Teacher Review For Cyberchase

Suite of engaging elementary math activities

David B.
School district administrator
Oakland Unified School District
Oakland, CA,
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My Grades K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
My Subjects English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Arts
My Rating 4
Learning Scores
Engagement 4
Pedagogy 4
Support 3
My Students Liked It Yes
My Students Learned Yes
I Would Recommend It Yes
Setup Time Less than 5 minutes
Great for Individual
Knowledge gain
Practice
Whole class
Great with Advanced learners
General
How I Use It

Although I don't let my students go to everything on PBSKids, I do have a direct link to the Cyberchase games, and let them self-select which activities they want to do. Their favorite games are the extended Quests.

Whichever activity they choose, I know that they are getting good practice in math skills and reasoning.

As an incentive, I offer rewards for students who correctly solve some of the puzzles like "13 Ways of Making a Half," (visualizing fractions)

"Crossing the River," (problem solving) and "Can You Fill It?" (estimating volume).

The only drawback is I can't easily

keep track of student progress, which is important when I have up to 15 classes during the week. Although I haven't done so, some of the games would work with a whole class with a smartboard or other projection device.

My Take

Although I haven't watched the show, PBS' Cyberchase website comes with a host of interactive

games, video clips and activities that cover all the strands of mathematics, including geometry, logic/problems solving and numbers sense.

Classic puzzles like the "Wolf, Goat, Cabbage"

and tangrams, are given a fresh coat of paint. I use the games in my computer lab as free choice activity, knowing that whichever game they choose, they will be developing math skills. There are also four quests in which students go on an adventure while practicing a mix of math skills. These quests combine video clips, interactive games, and a reward system

to keep students engaged. Students who create log-in accounts

(email is optional) can save their progress within the quest.