Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Math Games

Last night I listened in to the Global Math conference on games for the classroom.  I was intrigued and admittedly a bit intimidated.  Games are not my forte ... especially not online games.  I realize in this area I am behind the times!  I am a digital immigrant ... and doing fairly well with various productivity tools.  But I haven't spent much time with gaming.  Last night someone mentioned the Factor Game ... I have played that but had forgotten about it.  In going to the site today, I see that Illuminations has added a number of games at their Calculation Nation site.  Since all of our students are being issued laptops this week, I'm thinking about giving students the opportunity to earn a little extra credit if they will play these games and write a review of them for me.  

I am exploring Manga High as another option for online game playing.  I'm not familiar with the games there enough to comment on them yet.  But I am hoping they can serve as a tool for review of basic algebra skills. 

I am familiar with a few math games that are not computerized like Set and Equate.   I used to play Set with students often.  (The students I worked with didn't enjoy the Equate game!)  I am in a different environment now and there is so little down time so I haven't explored Set with my current students.  In reviewing the game today, I discovered there is a daily Set puzzle online ... might have to strain my brain a bit with this!

An interesting coincident today ... checked my email for my daily news from NCTM ... and yes, there is an article about games!  (Do you subscribe to the NCTM Smartbrief news service??  I highly recommend it).  The article today is about Girls and Games: What's the Attraction!

“When we asked them about springs and levers, they had no understanding of why they were important in the real world,” Van Voorhis said. “But when we were able to situate those kinds of tools in a real-world context, where they were solving a problem that was directed towards social good, we saw the engagement numbers pop.”  girls were talking about physics or game play 76 percent of the time and were only off topic 5 percent of the time."

Embedded in the article about girls and games is a link from April 2012 entitled, What’s the Secret Sauce to a Great Educational Game?  The article highlights the game, Zombie Division.  Their research is summarized in this sentence, "The results were clear: The children who had played the intrinsically-rewarding game learned more math."

It's time for me to catch up!  Looks like there is some gaming in my future!

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