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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Gadgets, Games and Gizmos: Learning Multiplication Tables in a Game

There are video game based learning tools for a variety of topics including Algebra and Spanish. Here is one for multiplication tools.

Timez Attack is a new video game instructionally designed exclusively for learning multiplication tables. The game uses drill and practice disguised as a video game (as we know Drill and practice is an effective strategy for teaching facts, like the multiplication tables).

Using a first person genre, the game provides a graphically high-quality adventure where the learner travels from one location to another solving multiplication problems. Solving a problem opens a door, defeats a monster, reveals a key or otherwise advances the young player's cause. The game has various levels to keep the kids interested. It is a lot more fun than flash cards and more motivating.

The first level is a dungeon that gives you a feel for the controls and the game play. This level is straightforward and helps the child to learn how to navigate through the game.

The space level has some trick floors and other obstacles that you have to navigate or start over. I fell victim to the traps a few times. What I like about the game is that it engages the learner and forces him or her to drill on the multiplication tables and, at the end of a level, you face a level boss who forces you to review everything you learned on that level. In essence it is a mastery review test and, if you miss a problem while battling the creature, you have to go back and practice.

You'll have to check out the game yourself to see the "hot" third level.

My nine year old played the game and had a lot of fun (although, he is already well versed in the multiplication tables). He said that it would be great for a second grader or early third grader (he is in fourth). This is a good example of how a drill and practice exercise can be made into a fun game.

Download a free demo version today and play it to see how fact-based learning can be incorporated into a video game format and, if you have kids, use it to teach them multiplication.


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1 comment:

Michael Edlavitch said...

Hi. I am a Middle School Math Teacher and I created a NCTM recognized free online math games site: