Math Fridays Videoconference: Wikispaces Archive

Since Wikispaces is closing down, I’m moving my collaborative videoconference projects over to my blog for archiving. Great project formats can still be used and adapted!

Description: Math Fridays are intended to give students a chance to practice and develop their problem solving skills and to practice sharing and discussing problem solving strategies. Classes will create an interactive activity for their partner class to engage in.

VC Agenda:

  • 5 min. Introductions (be sure to prepare a map for each other)
  • 2-3 min. Both classes present to each other a problem (visually and orally).
  • 3-5 min. Sites mute. One site puts up a timer. Students work in small groups to solve the other class’ problem. Teacher facilitate but don’t help!
  • 3-5 min. Classes present solutions and discuss problem solving strategies.
  • 3-5 min. Classes share a math joke.
  • Repeat until you run out of time.
  • If desired, allow students 5 min or so to ask each other questions.


Problem Solving Strategies

  • Find a pattern
  • Make a table
  • Work backwards
  • Guess and check
  • Draw a picture
  • Make a list
  • Write a number sentence
  • Use logical reasoning

How To

Make sure you have a visual to explain the math problem(s) to the other class. These tips will assist you.

Creating Posters for Videoconferencing
This VC Poster Handout for students gives simple tips for clear presentations via posters.

PowerPoint Tips

  • Use a large font.
  • Don’t put too much text on the page.
  • Don’t use red for background or text.
  • Have a good contrast between text and background.
  • Blue backgrounds with white or yellow text work best.


Note: I am not maintaining these links. They are here for reference and history only.

Interaction Choices

Preparation Steps

  1. Talk to your partner teacher via phone or email and negotiate the details.
  2. Review math problem solving skills with the students ahead of time.
  3. Practice communication the method of solving the math problem (sharing strategies and discussing solutions).
  4. Organize students in small work groups of 3-5 students to solve the problems together. Make sure each group has pencils and paper and something hard to write on if you are moving to another room to videoconference.
  5. Designate a “game show host” type personality student at each site to welcome classes, congratulate each other, and keep score.
  6. Gather some math jokes to share with your partner class.
  7. Plan for a fun way to congratulate the other class when they solve a problem or share a good problem solving strategy (cheers, waving visuals etc.)


The following websites may assist your preparation. If you have other sites to add, click Join above so you can have access to edit this page.

Online Stopwatch
One class could use this (or another stopwatch on the document camera) while classes are problem solving:


Michigan Math Standards:

  • Standard V.2 Algebraic and Analytic Thinking. Students analyze problems to determine an appropriate process
    for solution.
  • Plus the standards for the skill set you’ve chosen.

VC Evaluation


Facilitator Resources

Email Confirmation Template

To: Teachers & techs on both sides, cc
Subject: Math Fridays: [topic] Confirmation: [date]

Greetings and welcome to our Math Fridays Videoconference Project. The goal of this project is to give students a chance to practice their math problem solving skills.

Dates & Times
[date & time in both time zones]

Technical Information:
[who] will dial.
[IP address]
If there are problems, please call [phone].

The lead teacher for this project is [local teacher name, email, phone, school name, city, state, country].
Topic & Format: [add it here]

The other participating school is:
[local teacher name, email, phone, school name, city, state, country].
Topic & Format: [add it here]

Preparation materials and resources are online:

For the actual connection, I recommend this format as a rough guideline:
5 min. Introductions (be sure to prepare a map for each other)
15-20 min. Challenge each other with math problems.
10 min. Ask each other questions if desired.

Action Items
Here’s what needs to happen next.
Teachers: Please email each other to discuss further.

  • Techs: Please confirm the connection details on the schedule and then set up a test call.

Let me know if you have any questions along the way. We really appreciate you participating in this project with us!

-facilitator name

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