Teachers can use Abacus Finch - Puzzlets as an extra way to practice math skills. Kids in grades K–2 will move at different paces through each level, not only because of their math understanding but also based on their video game experience. To encourage collaboration, have kids buddy up and share strategies for getting through each ruin. In the classroom, try using Abacus Finch as a math station, reward, or fun indoor recess option.Continue reading Show less
Abacus Finch - Puzzlets is a traditional platform video game where kids drag their bird around ancient ruins, like the Tozi Jungle, collecting stars and avoiding bad guys. Periodically kids will use math skills -- such as addition, subtraction, composition, decomposition, and sequencing -- to move to the next level.
Abacus Finch also requires the use of Puzzlets, a set of actual tiles that kids move around in a Play Tray that connects to your Android or Mac device. The game provides cues along the way to direct students when to add tiles to their physical tray that then pop up and become part of their on-screen play. Place gems on a tray to add or a pickax to subtract, and watch the action play out on your hand-held device.
Abacus Finch is a lot of fun. Kids will keep coming back because they like exploring the different levels and trying to gather stars and eggs. Unlike Cork the Volcano – Puzzlets, the tray and tiles do not play a major part in improving the game or helping kids' understanding of math. Periodically the kids will turn away from their screens to add a few tiles; most of the play is focused on the app, however. Some tile use builds a basic understanding of multiplication, but the same thing could be accomplished on the screen without the expensive Play Tray.
It takes a while to get to the math. At first, early elementary schoolers spend a long time figuring out their hand-eye coordination so they can explore the Tialoc Cliffs. They don't do any math until Level 2, and even then they only put the digits 1 through 5 in order. Once they get the hang of it, kids will want to play again. Thankfully there are 60 levels to keep them challenged; each one gradually increases in math difficulty.
Key Standards Supported
Counting And Cardinality
Count to 100 by ones and by tens.
Write numbers from 0 to 20. Represent a number of objects with a written numeral 0-20 (with 0 representing a count of no objects).
Understand that each successive number name refers to a quantity that is one larger.
Operations And Algebraic Thinking
Represent addition and subtraction with objects, fingers, mental images, drawings2, sounds (e.g., claps), acting out situations, verbal explanations, expressions, or equations.
Solve addition and subtraction word problems, and add and subtract within 10, e.g., by using objects or drawings to represent the problem.
Decompose numbers less than or equal to 10 into pairs in more than one way, e.g., by using objects or drawings, and record each decomposition by a drawing or equation (e.g., 5 = 2 + 3 and 5 = 4 + 1).
Relate counting to addition and subtraction (e.g., by counting on 2 to add 2).
Fluently add and subtract within 20 using mental strategies.2 By end of Grade 2, know from memory all sums of two one-digit numbers.
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