Since Wuzzit Trouble addresses the concept of integer partition, it could work well as a year-round supplement to a range of math curricula. Set aside some time each week, or more often if possible, to let kids play individually or in teams. After gameplay, come together as a class and discuss the specific puzzles that kids were able to complete. For younger learners, focus on the more basic levels and challenge them to improve their scores. For older learners, encourage them to complete as many advanced levels as possible and then go back and try to improve their scores.Continue reading Show less
Wuzzit Trouble is a math game based on the concept of integer partition, or the expressions of a whole number as the sum of other whole numbers. Kids have to set adorable creatures called Wuzzits free from traps by collecting keys to unlock the traps. Kids collect the keys by figuring out how many times to turn gears, and which way to turn them. Points are given for the least number of turns, and kids can earn prizes and treats for the Wuzzits as they play.
The home screen is pretty simple, with three options: play, change settings, or view a list of trophies earned. In play mode, three main levels have 25 puzzles in each mode, for a total of 75 puzzles. At the most basic level, kids are given one large gear and one small gear. When you turn the small gear one time in the right direction, the large gear turns to unlock a key. Each turn of the small gear moves the large gear 5 places. In more advanced levels, kids have to manipulate several small gears to move the large gear and unlock multiple keys and food for the Wuzzits. Kids earn more points and star rewards for fewer moves. By tapping on the settings icon on the home screen, kids can turn music and sound on or off, access information about the game developer, or completely reset the game. And by tapping on the trophy icon, kids can look at the trophies they have won. Kids can retry individual puzzles, or they can reset the entire game. This makes it easier to share devices in the classroom.
One of the best things about Wuzzit Trouble is that kids learn by playing. Formal assessments aren't needed, since kids have to unlock a level before moving on. Kids build strong critical-thinking and problem-solving skills as they figure out how to make small and large gears turn to unlock keys and prizes. As the levels progress, they become more challenging, with more small gears to turn and more keys needed to unlock the Wuzzits. The puzzlers are based on integer partition and help kids build critical-thinking skills as they try to figure out what combination of integers will rotate the large gear to unlock the keys. A handful of Common Core standards are addressed in the game, as well. Hints for improving scores and unlocking levels would boost learning a bit, especially for struggling kids.
Key Standards Supported
Number And Operations In Base Ten
Fluently add and subtract within 100 using strategies based on place value, properties of operations, and/or the relationship between addition and subtraction.
Add up to four two-digit numbers using strategies based on place value and properties of operations.
Add and subtract within 1000, using concrete models or drawings and strategies based on place value, properties of operations, and/or the relationship between addition and subtraction; relate the strategy to a written method. Understand that in adding or subtracting three- digit numbers, one adds or subtracts hundreds and hundreds, tens and tens, ones and ones; and sometimes it is necessary to compose or decompose tens or hundreds.
Mentally add 10 or 100 to a given number 100–900, and mentally subtract 10 or 100 from a given number 100–900.
Explain why addition and subtraction strategies work, using place value and the properties of operations.3
Operations And Algebraic Thinking
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.
Use addition and subtraction within 100 to solve one- and two-step word problems involving situations of adding to, taking from, putting together, taking apart, and comparing, with unknowns in all positions, e.g., by using drawings and equations with a symbol for the unknown number to represent the problem.1
Solve two-step word problems using the four operations. Represent these problems using equations with a letter standing for the unknown quantity. Assess the reasonableness of answers using mental computation and estimation strategies including rounding.3
Identify arithmetic patterns (including patterns in the addition table or multiplication table), and explain them using properties of operations. For example, observe that 4 times a number is always even, and explain why 4 times a number can be decomposed into two equal addends.
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.
The Number System
Fluently divide multi-digit numbers using the standard algorithm.
Fluently add, subtract, multiply, and divide multi-digit decimals using the standard algorithm for each operation.
Find the greatest common factor of two whole numbers less than or equal to 100 and the least common multiple of two whole numbers less than or equal to 12. Use the distributive property to express a sum of two whole numbers 1–100 with a common factor as a multiple of a sum of two whole numbers with no common factor. For example, express 36 + 8 as 4 (9 + 2).
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