Thursday, June 4, 2015

Death by Math

I found a cute little app called Death by Math by Pop Pop LLC.  It offers people a chance to work on 6th grade word problems.  As each problem is given, students are expected to "guess the answer".  If they get it wrong, the app does nothing until they put in the "correct" answer.  Then it congratulates them. 

Each problem is a level so as a student correctly identifies the answer, they move up and get coins they can use to get help if they are stuck.  A hint is included in that the answer place has  the number of squares representing the number of digits in the answer.

This is set up sort of like other games where they can call someone (send them a quick note for help), purchase help with the answers, skip a turn or earn more money.

I don't like this app because students need to guess the correct answer but I assume they can work it out on a piece of paper if they want to calculate the correct answer. On the other hand, most of the problems I've solved on this app require at least 2 steps so it takes a bit to answer the problem.  The way I see using this app in the classroom is to take a screen shot, bring it up in something like  SAS gloss, do the work over the picture to find the answer and then check the answer.

There is really no feedback other than just not letting them move on until they get the correct answer.  This means students who are not very good at this will struggle and will never see the process used to find the answers.   

Note:  My posts will be a bit irregular next week because I will be attending and presenting at the Educational Technology conference in Honolulu, Hawaii, hosted by Kamehameha schools.  I'm presenting first thing on the 9th with "Now what do I do?"  I look forward to meeting folks and presenting there.