Math-fact gamification

Ask a typical educator about game-based learning and video games in school, and expect at least some skeptical responses.

Many educators and parents worry about gaming as an educational tool.

Research on the educational worth of video games has been mixed, and some educators point out the fact that most data come from short-term studies.

While research on educational software is still young, increasing evidence points to positive outcomes for today’s students—despite the prevalence of headlines linking video games to bad behavior or lukewarm learning outcomes.

According to James Gee, an education professor at Arizona State University, blaming all video games for poor results is like blaming all food for the existence of obese people.1 Read more »

Six in every ten Americans report having difficulty solving some type of math, and 30 percent of Americans say they would rather clean the bathroom than solve a math problem.

Yet 93 percent of Americans say that developing good math skills is crucial to having a successful life.

So why would anyone dislike something that brings success?

Most Americans develop their attitudes about math from others. For example, if parents don’t enjoy math, they may pass that attitude forward to children.

Perhaps parents or teachers nag too much. “Memorize your times tables!” they might say, “Work harder!”

Or, perhaps nagging isn’t to blame. Maybe students feel inadequate during math class because they’re just missing out on some key fundamentals.

Whatever the reasons, no one can really deny the importance of mathematics. Math is important in everyday life! Read more »

Learning multiplication tables can be a challenge for children who struggle to grasp these concepts quickly. Luckily, kids are more likely to pick up math-fact skills by playing games that test their knowledge rather than by simply doing math homework.

Here are 5 fun ways to help kids memorize times tables:

### Play Bottle Cap Multiplication

1. Write the times table equation on the top of a bottle cap and write the answer on the inside of the cap.
2. Once the child answers the question correctly he or she can turn the bottle cap over.
3. Time your child and see how quickly they can flip all the caps over! (Alternately, see how many caps they can flip over within an allotted time).

### A guest post by Linda Hardman

President of Linda A. Hardman Consulting, Inc., teacher, and developer of multiple award-winning K12 math products

Imagine Learning now publishes monthly guest posts in order to stimulate conversations about K12 education across the country. Opinions expressed herein are those of the individual author and may not necessarily reflect the official opinion of Imagine Learning.

According to the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), the percentage of English language learners (ELL) in US public schools grew in the 2012–2013 school year by 9.2 percent (i.e., 4.4 million students) compared to the prior school year.

Additionally, a new Pew Research Center study reported that a near-record 13.9 percent of the US population today is foreign born, with 45 million immigrants residing here.

A diverse group of young students

Because of these trends, students are significantly challenged to master academic language across the US.

The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for mathematics are also placing high demands in mathematics regarding abstract and quantitative reasoning, constructing viable arguments and critiquing the reasoning of others, and looking for/expressing regularity in repeated reasoning.

Students and educators are even more challenged with the acquisition of academic language as a tool for mastering conceptual and procedural understanding of mathematical standards and practices.

As a result of the increasing amount of ELL students and the challenges presented by the CCSS for mathematics, it is important for students to acquire both academic language skills and mathematical fluency.

Moreover, the same essential reading components and first-language supports provided in reading classes also belong in the mathematics classroom.

At Imagine Learning, we know that “fun” and “math” don’t necessarily go hand-in-hand. This challenge makes learning basic math concepts a little difficult sometimes.

However, we also know how important these basic math skills are––so we created a list of super fun math games to help your kids learn subtraction, addition, division, and multiplication this summer. Or anytime!