Saturday, November 29, 2014

Mathles to Mathles

I was so excited to read about a new game structure designed by Kate Nowak at f(t) that can be used to practice problems in math classes. She called it Graphles to Graphles because she designed the game to give her Algebra 2 students the opportunity to practice sketching graphs given certain constraints.
But the game seems very promising for my middle school math classes, so I have been thinking about different topics sixth grade students could practice and review using this same structure.

1) Prime Factorization
2) GCF and LCM
3) Number Lines
4) Multiplying and Dividing Fractions
5) Multiplying and Dividing Decimals
6) Graphing Inequalities
7) Solving Equations
8) Area of Polygons
9) Plotting Points and finding Area and Distance on the Coordinate Plane
10) Volume and Surface Area

It really seems that you could make "Mathle" cards for any math problem or topic and then use this game structure to provide students with a fun and engaging way to practice. One thing I really like about this game is how students take turns being the referee whose role in the game is to evaluate the work of the other students in the group and then determine the winner for each round.
I think this game would be especially good for students who are just learning how to solve equations. Students can often solve simple one-step equations in their heads and have a difficult time understanding why they need to write out the steps by showing inverse operations on both sides of the equations. I try to emphasize the importance of Balance and then insist on Algebraic Style. Mathles to Mathles: Solving Equations Edition would be a great opportunity for students to not only find the solution, but also practice and be rewarded for good equation solving skills like showing inverse operations on both sides of the equation and checking solutions.