assign for extra credit. Even though I always liked math, it wasn’t until I went to applied math colloquia that I became fascinated with the ways in which math is applied in different areas. Luckily for us, many universities have colloquiums and lectures posted online that anyone can view for free. If you have trouble finding one, comment below or email me and I’m happy to send you some resources. Students can reflect on what concepts they understand from the talk, what they do not understand, what they are interested in learning more about, and how they think these mathematical concepts can be applied in other ways. This type of reflection and learning helped me become passionate about the field of mathematics and will hopefully inspire some of your students as well!

5. Have students watch a movie with a historical math based plot and write about what really happened in the real life story.

There are many amazing math movies available such as Stand and Deliver, Hidden Figures and the Imitation Game, that are all based on true stories. Asking students to pick a movie to watch and then dig into the real history behind the movie can be a fun way to bring context to what they are learning in the classroom. An alternate idea is to ask students to pick a famous mathematician and write about that person’s life and how they contributed to the field of mathematics. Students will hopefully have more understanding of the importance of math throughout history and be excited about the possibilities of future math research. Once again, this research can be done online by students and can be turned in electronically. 

Please share your thoughts and ideas!

What math class project ideas do you have? What math projects have you incorporated into your classroom? How did it go? Join the discussion and leave a comment!

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