How I Use It
Many students find subtracting decimals very difficult and struggle with place value and how to set up each problem. Decimal Subtraction can definitely provide students with lots of practice in this area. For struggling students they first watched the tutorial and then played the game to reinforce and practice the skill. The students liked how the games were set up and found it helpful to view the question, their answer and if their answer was wrong the correct answer so they could practice the problem again. While the students liked receiving a trophy for completing a game this was not very important to the students. They liked the challenge of the game and recognizing that they were improving as they completed more problems correctly. What didn't work - Galaxy Ball moved way to fast for the majority of students and before they had a chance to complete the problem the screen changed to the next problem. They were frustrated because they were able to do the problem, just not as fast as required. The Hungry Monster was a favorite among 5th graders and they wanted to play that game over and over to improve their speed.
The tutorials were extremely helpful for students and they could control how often they needed to review the tutorials in order to master the concept. Students commented that they needed to use paper and pencil to solve the problems but the games did allow them to practice how to set up different types of problems and the game structure was more fun than worksheets.
There were a few games that could be played in the free version, but for classroom use you would really need to have the paid version.
As a teaching tool this could be very helpful for students that struggle with decimal subtraction. I was not impressed with the customizing features that students could select (changing outfits, etc) as I want students to focus in on the mathematical skills that need to be mastered. My students all became very aware of the fact that it was okay to use paper and pencil and that many operations in math cannot be done mentally. There are just so many ways that you can teach this math concept so engaging students with the game structure did help them to stay on task and not turn them off by using worksheets.