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Fun and Effective Game-Based Learning

When we think of games, we often think of them as somewhat trivial or just for fun, but can a game-based learning environment really change the way students learn and teachers teach? Researchers agree that people learn best in a game environment, more than any other traditional form of instruction, but why? People love games. We like to have fun and we especially like to win. While it may go without saying, this tendency holds true in a learning environment as well. Winning doesn’t necessarily imply there is a loser. Some of the best game-based instructional tools provide students with a judgement-free learning environment, helping them achieve many small wins over time that lead to higher motivation and less stress. This concept also counters the pass/fail model of testing and evaluations by allowing students to focus more on learning the material and improving so that they can move on to the next level.
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Fun Summer Learning Activities: The DIY Sundial

Today is the first day of summer--also known by astronomers, scientists, and mathematicians as the Summer Solstice. The June Solstice takes place each year between June 20th and June 22nd and means that the Earth is farthest from the Sun on that day. This also makes students on summer vacation happy as there are more hours of sunlight to enjoy!
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How To Evaluate Educational Software Games

Math video game characters Do you know how most people evaluate educational games? Quite simply--they don't. For example, consider Dragon Box, an affordable, highly engaging, and extremely educational math video game on algebra. If Dragon Box were a car, it would probably be named Car of the Year. So what percentage of algebra teachers or parents do you think will be adding it to their toolbox this year? At a rough guess: probably less than one percent. ST Math, Dreambox, and Big Brainz are three other great programs that can make a significant impact on children's education. Yet how many math teachers or principals have even heard of these programs? And how many have taken steps to evaluate them to see if they're truly helpful?
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