Google Maps to Build Math Skills

Instructional Strategies: 
Interacting With Peers
Visual Representations
Thinking Aloud

I am currently traveling outside of the U.S. in an old city with a zillion winding streets, all of which have names I can’t pronounce. Google Maps has become my best friend. Given that there are multiple ways to spell the same street name, every time I successfully reach my destination, I say, “Thank you, Google”.

So I started thinking that teachers and students might say, “Thank you,” to Google for helping to strengthen math skills. For students with disabilities, the chance to see, enlarge, and hear directions and related information can support differentiated learning on multiple devices. A most obvious way to use Google Maps is for students to compare distances/time in routes when walking, taking public transportation, biking, and driving. The world opens up, as students explore their own neighborhood, state, region, as well as other countries. Multiple extensions for teaching geography, health and fitness, and English Language Arts abound. 

How do you or would you use Google Maps or any other map/location apps to teach math skills? The resources listed below can give you some ideas for creating lessons to meet your student’s differentiated needs.

Using Google Maps for math aligns to three of the eight math Instructional Strategy Guides in PowerUp What Works.  

All of these options will provide you with evidence-based strategies that are aligned to the Common Core Standards. Explore the suggestions for other technology tools to enhance teaching and learning.

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