How I Use It
Prior to playing this game, students were provided targeted lessons regarding topics being covered so that they knew what to be looking for in the game. Explicit instruction should always follow the playing of this game in my experience with it, to ensure students are able to hone in on specific skills. I tried to allow students to play this independently as a supplement to instruction, but it simply wasn't as effective; many just tried to "beat" the game. I use this product to allow students to work independently following instruction, as well as display it for the whole group so that we are able to play together and facilitate further discussion of a concept. Students are often assigned in small groups, as well, where each member is given a specific task (calculation, profit margin, etc.); this has been wonderful in allowing for differentiation. It allows for students to participate at a level that is comfortable for them, while still exposing them to other concepts that they will then be able to practice on their own later. Peer-teaching in this fashion has been a wonderful tool. When students play individually or in small groups, they must always answer pre-determined questions, designed to target specific skills. We always come back together as a group at the end to discuss the steps of the game, the data they collected and observations they noted, how these issues impact their pizza business, etc. Students enjoy the challenge of creating and running a profitable business (they all seem to gravitate toward the idea of a pizza business!) and I enjoy the ability to tie this game into our existing curriculum.
This high-quality app makes for an ideal (and affordable!) teaching tool that increases student engagement and encourages math skills. My students thoroughly enjoyed this game - from the very beginning (choosing and purchasing materials, etc.) straight through into the more complex skill sets. I appreciated that this game allowed for students to practice multiple types of skills simultaneously - many enjoyed being "entrepreneurs" through this game without even realizing the tough skills they were mastering along the way - that's my type of activity! Economics, costs, basic mathematical skills, and profit margins were especially useful to my students who engage in a year long entrepreneurial project. The number of skills available in this game is phenomenal and is really what makes this game a home run for me. This was perfect for small group activities, as there are many functions that each student could be engaged in at once, and whole group demonstration to facilitate further discussion and activity. As with any teaching tool, careful teacher planning is necessary to ensure that students gain all that they can. This is not a game that I would let students play without clear instruction or targeted lessons, as the many concepts may be overwhelming or may be missed entirely if students are left on their own without prior explicit instruction. When used with intention, this game is absolutely wonderful, complex, and versatile. Additional instructions would prove helpful to struggling learners and some do find the fast need for calculations discouraging, especially when they're trying to target other concepts aside from basic calculation. I've found that working in groups to allow for differentiation and peer-teaching do help to alleviate some of these issues.