The Crackers & Goo games require a lot of concentration and would probably work best if kids play individually. Also, since learning through patterns can be somewhat abstract, kids should have some exposure to each skill before attempting that skill level. After introducing the game concept, have kids play, choosing the skill step that applies to the targeted lesson, then follow up with a class discussion. You might also encourage older kids to work in pairs to create and complete new patterns.Continue reading Show less
Crackers & Goo is an engaging game that teaches kids about addition and multiplication through patterns. Kids choose from 16 different levels, or skill steps, organized by grade-appropriate learning objectives. For example, steps 1 through 4 cover such kindergarten skills as counting and basic number patterns, while steps 12 through 16 cover skills for grades 5 and up, including multiplication and rounding. Once kids choose a skill step, the game begins with a partial pattern in the lower portion of the screen. Kids have to find and drag floating crackers into the empty spots to complete the pattern. Correct answers are based on color and numbers. Kids can use one pattern hint in each step, if they need it. When kids finish a pattern, they have to either count the cracker numbers to find the total value of the pattern or complete a math problem using the patterns, estimation, and other arithmetic strategies. Kids earn points for completing a level, and accumulated points are tracked for each game player.
Kids learn about addition and multiplication skills by observing and working with patterns. Game activities are aligned to several Common Core math standards. Kids can learn about addition and multiplication skills by observing and working with patterns. Specific skills include counting and skip counting; addition within 10, 20, 100, and 1,000; mental arithmetic strategies; rounding; expanding; and more. Kids begin by completing a pattern consisting of colorful numbered crackers. They count the numbers inside the crackers to find the total value of the pattern. At more challenging levels, kids have to solve an addition or multiplication problem using mental math. Kids who play the game well will likely build a solid set of important math skills. Some kids will need more concrete step-by-step instruction, however, especially when it comes to multiplication. In those cases, follow-up problems based on place-value digits could help kids who struggle.
Key Standards Supported
Counting And Cardinality
Understand the relationship between numbers and quantities; connect counting to cardinality.
Understand that each successive number name refers to a quantity that is one larger.
Count to 100 by ones and by tens.
Number And Operations In Base Ten
Use place value understanding to round multi-digit whole numbers to any place.
Operations And Algebraic Thinking
Relate counting to addition and subtraction (e.g., by counting on 2 to add 2).
Add and subtract within 20, demonstrating fluency for addition and subtraction within 10. Use strategies such as counting on; making ten (e.g., 8 + 6 = 8 + 2 + 4 = 10 + 4 = 14); decomposing a number leading to a ten (e.g., 13 – 4 = 13 – 3 – 1 = 10 – 1 = 9); using the relationship between addition and subtraction (e.g., knowing that 8 + 4 = 12, one knows 12 – 8 = 4); and creating equivalent but easier or known sums (e.g., adding 6 + 7 by creating the known equivalent 6 + 6 + 1 = 12 + 1 = 13).
Apply properties of operations as strategies to add and subtract.3 Examples: If 8 + 3 = 11 is known, then 3 + 8 = 11 is also known. (Commutative property of addition.) To add 2 + 6 + 4, the second two numbers can be added to make a ten, so 2 + 6 + 4 = 2 + 10 = 12. (Associative property of addition.)
Understand the meaning of the equal sign, and determine if equations involving addition and subtraction are true or false. For example, which of the following equations are true and which are false? 6 = 6, 7 = 8 – 1, 5 + 2 = 2 + 5, 4 + 1 = 5 + 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.
Fluently multiply and divide within 100, using strategies such as the relationship between multiplication and division (e.g., knowing that 8 × 5 = 40, one knows 40 ÷ 5 = 8) or properties of operations. By the end of Grade 3, know from memory all products of two one-digit numbers.
Generate a number or shape pattern that follows a given rule. Identify apparent features of the pattern that were not explicit in the rule itself. For example, given the rule “Add 3” and the starting number 1, generate terms in the resulting sequence and observe that the terms appear to alternate between odd and even numbers. Explain informally why the numbers will continue to alternate in this way.
Generate two numerical patterns using two given rules. Identify apparent relationships between corresponding terms. Form ordered pairs consisting of corresponding terms from the two patterns, and graph the ordered pairs on a coordinate plane. For example, given the rule “Add 3” and the starting number 0, and given the rule “Add 6” and the starting number 0, generate terms in the resulting sequences, and observe that the terms in one sequence are twice the corresponding terms in the other sequence. Explain informally why this is so.
Use parentheses, brackets, or braces in numerical expressions, and evaluate expressions with these symbols.
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).