Playing Games in the Classroom Can Help Students Learn
Recent research supports the use of math games as an interactive instructional method to engage students and increase an interest of learning mathematics. If a teacher or parent participates in these activities then it will create a value or need to learn mathematics. The critical career impact is with gaining the attention and interest of middle school students that relieves math anxiety or a fear of testing. Games can also improve critical thinking and boost problem solving skills.
Algebra Math Games from Japan
Sudoku is a game from Japan that involves the use of numbers. It requires reasoning and critical thinking. Chess is a board game that incorporates geometry and strategy. Mathematics is about teaching the planning and problem solving skills. A good mathematician can become an excellent chess player. Even the Tiger Woods golf game from EA Sports involves the use of algebra and numbers. My children introduced me to this game and I became a professional at this by understanding the differences in height difference and wind compensation factors. These factors were included in to the problem solving techniques of what “club to use” and the amount of force to use to hit the target.
Math Games Reduces a Fear of Math
Jacqui Allen (2010) writes that in our country, there is an increasing population of students that suffer from math phobia (a fear of mathematics). They suffer a lack of self confidence of their respective mathematical skills and math abilities that feed a frustration and fear towards the subject. This is true for algebra, unfortunately. Math games can affect student engagement and achievement in the classroom according to Allen (2010).
Jacqui Allen discovers that there is an impact upon learning. The research project examines student’s behavior from a 6thgrade class, an analysis of work samples, and conducting various student interviews and surveys.
This website provides interactive games and resources. It includes links for applications and other manipulatives on their website
Math games can help improve student engagement and increase success with mathematics.
Allen, L., & Main, D. (1976). The Effects of Instructional Gaming on Absenteeism: The First Step. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education. 7 (2), 113-128.
Allen, J. (2010). Action Research Project: How do math games affect student engagement and achievement? THE HTE GSE Program.
Bright, G., Harvey, J., & Wheeler, M. (1985). Learning and Mathematic Games. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education. Monograph. (1), 1-189.
Cavanaugh, Sean (2006) “Playing Games in Class Helps Students Grasp Math.” Education Week, Nov 2008, 43-46.
Playing Games in Classroom Helping Pupils (Children) Grasp Math. Education Week. 2008. English. [PDF, 397KB.