Cyberchase Fractions Quest's games are meant to take about 10-20 minutes each. Teachers can use it as an in-class teaching tool, or they can assign it for homework or remote learning. It could also work as part of math stations, since individual student logins save progress. This way students can work independently on the game at one station, use hands-on fraction manipulatives at another station, and then rotate with their small group to do targeted practice with their teacher. These small groups can be built using the standards-based data on the teacher dashboard.
If students get stuck, the hints may or may not help them along, so use the teacher dashboard to see where kids are struggling and then come at that skill in another way. Using manipulatives that mirror the game mechanics could be a way to build a bridge from on-screen to off-screen. While it's designed for third and fourth graders, it's also a useful tool for younger elementary students who need a challenge or for older elementary students who need a review.Continue reading Show less
In Cyberchase Fractions Quest, elementary students build crucial fractions understanding using area, number lines, and estimation. Kids must use these fractions skills to save the Cyber Squad from Hacker and his Henchbots, Buzz and Delete. As the game progresses, kids unlock different areas of the overall quest. Each planet in Cyberchase Fractions Quest is set up intentionally to allow students to build specific skills. On Planet Castleblanca, for example, kids play sequential games and must prove their understanding of unit and non-unit fractions before they can travel to other planets.
All of the math skills are embedded into challenges the characters have to overcome to move the adventure along. For instance, players have to feed hungry monsters crackers divided into different types of toppings. Skills build gradually, and students move from dividing images into using numerical representation. When students give an incorrect answer, they hear a buzzer and get to try again. They also hear a reminder of the objective. If they answer incorrectly again, they get a more specific hint.
Cyberchase Fractions Quest is a great example of a tool that uses visual models to help kids conceptualize part and whole relationships. It does an excellent job of building concepts gradually, so that kids move from visual representation to using numbers as they gain understanding. The storyline helps embed the use of fractions in creative ways, like dividing leaves and crackers in ways that help the story along. And hints for incorrect answers change in specificity if a student gives a wrong answer more than once.
It would be helpful, however, to give teachers and students a bit more flexibility, so that kids who master concepts can move on more quickly. Of course, repetition is a part of practice, but the game segments are bound to feel tedious for some kids. And while the hints for incorrect answers do get more targeted if kids answer incorrectly multiple times, they still might get stuck. For instance, when students are working with two wholes in the form of two crackers and have to figure out two representative fractions, it might be a bit of a leap for some, and the hint doesn't quite bridge the gap. In terms of aesthetics, the game is fairly static with simple mechanics. The simplicity means fewer distractions and easier use for younger kids, but it also could mean lukewarm student response. So, it's a super-solid choice to thoughtfully take students through foundational fractions skills, but it may not offer the flexibility and freshness to keep kids excited.
Key Standards Supported
Number And Operations—Fractions
Understand a fraction 1/b as the quantity formed by 1 part when a whole is partitioned into b equal parts; understand a fraction a/b as the quantity formed by a parts of size 1/b.
Understand a fraction as a number on the number line; represent fractions on a number line diagram.
Represent a fraction 1/b on a number line diagram by defining the interval from 0 to 1 as the whole and partitioning it into b equal parts. Recognize that each part has size 1/b and that the endpoint of the part based at 0 locates the number 1/b on the number line.
Represent a fraction a/b on a number line diagram by marking off a lengths 1/b from 0. Recognize that the resulting interval has size a/b and that its endpoint locates the number a/b on the number line.
Explain equivalence of fractions in special cases, and compare fractions by reasoning about their size.
Understand two fractions as equivalent (equal) if they are the same size, or the same point on a number line.
Recognize and generate simple equivalent fractions, e.g., 1/2 = 2/4, 4/6 = 2/3). Explain why the fractions are equivalent, e.g., by using a visual fraction model.
Express whole numbers as fractions, and recognize fractions that are equivalent to whole numbers. Examples: Express 3 in the form 3 = 3/1; recognize that 6/1 = 6; locate 4/4 and 1 at the same point of a number line diagram.
Compare two fractions with the same numerator or the same denominator by reasoning about their size. Recognize that comparisons are valid only when the two fractions refer to the same whole. Record the results of comparisons with the symbols >, =, or <, and justify the conclusions, e.g., by using a visual fraction model.
Explain why a fraction a/b is equivalent to a fraction (n × a)/(n × b) by using visual fraction models, with attention to how the number and size of the parts differ even though the two fractions themselves are the same size. Use this principle to recognize and generate equivalent fractions.
Compare two fractions with different numerators and different denominators, e.g., by creating common denominators or numerators, or by comparing to a benchmark fraction such as 1/2. Recognize that comparisons are valid only when the two fractions refer to the same whole. Record the results of comparisons with symbols >, =, or <, and justify the conclusions, e.g., by using a visual fraction model.
Understand a fraction a/b with a > 1 as a sum of fractions 1/b. a.
Understand addition and subtraction of fractions as joining and separating parts referring to the same whole.
Decompose a fraction into a sum of fractions with the same denominator in more than one way, recording each decomposition by an equation. Justify decompositions, e.g., by using a visual fraction model. Examples: 3/8 = 1/8 + 1/8 + 1/8 ; 3/8 = 1/8 + 2/8 ; 2 1/8 = 1 + 1 + 1/8 = 8/8 + 8/8 + 1/8.
Add and subtract mixed numbers with like denominators, e.g., by replacing each mixed number with an equivalent fraction, and/or by using properties of operations and the relationship between addition and subtraction.
Solve word problems involving addition and subtraction of fractions referring to the same whole and having like denominators, e.g., by using visual fraction models and equations to represent the problem.
Apply and extend previous understandings of multiplication to multiply a fraction by a whole number.
Understand a fraction a/b as a multiple of 1/b. For example, use a visual fraction model to represent 5/4 as the product 5 × (1/4), recording the conclusion by the equation 5/4 = 5 × (1/4).
Understand a multiple of a/b as a multiple of 1/b, and use this understanding to multiply a fraction by a whole number. For example, use a visual fraction model to express 3 × (2/5) as 6 × (1/5), recognizing this product as 6/5. (In general, n × (a/b) = (n × a)/b.)
Solve word problems involving multiplication of a fraction by a whole number, e.g., by using visual fraction models and equations to represent the problem. For example, if each person at a party will eat 3/8 of a pound of roast beef, and there will be 5 people at the party, how many pounds of roast beef will be needed? Between what two whole numbers does your answer lie?
Express a fraction with denominator 10 as an equivalent fraction with denominator 100, and use this technique to add two fractions with respective denominators 10 and 100.4 For example, express 3/10 as 30/100, and add 3/10 + 4/100 = 34/100.
Use decimal notation for fractions with denominators 10 or 100. For example, rewrite 0.62 as 62/100; describe a length as 0.62 meters; locate 0.62 on a number line diagram.
Compare two decimals to hundredths by reasoning about their size. Recognize that comparisons are valid only when the two decimals refer to the same whole. Record the results of comparisons with the symbols >, =, or <, and justify the conclusions, e.g., by using a visual model.