Engaging videos and entertaining animations with excellent teacher resources
I love that this is a free tool that students can access on our classroom desktop computers. Math Snacks was created by an interdisciplinary team of researchers, math educators, and mathematicians, so it is backed by research and tested by students in a learning games lab. The result is that the games really are fun and engaging. They are not the usual drill/practice games, but rather dig deeper and present exciting and entertaining problems to solve. The developers encourage the educator to allow students to play and explore and figure out the game in their own way, but they also provide lesson plans for before and after playing to make the most of the learning experience. In the future I will turn to Math Snacks when I’m looking for a way to enhance a topic in my curriculum that matches up with the games/animations that they have to offer. I know the kids will love it. I hope in the future that they will add in a way to track student progress, as well as assessment tools, such as a pre-test and post-test.
How I Use It
Math Snacks offers 5 engaging games and 6 entertaining animations that can be used to enhance any math curriculum. Math topics include expressions, variables, graphing, base ten, decimals, fractions, number lines, ratios, proportions, unit rates, and coordinate planes.
Each game and animation includes an 8-10 minute "teaching with" video, which shows how to implement it in the classroom as well as fun follow-up and reinforcement activities. Other resources include a Teacher Guide, a Gameplay video to show the students before they play, a cartoon/illustrated game-playing guide, and Game Guidelines. While students will have fun just playing and exploring, these extra resource materials will help them dive more in-depth into each topic and reinforce what they have learned.
I played all of the games and lost track of time because I was having so much fun! I really liked Monster School Bus, which challenges students to pick up groups of monster children so they have a load of 10 kids to bring to school. The lower levels give practice with base ten number sense with whole numbers, and the higher levels move on to decimals and fractions. The students can complete the levels in order or choose where they want to start.