How Game-Based Learning Can Boost Kids’ Math Skills

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How Game-Based Learning Can Boost Kids’ Math Skills

It's a sad reality that math is commonly among students’ least favorite subjects—many view it as boring, irrelevant, and often bewildering.

And being satisfied with nothing more than a passing math grade is often the best that many kids feel they can achieve.

Educational institutions are well aware of this common dislike for learning math and are creating programs aimed at making math more enjoyable, interactive, and game-like.

It’s no secret that video games are widely popular with kids and channeling this enthusiasm towards education has tremendous potential.

In fact, there are strong correlations between gaming and learning math—including logical thinking and decision making, spatial awareness, and creative problem-solving.

“One of the biggest benefits of gamification is that kids also get to “play,” which developmentally is important,” says Dr. Alison Gopnik, an educational psychologist.

“Play is not just some touchy-feely activity. And it’s not just that you want to leave children alone and not rush them. There’s hard evidence that children learn more things through play than they would in some academic setting,” said Gopnik in a recent interview.

She suggests that incorporating gaming elements, such as going on adventures, changing characters, and earning instant rewards, can prove to be beneficial in changing a student’s attitude towards learning.

The use of such elements – a method known as gamification – makes math exciting and less repetitive. A study conducted by Deakin University found that playing math games “helped to alleviate the tediousness of repetitive problem-solving.” Video games also provide a sense of possible success for the player, an attribute that is not necessarily associated with math.

Game-based learning can also help bridge the gender gap in math and help young kids overcome stereotypes that boys are more inclined towards science and math, while girls prefer literature and art. By gamifying math, all students become more confident in solving problems.

Incorporating digital games for middle school students helps students in the long run. A recent McGraw-Hill study on the digital habits of over 1,700 college students revealed that 75% of the participants found technology to be helpful in preparing for class, and nearly 80% of this group associated it to their improving grades. The role of technology will also stem further into various careers, seeing as it’s common for companies to incorporate the latest technologies in their organizational structure and systems.

The New York Times shared what they call a better way of teaching math as well. They identified a curriculum called Jump Math, which suggests teaching math to students without the pretense of limited mental capabilities. John Mighton, the founder of the non-profit organization that created the curriculum, emphasized that any student can learn even the highest levels of university math courses, regardless of age.

Mighton stressed that schools have to stop systems that define the intelligence level of students based solely on their performance in specific subjects, including math—a practice that makes children more afraid of the subject, especially if they can’t adapt quickly to the pacing in their classes. The Jump Math curriculum is now being taught to over 65,000 children in classrooms and 20,000 at home.

Similar to approaching other subjects, teaching math has different methods and applications. And while each one is unique, they all hold the same objectives: getting students more interested in mathematics and its applications to real-life. As educational methods develop and edtech applications continue to evolve, the process of student development will experience more and more innovation.

By Jennifer Birch

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Teaching Kids How to Plot Points with Fractions

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Teaching Kids How to Plot Points with Fractions

Are you looking to give your kids some practice with plotting and graphing coordinate points that have fractions?

The following video lesson shares a fun practice problem that visually explains how to plot coordinate points with whole numbers and fractions:

Learning Standard:

6th Grade Number System

 

Solve real-world and mathematical problems by graphing points in all four quadrants of the coordinate plane. Include use of coordinates and absolute value to find distances between points with the same first coordinate or the same second coordinate.


Are you looking for more fun and colorful K-12 math video lessons that your kids will love?


By Anthony Persico

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Anthony is the content crafter and head educator for YouTube's MashUp Math and an advisor to Amazon Education's 'With Math I Can' Campaign. You can often find me happily developing animated math lessons to share on my YouTube channel . Or spending way too much time at the gym or playing on my phone.

 
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Teaching Your Kids How to Make a Line Plot

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Teaching Your Kids How to Make a Line Plot

Are you looking to for some fun line plot activities involving whole numbers and fractions to share with your kids?

The following video lesson shares a fun practice problem that visually explores how to create a line plot:

Learning Standard:

5th Grade Measurement and Data

Make a line plot to display a data set of measurements in fractions of a unit (1/2, 1/4, 1/8). Use operations on fractions for this grade to solve problems involving information presented in line plots. For example, given different measurements of liquid in identical beakers, find the amount of liquid each beaker would contain if the total amount in all the beakers were redistributed equally.


Are you looking for more fun and colorful K-12 math video lessons that your kids will love?


By Anthony Persico

NewBlogImage.png

Anthony is the content crafter and head educator for YouTube's MashUp Math and an advisor to Amazon Education's 'With Math I Can' Campaign. You can often find me happily developing animated math lessons to share on my YouTube channel . Or spending way too much time at the gym or playing on my phone.

 
LinePlotPin.jpg
 

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Looking for real world problems for adding and subtracting decimals?

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Looking for real world problems for adding and subtracting decimals?

Are you looking to give your kids some adding and subtracting decimals real-world practice problems?

The following video lesson shares a fun practice problem that explores adding and subtracting decimals and whole numbers in real world situations:

Learning Standard: 5th Grade Number Operations

Add, subtract, multiply, and divide decimals to hundredths, using concrete models or drawings and strategies based on place value, properties of operations, and/or the relationship between addition and subtraction; relate the strategy to a written method and explain the reasoning used.


Are you looking for more fun and colorful K-12 math video lessons that your kids will love?


By Anthony Persico

NewBlogImage.png

Anthony is the content crafter and head educator for YouTube's MashUp Math and an advisor to Amazon Education's 'With Math I Can' Campaign. You can often find me happily developing animated math lessons to share on my YouTube channel . Or spending way too much time at the gym or playing on my phone.

 
DecimalsPin.jpg
 

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Simple and Easy: Using the Box Method for Multiplying Two Binomials

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Simple and Easy: Using the Box Method for Multiplying Two Binomials

Are you looking for a fast and easy shortcut for multiplying two binomials to share with your kids?

The following video lesson explains how to use the box method and why it is the best way to multiply binomials:

Learning Standard:

Know and apply the Binomial Theorem for the expansion of (x + y)n in powers of x and y for a positive integer n, where x and y are any numbers, with coefficients determined for example by Pascal's Triangle.


Are you looking for more fun and colorful K-12 math video lessons that your kids will love?


By Anthony Persico

NewBlogImage.png

Anthony is the content crafter and head educator for YouTube's MashUp Math and an advisor to Amazon Education's 'With Math I Can' Campaign. You can often find me happily developing animated math lessons to share on my YouTube channel . Or spending way too much time at the gym or playing on my phone.

 
BoxPin.jpg
 

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