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Teachley: Mt. Multiplis
Pros: An engaging theme and solid conceptual-learning approach help kids succeed at math.
Cons: Hints, feedback for incorrect answers, and suggested extension activities for teachers would be useful.
Bottom Line: A clever story line, colorful graphics, and a solid conceptual approach make this game an excellent tool for teaching single-digit multiplication.
This game is a great way to introduce multiplication in the classroom. Have kids work in pairs to complete a level, and then reinforce what they learn through class discussion. Multiple-user accounts aren't an option, so create a class leaderboard to track progress. Kids can write their own multiplication problems and have their partners draw area models to model and solve the problems.
A character named Linka crashed her plane in a storm and needs to build bridges to reach the plane and rebuild it. Kids help Linka by solving multiplication problems, collecting gems, and building bridges. As kids tap each area, they're given a multiplication problem and must drag planks into an area model to fill the model and solve the problem. Kids earn gems for solving problems correctly, and they can use the gems to build bridges. As Linka gets closer to her plane, the plane is rebuilt, piece by piece, as kids complete levels. A Parents and Teachers section provides information about the Common Core standards coverage, and gives users access to general game settings and development credits.
Teachley: Mt. Multiplis is a math game that teaches kids how to multiply single-digit numbers using a conceptual approach that incorporates the distributive and commutative properties of multiplication. For each problem they have to solve, kids view an area model and they have to drag wooden bridge planks into the model to fill it. For example, to solve 3 x 5, kids might drag a 2 x 1 plank into the model to represent 2 x 5. They tap a number line to show that 2 x 5 = 10. Then they drag a 1 x 1 plank to fill in the model, tapping the number line again to show that 3 x 5 = 15. This conceptual approach is an excellent way to help kids understand multiplication and build fact fluency. Kids have the opportunity to visualize and develop an understanding of multiplication, which is a much more meaningful approach than simply using tables to teach through memorization. The story line is fun, and kids will enjoy collecting gems and building brides, while striving to reach the end goal of rebuilding Linka's plane. Kids stay engaged by dragging planks into the area models and then tapping the interactive number line. A useful addition to the game would be detailed feedback that pops up after kids make one or two unsuccessful attempts to solve a problem.