Thursday, May 26, 2011

Looking For A Great Math App?

Unfortunately, the current approach used to teach math is producing way too many "math casualties."  A national curriculum that is a mile wide and an inch deep is preventing some children from developing a solid foundation in number sense.  Without this foundation in place, algebraic thinking is not possible.  Too many children (and us for that matter), focus on getting the correct answer rather than understanding the process.  We need to teach children to think flexibly about numbers.  Being huge fans of Greg Tang ( ), we are also fans of an App he created for a math game called Kakooma ( )  This App requires one to look at nine boxes, each of which contains nine numbers.  The task is to find two numbers that add to a third in each of the squares.  In order to complete the task, the process needs to be completed 10 times.  My fifth graders, being the competitive bunch they are (and that’s not a bad thing) choose Kakooma over any other App.  I have had four students complete the puzzles in less than 13 seconds.  The lowest score was 9 seconds.  One of my kids commented, “I think I play too much.”  Imagine that, practicing their number concepts too much!  You have got to try it for yourself.  Check it out, you’ll be hooked. See if you can beat 9 seconds, or two minutes for that matter.  

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