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Oh, boy: your elementary students are going to love playing with UMIGO. You can download the curriculum guide, which contains Common Core standards contained within each project pack. You may have to be clear with students about how you want them to spend their time. Otherwise they may spend more time decorating their virtual room and visiting than playing math and engineering games. The music might start to get to you after a while, so headphones may be in order.Continue reading Show less
Editor's Note: UMIGO has closed and is no longer available.
UMIGO is an interactive math website for kids aged 5-8. Animated buddies Bean, Dizzy, and Bit guide students through a series of constructivist math tasks. Kids learn about addition, shapes, and basic engineering. The site's scope includes math games, music design, and vehicle engineering, and it is beyond hip. Dig this: funk legend Bootsy Collins masterminds the music, which features folks your kids may not recognize, but the catchy tunes will make them smile anyway.
Kids begin by making their own avatar. By playing games they can earn UMI-Bucks that let them buy parts for their racing vehicle, clothes for their avatar, or decorate their virtual room. In the UMI-verse kids can create music or listen to songs created by other players. There are also science project videos, and a visit to the Fab Lab contains a few hands-on project ideas.
“I See Shapes Everywhere” – Watch a music video that shows shapes in everyday items.
Mix and Fix – Add together UMI’s to fix holes in the road and get to a party.
Party Machine – Match up shapes to power up the epic Party Machine.
Games like Mix and Fix seem pretty straightforward at first, but they have hidden depth. As players progress, levers from one side are locked down. Party Machine also increases in difficulty as kids improve: Once they've mastered basic shapes, kids get introduced to the different types of quadrilaterals. And there's much more than games to enjoy. The 4-minute video "A Cup Fills Up" includes a Western-themed cartoon starring a selection of cowboy cups, cartons, and jugs at a faceoff to determine which posse has more capacity. It's followed by a Schoolhouse Rock-ish song detailing volume and capacity. Delightful!
UMIGO’s biggest strengths are the Music Studio and the Garage. In both cases kids are developing engineering and math skills without ever knowing it. In Vehicle Maker, kids select from a variety of parts to build a vehicle. Options for wheels? A peppermint, a life preserver, and a rolled-up roly poly, for starters. They'll test their design on different tracks to see how it fares, then modify their design and try again. In the Music Studio, students create music by dragging and dropping different instruments and then clicking to adjust the tone. By doing this, kids are building and adjusting patterns until they get something they like. Both the Garage and Music Studio encourage perseverance because if they keep trying they can meet their goal. UMIGO has a lot of potential even though it's still in beta; they're working on a teacher community, more games, and other helpful resources. It would also be nice parents and teachers could track student progress.
Key Standards Supported
Counting And Cardinality
Count forward beginning from a given number within the known sequence (instead of having to begin at 1).
Correctly name shapes regardless of their orientations or overall size.
Operations And Algebraic Thinking
Add and subtract within 20, demonstrating fluency for addition and subtraction within 10. Use strategies such as counting on; making ten (e.g., 8 + 6 = 8 + 2 + 4 = 10 + 4 = 14); decomposing a number leading to a ten (e.g., 13 – 4 = 13 – 3 – 1 = 10 – 1 = 9); using the relationship between addition and subtraction (e.g., knowing that 8 + 4 = 12, one knows 12 – 8 = 4); and creating equivalent but easier or known sums (e.g., adding 6 + 7 by creating the known equivalent 6 + 6 + 1 = 12 + 1 = 13).
Use addition and subtraction within 20 to solve word problems involving situations of adding to, taking from, putting together, taking apart, and comparing, with unknowns in all positions, e.g., by using objects, drawings, and equations with a symbol for the unknown number to represent the problem.2
Represent addition and subtraction with objects, fingers, mental images, drawings2, sounds (e.g., claps), acting out situations, verbal explanations, expressions, or equations.
Solve addition and subtraction word problems, and add and subtract within 10, e.g., by using objects or drawings to represent the problem.
Decompose numbers less than or equal to 10 into pairs in more than one way, e.g., by using objects or drawings, and record each decomposition by a drawing or equation (e.g., 5 = 2 + 3 and 5 = 4 + 1).
For any number from 1 to 9, find the number that makes 10 when added to the given number, e.g., by using objects or drawings, and record the answer with a drawing or equation.
Fluently add and subtract within 5.