In this game sixteen linear graphs are given. One student selects one of the graphs and the other student asks yes or no questions to determine which graph has been selected. Between games students are shown questions that other students ask. The teacher also is able to view and have a record of all questions asked in each game.
Table 1 has the initial questions that were asked by 4 of the groups. I analyzed the data with an interpretative approach by looking at the ways in which students used mathematical vocabulary in the game.
After playing the game several times, the students discussed what quality questions to ask and
strategies for asking the least amount of questions. Several questions appeared in common in the
groups: “Is your slope positive?” “Is the slope negative?” “Is your line horizontal?” “Is your line
vertical?” “Does your line go through the origin?” Groups also came up with questions of what
quadrants the line crossed through, though not all groups used the term “quadrants.” Through playing
the game and subsequent discussions, students were able to make use of mathematical vocabulary
including slope, positive slope, negative slope, horizontal line, vertical lines, origin, and quadrants.
Stohlmann, M. (2020). Integrated STEM education through game-based learning. In A.I. Sacristán, J.C. Cortés-Zavala, & P.M. Ruiz-Arias (Eds.). Mathematics Education Across Cultures: Proceedings of the 42nd Annual Conference of the North American Chapter of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education (PME-NA). (pp. 2238-2242). Mazatlán, Mexico: PME-NA.
What happens when you want something that someone else wants as well? This excellent book reinforces the ideas of sharing and compromises. Children will be intrigued by the story and the questions that are integrated with the pictures. Children will remember that sharing is caring!
A useful sequence of experiences when working with measurement and volume is a three-step experience described in the table below.
For step 1, students can do a comparison activity in which they determine which of two glasses holds more juice. Through this book children can develop informal notions of volume and also that there are different ways of sharing items. The pictures and questions in the book provide opportunities for rich discussion related to sharing and mathematical ideas!
The game, Bigger or Better, is now a book! Each team starts with the same item. They then must go out and find people that are willing to trade something for the item. The goal is to end up with the biggest or best item. Which team will win? This fun and lively book will keep children engaged! Check the back of the book for ideas on how to develop children's number sense for fractions!
When two fractions are not equivalent but are parts of the same whole or unit, there are several ways to find which is greater through comparison. It is important that the fractions refer to the same whole or unit though. This could be comparing a fractional amount of a pizza to a fractional amount of a pizza the same size. Other examples that are possible are to compare length in feet versus length in feet, area in feet squared versus area in feet squared, or comparing weight measured in pounds. However, comparing fractional amounts of two different units can be difficult to do. For example, 1/3 of a cake versus 4/5 of a chocolate bar. 4/5 is a larger number than 1/3 but the cake may actually be bigger in size compared to the remaining chocolate bar.
Comparing fractions using concepts
A recent review of studies that involved game-based learning found that most of the games used in the studies involved drill and practice. In drill and practice type games, students only receive feedback on if answers are correct or incorrect and do not receive support for conceptual understanding. These types of games also emphasize that mathematics is about speed and focus on memorization of ideas instead of conceptual understanding. Game based learning for mathematics should move beyond drill and practice.
My principles for technology game-based learning ensure that games are selected and implemented with best practices for teaching mathematics in mind. First, the technology integration should allow for significant task redesign or the creation of new tasks that would not be possible without the technology. Second, the tasks used should be worthwhile tasks. These tasks have no prescribed rules or methods and there is no perception that there is a specific “correct” solution method. Third, the tasks should be aligned with grade-level standards. Fourth, the tasks should enable students to work with multiple representations. Fifth, the technology should provide students feedback. Finally, the tasks should be open-ended and allow for discussion and multiple solutions (Stohlmann, 2019). When structured well, technology-based mathematics games can engage students in mathematics and help develop their conceptual understanding.
Stohlmann, M. (2019). Integrated steM education through open-ended game based learning. Journal of Mathematics Education, 12(1), 16-30.
Christian, author, and professor of mathematics education.