# Category Archives: math games

## Motion Math

First there was Motion Math. Then Motion Math: Zoom. Now the family has grown to include Motion Math: Hungry Fish and Motion Math: Wings. Each game explores different math concepts in a way that takes great advantage of the iPod/iPad motion sensor and touch controls. All of them are either free or offer a free lite version. Full versions aren’t that much more expensive (0.99 to 6.99). These games are on the better end of the math game scale, as they develop conceptual understanding through the use of visual representations of concepts and go much further beyond the math drill digital worksheet that many apps are.

## Aboriginal Games

Here’s a page entitlted “Games from the Aboriginal People of North America”. Though I can’t say I’ve sat through and read it all, I thought I would share it and let YOUR comments tell us how you feel about the resources.

## Lure of the Labyrinth

If I haven’t mentioned this to you yet, either I haven’t actually seen you OR you weren’t listening, because I’ve been telling everyone lately about the MIT created Lure of the Labyrinth game. This comic book style, immersive experience of learning mathematical concepts at middle grade level is my new favourite thing. The more I play it, the more I’m amazed. I see it as fun for all ages, and of course, a million times better than doing worksheets or drill. Though, that goes without saying. The truly impressive element of Lure of the Labyrinth is how it creates a puzzling environment that challenges students to test their mathematical thinking and to naturally develop conceptual pieces of middle grade math ideas.

Currently, a contest is running for grades 6 to 8 students, working in groups of 4 to 6. All they need to do is have a teacher create their teams and register at http://www.lureofthelabyrinth.net between April 1st and June 15th. However, the challenge is just a contest that MIT is hosting to gather data on students and gaming. Anyone can play the game, regardless of age (and trust me, this is one of those “fun for all ages, 8 to 88, kind of deals”) by going to the main website.

Check out this website Scoop for some more info.

## Teachers’ Domain: Lure of the Labyrinth

Teachers’ Domain: Lure of the Labyrinth

Check out the video above if you want to learn more about the Lure of the Labyrinth. It has a great recap of what the game is about, as well as some firsthand accounts of how teachers have used the game to supplement their lessons and student learning in the classroom.

## Try These Math Games Over the Holidays

I stumbled upon this interesting math site of quick math games for students to use that will support a variety of math strands and skills. Honestly, it was the Pac Man image that lured me to the site, and after a quick game of Math Man (swallow a question mark circle, which gives you an equation, which is the next ghost you need to eat) I was hooked. Not the highest quality or fully developed, but definitely FUN!! I’ve added a permanent link to the sidebar Website Links for Students.

## Can Learning Really Be Fun and Games?

For those wondering what a game-based classroom looks like in a traditional school, take a peek into Ananth Pai’s third-grade class in Parkview/Center Point Elementary school in Maplewood, Minnesota.

Using his own money and grants that he applied for, Pai has managed to round up seven laptops, two desktops 11 Nintendo DS’s, 18 games for math, reading, vocabulary, geography, and 21 digital voice recorders.

Students compete in games with other kids across the world, learn about fractions and decimals by riding a virtual ghost train, for instance, work on their reading skills on sites like Razkids, figure out whether they can make a living by growing flowers, learn about their constitutional rights with the Go to Court Game, and so on.

If parents are wondering what their kids do with the Nintendo DS in the classroom, Pai’s students will tell them about Brain Age 2, the word scramble game, or Math Blaster, which helps students practice their multiplication.

In the video interview above, Pai talks about how he realized that with a 20-1 ratio in a third grade class (a luxury at this point in many American public schools), it would be difficult to help each student progress at his or her own level.

So he found websites he thought would work best for his class, and connected them all to his own site. Take a look at how he’s organized the curriculum: Simple and intuitive.

He’s divided Literacy into Decoding, Reading, Syllabication, Writing , Vocabulary & Spelling, Grammar, Literary Devices, and Genre.

Similarly, Math is divided into Geometry, Number Sense & Computation, Algebra, Data Analysis, Math Challenge, Math Dictionary, Easier Math Dictionary, and other general games.

He’s also got sites and games for categories like Inquiry, Skills for Life, Health & Well Being, and Would You Like Hot Chocolate With That?

Pai says that in a matter of four months, the class’s reading and math scores went from below average for third grade to mid-fourth-grade level.

When Robert Stephens, founder of Geek Squad and CTO of Best Buy visited Pai’s class recently, he was struck by not just the fact that technology was being used, but how Pai organized the class.

“He groups the kids on how their brains learn,” Stephens said.

From what I can tell, this is what learning should look like.